Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Northwest of Twins and back up the Stairs

Last Friday I headed up to Broads Fork to go ski the northwest couloir of the East Twin.  My partner was my friend Josh Moran who grew up in Massachusetts with me on the same street(East Road).  He moved out here this season because he wanted to get a 400 trace year.  Although the southwest bowl hangs over Sandy tempting any suburbanite to ski it. The northerly aspects were staying fresh that week.  We rose early to give ourselves a fair chance at skinning out the southwest ramp back into Broads.
Beautiful, Beautiful Broads Fork.  This drainage holds many options for the backcountry skier.

The ridge that I hadn't climbed in a while. It was just as spicy as I remember.

The line, amazing walls, nice funnel, but was the powder good?

  Umm yes it was nice, very nice.  That's Josh dropping into the top funnel.  The snow was darn good skiing not even wind affected or touched by any other dairy farmer skiers yet that day.

After the turns in the chute were just as soft, Josh was willing to admit that a 300 trace year wasn't that bad.

After skiing the Northwest our options were limited, bushwhack down the canyon, skin the ramp back out towards Broads East facing slopes.  The snow was getting heavy on the south facing slopes and there were already evidence of wet slides all around us.  The east face was getting fried and it had slid the day before.  We made a call to do a quick tension traverse, and a hasty but anxiety causing bootpack.  We took Stefan's secret chute towards the west and ascended a ridge to climb back up the Stairs.

Looking into Stairs Gulch from where we dropped in, not from the top.  There were old crowns and avalanche debris in the Gulch.  We also saw another group of skiers sampling some of the powder on the northwest slope of the twins, they were half lapping on a big mountain.

  The powder up in the top of stairs was good, bottom avalanche debris.  It's one of those lines that actually makes you feel like you turned more than you hiked.  It took a while to get down the chute.  I never liked hanging out in there so we kept moving on the roller balls.

We had to do a stream crossing down by climbing crags but still managed several more turns after that.  It was a good link up, and catching the northwest in such good conditions was epic.

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