Sunday, March 20, 2011

NY Alpine

In the Adirondacks big alpine ski/snowboard mountaineering objectives have around a 3 week window to get them ticked off. The combination of a deep enough snow pack, sunny days with temps in the 40's and night time temps below freezing are the limiting factors that make the window so short. Combine the slim weather window with trying to get time off and have a motivated partner and it is really hard to get things done. One objective that I have wanted to tick for awhile is the North Face of Gothics to the True North Slide. This 1,100 ft. climb is 4.5 miles from the road. Combine this climb with a decent of the True North Slide and you have an objective that is not just good for the East Coast but good anywhere. Luckily Sara was motivated, had the time free and to top it off the weather was supposed to be perfect. Thursday 3/17/11 was go time.

8:00am - Start skinning in. Throw in a few swollen river crossings for good measure.

11:30am - The North Face of Gothics is finally in view

12:00pm - Strap on the crampons, put on harnesses, tie in and start climbing. The huge crown in the background is from a natural slide that probably happened the week before when we got slammed with 30" of snow.

2:00pm - Still climbing due to several factors. One being that both of my crampons came off almost simultaneously while over 100ft out from any pro. After sorting that out we had to take a more wandering line to summit so that you did not have to front point as much.

3:00pm - Sara about 3/4 of the way up the face. We simiclimbed a lot of it but did belay 3 "pitches" where there was steeper ice that you had to front point.

4:00pm - Finally topping out! We did go to the summit and actually rode off right from the true summit. Something that I guess is really rare to be able to do.

5:00pm - What we came to do. RIDE DOWN! This is about 3/4 of the way down the True North Slide.

5:10pm - Almost to the bottom of the True North Slide.

5:30 - After getting back to the trail we switched back to ski mode and started the 4.5 mile skin out.

9:00pm - Finally back to the car! 13 hours on the go. The best long alpine day I have had all year. Certainly the best day ever on the East Coast for me. What a way to celebrate St. Patricks Day. Thanks SG for being so awesome!


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