Saturday, May 14, 2011

Korohusk Couloirs: May 14

I had an objective in mind but no one to ski with. Finally the Noodler relented. Yes!! 2 hours later he called back and expressed his concern regarding the glacier travel necessary for this objective. I told him to close his eyes and repeat 3 times: "Nothing's gonna happen." Apparently this glacial travel technique is not acceptable to new parents.

I spouted off my other objectives and The Noodler's interest was piqued with "Korohusk." There is a scary chute of the North side that I wanted. The Noodler told me that there was also a second, sneekier, scarier couloir as well. He also had some good beta from buddies that had schussed 'em earlier in this season

There was a solid refreeze at the trailhead when we began hiking at 7:15 AM and the skins were on by 8. Travel was efficient on the refrozen corn and soon The Noodler was pointing at an improbable sliver of snow coming off the ridge. As we rounded the bend, it looked doable, but not really.

Korohusk the 1st

I've never seen anything like this couloir. It splits a buttress and has no slopes above or beside it that will slough into the shot. It is relentlessly steep and narrow and there is almost no apron. The Noodler set the booter / clamp-on-er. The snow was "recycled pow", 8" of blower, wintery goodness. We knew it would be good. Each turn sloughed and quickly the surface of 10' wide chute was moving with the skier. Every so often, I'd pull over and let it go on by before it became a hazard.

The Noodler from the Top

After a 5 minute break at the bottom, we moved towards Korohusk the 2nd. This is the shot I had been thinking of: much wider, not as much vert. This line wanted to be my friend, but this too was a trap.

The Noodler and the 2nd

The chute started as advertised, but it doglegged about 700' off the deck. Cramp-ons came out again. It narrowed and got steep. What looked like a relaxing run from below was feeling very similar to the 1st run.

From the Top of the 2nd

"#34, The Noodler, Nashoba Valley, dropping..."

The snow was great, but not as good as the 1st. I navigated the narrows and steeps above the dogleg conservatively, but was able to link turns through most of the top 1/2. The bottom half relaxed a bit, and I felt better. My whipping jacket drowned all other sounds.

A Scary View of the 1st

In AK, you have to be flexible. Years can pass before conditions, weather, and the right partner align to even attempt a line. Today everything converged and the result was easily the best day of the season. That is, until tomorrow.

- Coemul

1 comment:

  1. Hell yea, that looks like a fantastic line. way to be getting after it