Friday, March 19, 2010

Bro Straps Bowls

What's better than beginning a ski tour behind a Mormon temple?
Knowing that you are going to out boy GOSB for a bro-rific line.
Mountain guide Todd Glew uses his magic to find the Sawmill trail, a steep hiking trail that gains 2000 ft. in a mile. This trail turns right off the main trail before you go down into Big WIllow Canyon. The trail is marked relatively well by clearings and red tags and a hugh sign that says SawMill trail.
This Urban line has some serious vertical relief. Another sunny day in Sandy, Ut. The cameras were out as the people of Sandy got to see the boyz ski a stadium shot.
Lookers left titty. We felt like old men skiing just the Aprons of these bowls, but the snow higher getting to Lone Peaks ridge was lean and mean. The bowls were filled with for us to rip.
The nipples were full of cream for the boyz the play with.
Todd wiggling through the cleavage. We skied left titty, the cleavage and right titty all afternoon.
We talked about summitting Lone Peak, but conditions up high discouraged us. At the far left side of Big Willow Canyon we snuck down a chute and got into Bells Canyon. The Wasatch range looked big today.
Todd, the lone goat and a long way down Bells. We skied powder up high and the hiking trail to the reservoir pretty quickly.
A 12 hour ski tour tour day, lets go see some strippers. I'm all warmed up from those delicious boobs!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

O' Sullivan and Dromedary on St. Patty's Day

The objectives Dromedary on the left and O'Sullivan on the right
at the top of Broads Fork. The optimistic plan was to ski from the summit of both peaks on this fine St. Patricks Day.

The lads for the task, Big Beard Ruthless out of hibernation, Adam "my knee hurts, take easy today." Lawton.

Adam bad knee Lawton putting in the whole bootpack up the O' Sullivan Couloir

Ruthless showing is colors, and meeting his quota for bringing beer on any and every adventure, on the summit of O' Sullivan Peak on St. Patty's Day

Looking down between the tips at the O'Sullivan north chute after skiing down from the summit via the east ridge.

Ruthless dropping the knee on O' Sullivan punchy but fine powder conditions.

Booting up the east face of Dromedary wasn't easy and involved some rock scree scrambling.

Adam traversing from the summit of Dromedary to the "way in to the way in"
Psyched to bag both Dromedary and O' Sullivan in winter.

Adam dropping the knee down the hanging snowfield off Dromedary heading for the Drome ribbon.

Adam traversing the ribbon of snow connecting the hanging snowfield, and the couloir.

The exposure of the left slanting ramp reminded of the ribbon on devils castle except it headed left, and was a lot shorter, breath step, breath step.

Adam enjoying the fruits of his nerve testing side step-athon.

The boys feeling lucky after plucking a tense line.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Harp on St. Patty's Day

What better way to celebrate my 10 year anniversary of getting buried in Suicide (remember that day Eric) than sending a face solo. It was a quick 1,900 vertical. The tracks I skied next were mine and Hugh's from yesterday.

P.S. At the top I found out the batteries in the camera were dead so I swapped them with the ones in the beacon.

P.P.S. Congrats to the Man Cross for crushing K-Wood.

- Roger Thornhill

Northwest of Twins and back up the Stairs

Last Friday I headed up to Broads Fork to go ski the northwest couloir of the East Twin.  My partner was my friend Josh Moran who grew up in Massachusetts with me on the same street(East Road).  He moved out here this season because he wanted to get a 400 trace year.  Although the southwest bowl hangs over Sandy tempting any suburbanite to ski it. The northerly aspects were staying fresh that week.  We rose early to give ourselves a fair chance at skinning out the southwest ramp back into Broads.
Beautiful, Beautiful Broads Fork.  This drainage holds many options for the backcountry skier.

The ridge that I hadn't climbed in a while. It was just as spicy as I remember.

The line, amazing walls, nice funnel, but was the powder good?

  Umm yes it was nice, very nice.  That's Josh dropping into the top funnel.  The snow was darn good skiing not even wind affected or touched by any other dairy farmer skiers yet that day.

After the turns in the chute were just as soft, Josh was willing to admit that a 300 trace year wasn't that bad.

After skiing the Northwest our options were limited, bushwhack down the canyon, skin the ramp back out towards Broads East facing slopes.  The snow was getting heavy on the south facing slopes and there were already evidence of wet slides all around us.  The east face was getting fried and it had slid the day before.  We made a call to do a quick tension traverse, and a hasty but anxiety causing bootpack.  We took Stefan's secret chute towards the west and ascended a ridge to climb back up the Stairs.

Looking into Stairs Gulch from where we dropped in, not from the top.  There were old crowns and avalanche debris in the Gulch.  We also saw another group of skiers sampling some of the powder on the northwest slope of the twins, they were half lapping on a big mountain.

  The powder up in the top of stairs was good, bottom avalanche debris.  It's one of those lines that actually makes you feel like you turned more than you hiked.  It took a while to get down the chute.  I never liked hanging out in there so we kept moving on the roller balls.

We had to do a stream crossing down by climbing crags but still managed several more turns after that.  It was a good link up, and catching the northwest in such good conditions was epic.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mid March Update

The snow has been great up here. The days are long and we've had quite a stretch of bluebird powder days. We're even starting to develop a slight sun crust on South facing slopes. Friday I had a short day of work and headed South to Turnagain along with the rest of Anchorage. I went up the standard Sunburst route and found a nice 1,400' line.

There were quite a few folks out, so I decided to go deeper. I put my back to the road and started skinning towards Taylor Pass and on to Superbowl Peak. My geography was a bit off and I found myself on Goldpan Peak. After a short trascent/down climb, the alpenglow was in full effect and Superbowl was laid out below my tips

Sussing the Big Chief in the Turnagain Area

Bass had skied 12,000' vert on Friday and Tom was working on his rig, so Saturday would be my 4th solo tour in 4 days. Vista Peak has been a shot that I had been saving for a day like this. Big approach and highly visible from the highway. I drove to Eagle River and headed up Eagle River Road and turned left onto Mile-Hi Drive. After about a half dozen switchbacks, I parked and threw on the skins. My cankle howled in protest. I gained Mile-Hi pass and dropped into the next drainage and on to a trail put in by some Nordic skiers. Maybe the approach won't be too bad. Wrong, turns out team Nordic wasn't very motivated. I finially gained the ridge got up high enough to scope out the line.

Vista Peak
I dug a pit and it was garbage: CT 0, 4, and 11. Probably shouldn't be soloing it anyway. I found some mellow NW aspects and lapped it up before heading North for the game night in Wasilla. Despite my rampart cheating, I got crushed at Uno. The beer helped me through the devistating losses.
The next morning, Tom and I headed to Government Peak in the Talkeetna Mountains. We parked at the Marmot Trailhead, crossed the street, bridged the creak, and sent the ridge. The sun was in and out all day. During a sucker-hole, we decided for a quick diversion in the sun.

The Diversion
The ridge got a bit more challenging but we summitted quickly.

We decided to ski down a different drainage from the ascent to maximize vertical. The top was variable but eventually gave way to miles of shin deep powder. Ain't too proud for the low angle love.