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

Shit Show Tours NW Pheiferhorn

Will Roth and Shit Show Tours needed a hair of the dog to get them up and on the trail for a 11 a.m. alpine start to climb and ski the Wasatch's fiftth tallest peak.

The Brothers Frerk make it onto the east ridge of the Pheiferhorn, good exposure.
The troopers moving up, excellent exposure.
Team Shit Show hits the summit cone at 5 p.m. We found a large bag of sour patch kids at the top, ironic treat. I think we missed seeing some other boys up here, they must have started at dark, fools.
Holy Buffalo! Making turns right off the summit
Duggie, energized from a vegemite sandwich, doing his best impersonation of riding a kangaroo.
Looking up the rappel that the Green Mountain Freeriders hope to launch for a clean descent. It was impressive watching x skier boy Will Roth descend down to the rappel. I was glad to be on skis and still in Skier Boys.
It was amazing to share this classic line with my brother Jared. You can't ski stuff like this in MA, or can you?
Happy Brothers at dusk.
The Dude beats another hangover with an epic day!

Mt Olympus Apollo Coolie

Brett out of the scrubbies and up into the Apollo.

We skinned to the base of a slab then booted up the rest.
At the top of the Apollo excited about the conditions.

Slicing onto the covered slab and then a fast descent through the coolie
A nice straight shot up to Olympus's west ridge
A buffalo cruises the final pitch
Back into the trees and about to ski to the road.

Mt Olympus is a massive peak that holds numerous steep lines and chutes that involve nasty bushwhacks and deep boot packs to reach them. Mt Olympus is impressive with its intimidating faces and steep chutes. The only problem is that this mountain sits at a low elevation and doesn't recieved as much snow as peaks higher up. With such a low snow year as we are having the Boyz weren't sure if all of this effort would be worth it to tick another classic urban line. Bret and I decided to give it a go on the Apollo couloir, a chute down the skiers right side of the North Face and it provided a nice ski tour.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Finding Freedom

Skiing the Wasatch is a blessing.  There's some many lines that hold good snow and so many people that want to ski those lines in good snow.  We probably have the highest percentage of the "herding trend" then any other mountain range in the lower 48.   With all these people its hard to find solidarity, or the untouched canvas in which to slash.  I still love it, it demands more of a skier to find new terrain.  The Wasatch has so many nooks and  flanks.  Its all over the place, some are harder to reach, not as much vertical skiing, and some leave you pulling scrub oak from places that only Jimmy and Stevie enjoy.  There's no reason to give up powder that is this awesome, just look in different spots.   Occasionally one must have to put down the chuting gallery and set your own skin track.  This canyon is in the Southern Wasatch and it gave one of my best days yet this was a much anticipated search for freedom.

My faithful partner that day was Bret, who had been most patient to go to this area.  There he is skinning past the island in the sky.  The clouds and snow cast doubt on our minds.

This is the view of the peak that Liam knows all to well.. would we suffer the same fate of being socked in?
This is Bret on the summit.  It snowed the entire time on the hike up the east ridge.  We weren't sure if there was going to be enough visibility for us to descend the chute we wanted.

Luck was with the twins that day.   As we clicked in the sun and wind blasted the clouds away.

Bret exercising is right to soft turns, a liberty that any boy can enjoy.

 America: We'll free the shit out of you

We felt like free riders so we took this epic picture.  Now that the sun was out we decided to go back up and ski the chute to the skiers left. 

That's Bret coming out of the second chute of Freedom peak.  They say in skier boyz folklore that the skier boy lines of today will become the projects of skier boys of tomorrow.  Find your Freedom