Friday, February 12, 2010

The Y-not

Last Thursday I was honored to ski with some skier boy elders and check out the Y-not.  I hadn't skied this line and we heard that the anchors were destroyed by rock fall.   On Thursday morning Powers, Slody, and I headed out with some supplemental rock gear and slings.  We wanted to find out if there was a solution to this anchor problem. 

It is true that the one of the bolts were destroyed by rock fall.  The other bolt was scarred up enough that we didn't feel comfortable rapping off just one.  I scrambled around above the anchors and found a nut placement that I could rap off to get down to a tree.  From the tree we did a sixty meter rope rappel to the base of the cave.

Slody hop turning the tightness below the choke

Powers slough riding the bottom of the Y-not.  It was tight but the softness of the snow made it doable.  A classic line for sure, it would be helpful for someone to go but another bolt down there to re-establish the anchor.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lone Peak revisit

A bunch of the boys got together to head up to Lone Peak and ski the south side, the massive snowfield that is visible from I-15

Jake in the second hammagog
The same theory in the summer as in the winter: run in the sun, stay in the shade

On the ascent Bighorn looked amazing, but it soon would be engulfed by clouds

The summit poked out for a few seconds

The descent was poor visibility, and tricky crust powder.  It was still a good social outing.   A good day in the mountains, a good day to be a boy.

I'm not the smartest guy in the world...

But I'm not dumb enough to noodle into an aspect that slid 15 minutes prior.

Strong work off of Tincan at Turnagain Pass.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Shreddy and the Monte Cristo

Sunday night after working the weekend and its time to ski something.  I made a desperate text message to Shreddy in need of a partner to go ski, it was past 12:00 p.m.  He answers my text and I tell him my objective:  hook, line, and sinker.

The sun coming up on Cardiac, still looking a little bare.  We moved higher up the ridge to get the Monte Cristo.  This line sits up next to Mt. Superior, and has itching at me for a while especially because of it's good view from white pine. Plus ever since eyeing the face shots in the footage from Hollywood and Kid Buffalo skiing this last year in deep conditions (you s.o.b's).  I've been wanting to ski it. 

Crossing over from Superior, some of the first couple inches were slabbed together and shed off as we skinned.  It was a little early in the season for this line and would have been a little more straight forward with a deeper snow pack.

Shreddy dropping in to the edge of the world.  The photos are much more dramatic when shot from superior.  The upper bowl was excellent creamy powder our best turns of the run as we would find out a little later.  Across the street patrol was bombing baldy and the sound was reverberating off the massive walls, kind of an uncomfortable sound.

Unfortunately we had to traverse this slope, just like the ski school do to the backside.  Rock ridges blocked the direct fall line descent.

Aaahh, breakable crust nothing makes you feel more awkward on your skis.  That's me trying to hold forward pressure on my boots and flailing.  The middle of the chute (more south facing) had the toughest snow.  The bottom part was actually was in better conditions, more like chalk skiing where you can stay on the surface.

Shreddy skiing the exit chute I never thought about rappelling the cliff.  Why rap when you can ski.  For those who like the directissimo, good for you.  It's like what this old climber named Frank told me at Devil's tower.  When I asked about the ethics of the early climbers and their routes going to the top of the tower. "Ethics are like taking a piton hammer and smashing yourself in the balls." Well said Frank.

Monday, February 8, 2010

AK Update '010

My recent absence from the cyber world does not equate to a lack of adventure. We have achieved much in the preceding weeks. The Maker has provided us with motivation and safe conditions. Conversely Old Nick has cursed us with poor route selection and short days.

First, I will update you, gentle reader, on our preparations for MTV Alaskan Shore: Neacola Edition. A production schedule has been set: April 16-25. A site has been selected and the necessary contracts are in place. The target drainage has yet to see the shadow of a human. This lends to multiple 1st ascents and descents and trascents. I have also finished a draft for the Hans Saari grant. Our copy editors are in the process of reviewing the document as the deadline draws near.

One fortnight ago, GB6K and I endeavored to schuss some new terrain. We headed South of Turnagain Pass and ascended the Silvertip Creek Drainage. We espied Twin Peaks and made off for them posthaste. The buttress was scoured and the angle continued to escalate. The damned black hound began to get the shakes. From our aerie we enjoyed 3,000' of continuous steep skiing back to the motor coach.

Just last week, again GB6K and the Uncle decided to find the steepest, shallowest, shadiest snow pack. We aimed for Madonna's Tits but ended up on the North Face of Pioneer. Blue ice forced a deviation from the drainage and our detour led into ever steepening terrain with ever thinning snow pack. We descended and salvaged the day by sending a booter at Hatcher and ticking off a steep North facing couloir with an intimidating entrance. 2 ranges 1 day.

3 weeks of high pressure produced a bounty of hoar frost the size of quarters. Queue the blizzard: 12 hours, 60 mph wind, 2" of moisture. The dangerous conditions are no excuse for the situation I found myself in come Saturday morn: Nordic gear. Alas! I donned the neon lycra, yellow tinged spectacles, and skull cap with pompom and set out to experience the Great White North. I gave witness to nature's version of David versus Goliath: wolverine versus rabbit. Lo! This time there would be no victory for David. I took the death of the Lepus hard and ale was my crutch.

I leave you all with this message of hope: Be good to yourselves.... and each other

- Condor