Thursday, March 11, 2010

Northwest to the Coalpit

A few hours before team shit show made it to the NW couloir of the Phiefferhorn a band of skier boyz made thier way up to the 5th highest peak in the Wasatch as well. This group of five made their way to the iconic peak in the early dawn hours, hitting the summit at 9:00am. With it all said, it is pretty amazing to think that two separate parties- for a grand total of 9 skier boyz in one day skied the Phieff. I'm sure Creepy Clay would be proud to know that so many of us frequent his favorite Wasatch classic. While setting up the anchor for the rappel I had to remind myself to start paying attention and stop thinking about the fact that this very line is the reason two boys were once ousted from the organization.

The reason for our early start was not because we had to go to work or wanted to watch tv after touring. It was because we had plans to continue on with a link up to the Coalpit Headwall. Both Slody and I were quite nostalgic about the first time we skied the Coalpit together with Uncle Keith back in the early days of the organization. We made the group decision that heading up the Hypodermic Needle apron and booting the exposed ramp was our best bet and estimated that it would take us about two hours to gain the Coalpit Headwall by these means. Little did we know that we were embarking on the skinner from hell, followed by a bootpack as annoying as a Forest Service Sheriff. The East facing apron skinner was on a breakable crust with little to no traction. I was surprised that Gramps did not suffer any Gramp outs. After we slowly made our way up the breakable crust skinner we switched over to bootpacking to take the ramp over to the Coalpit.

The Coalpit had the least snow in it any of us had seen. The conditions were chalky and variable, however it is always amazing to be on a run as large and powerful as the Coalpit Headwall. After skiing the headwall we found some great powder shots in the lower portions of the run. I had the opportunity to make my first decent telemark turns in the trees. Slody and I made an effort to try to figure out how to do a future link up between the Coalpit and the Y couloir. It will be great to see which skier boy puts together that link up in the future.
The gully skiing in the lower reaches of Coalpit gulch was amazing. When we reached the waterfall obstacle at the bottom of the gully Jay opted to ski it rather than rappel it and we all followed his line down. Fun skiing on waterfall that was falling apart. All and all, this was an amazing link up and another day in the long string of descents durting what some call the worst season ever- and the Skier Boyz call a season of great fun. Glad to be part of an organization that sees the glass half full and not half empty- unless the president asks you to knock the glass out of his hand- AML

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