Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ciochetti's Ribbon

So what have we learned? Well when an old Wasatch legend like John Barstow says " The thing about Ciochetti was he wasn't the best skier; he just had huge balls and loved exposure." With that being said, what can you expect from Ciochetti's Ribbon? Well, there's a traverse, a 50 degree slope, snow drifts, sugar on shitty limestone , and rock pillar cruxes above an 800' cliff. Tackling this objective on a Monday morning is more than enough to make somebody drastically late for work. This is a line that you only trascend once unlike Hoopa's Backside Snow Abortion, which has trains of people going out it daily. On Ciochetti's you don't feel good until your finished even though you might be four hours late for work. Your glad to have survived. Some beta if I were going to do it again which I'm not. Give yourself plenty of time; its slow going. Bring a 60 meter rope not a 30 meter 8 mill rando line, lots of rock gear nuts, cams, long draws. And wear a helmet, we found plenty of loose rock. As Stefan led the crux, he pulled out bowling ball sized limestone chunks, hucked them over the edge, and said, "It smells like Diamond Fork hot springs." We alternated leads for the whole traverse. Following was just as dangerous as leading and we placed protection where we could find it. Sometimes we moved together with pro in between us, inching along at snail's pace. Despite the cautious pace, we had to take our skies off for the crux rock pillar to climb around it. Didn't have to aid any sections but I would've in a heart beat. For better beta you might want to talk to follow skier boy Tim Rogers who did it a week before us. --- Bret

Ciochetti's Ribbon is technically in bounds at Alta Ski Resort and technically open anytime Devil's Castle is open. It is the traverse that bisects the impressive face of the Castle. Approach from the saddle between Sugarloaf and the Castle proper. Start poking around and you will see the entrance. The line finishes in a steep shot into the Apron. If you decide to ski this while Alta is open, give the patrol a heads up and plan on a full day.

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