Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tri-Tip: December 11

Summit continues to deliver. Today Hubert and I decided Tri-Tip would be a the way to go. Summit Lake is now frozen allowing us to short-cut over the ice. This saved about 20 minutes. As usual, H set the skinner from the vehicle to the top. There were some class 4 and 4+ moves, no class 5 this time. After 90 minutes and 3,000 vert I reached the top to find Hubert well rested.

The light was better on South facing, but South facing has been variable in Summit lately, so we opted for the big West Bowl. Good choice. The snow is about 12" deep over the dreaded Thanksgiving Rain Crust. This was enough to make for some quiet schussing.

It was good, and the skies were clearing. So there was really no choice. Back up and near the top we gained the sun. Our line was bathed in a soft pink hue. There wasn't time to linger so back to the lake.

Hubert Catching the Fading Light

Sunset Over Summit Lake

3,000' Vertical from Summit to Lake (Skied Lookers' Right)

Getting to Tri-Tip
Park at the 1st pullout next to Upper Summit Lake (mile 47.5-ish on the Seward Highway)
Cross the lake and head on up
From the top of Tri-Tip there are North, South, and West shots
Choose wisely
Ski it

- The Kingpin

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Manitoba: December 5

We've all seen storms hyped. The hype is big. It's gonna dump. It's gonna be epic. It's gonna be this. It's gonna be that. But when dawn breaks, what is the reality? More likely than not, the hype does not live up to reality. Hype sets the bar high and unless its met, you will be disappointed. Hype will turn 12" into a let down. Hype cannot help; it can only hurt. Without hype, there cannot be disappointment.

What made this storm different was that the hype of the storm carried over into the avi forecast. The storm fizzled, but the forecast refused to accept the 3" reality.

So I met some friends and headed for some lower angle terrain. Manitoba has a super-wide 30° South face and some impressive North facing couloirs off the summit. Its perfect for a day when you are unsure of the stability. It was bluebird with about 8" (2 storms worth) of blower with no wind. Stability tests revealed nothing of concern, but the 1/2" hoar frost could make the next storm interesting. The skiing was excellent and the team felt more comfortable on the South Face. Our final lap was bathed in the alpenglow which was really lighting up the hoar frost.

The Summit area has been blowing my socks off lately. The terrain is much bigger than Turnagain and way less people. Everyday puts about 10 new lines on the wish list.

South Face of Manitoba

South Face of Silver Tip
Dresden II: Back to the Projects

Sunset over Summit Lake

To get to Manitoba park at the Mile 48 lot on the East side of the Seward Highway. Skin North along the highway for about 100 yards and follow the fire road into the woods and over the bridge.

- Daniel Elsberg