Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hale-Bopp: December 24, 2010

I'm somewhat embarrassed posting a drama free tour. Sure it was cold. Yeah it was an aesthetic line. Hall-Bopp is one of the Summit 49ers. All good things, but compared to the excitement down in Utah: my line was a yawner. Up here, nobody took a ride in a potentially deadly slide. There are no threads on tele-tips discussing the ramifications of my run. No one hopped a train out of Elko. No signs were stolen. There were no stare-downs with anti-personel artillery. Just another gorgeous run in a spectacular location.

Sorry for the let down.

In the Summit Lake area, there are a disproportionate number of peaks that are 49xx' tall. Obviously, I hope to collect the whole set. Hale-Bopp (4970') is between Upper and Lower Summit Lake. I parked at the pull-out on the North side of Lower Summit Lake and followed the skinner across the bridge and past the cabins. The skinner continued towards Raven Ridge, but I was interested Butch Ridge. Click for the map. I veered left and set the skinner/booter up Butch passing not one, but two Wolverine Cirques in the Sky. I continued over Nancy Peak and made the final push to the top of Hale-Bopp.

Today was day 23 without snow. It was 15 below at the lake and the temp hasn't cracked +10 in weeks. The snow structure is garbage. The entire snowpack would be facets if not for the Thanksgiving Rain Crust (TRC). Thankfully, the TRC (12" down) is supportable. Without it schussers would be punching through to the tundra on each turn. The sugar sloughs are running fast and long on top of the TRC.

The hoar on the South Face of Hale-Bopp sparkles in the sun. Its 2,500' to Butcher Creek. The pitch is perfect for boot deep effortless skiing. The weak bonds in the snow shatter with each turn. The crust announces itself on the steep roll-overs. My tracks cannot hold from and collapse into themselves. All vertical micro-features cave in. It's like trying to build a sand castle well above the high tide line.

Sure, the ski today was nice, but I see chairlifts in my future.

-Adam Lang

Washed Out Turns

Spirit Walker: Another Kenai 49er

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

North Bowl, Eagle River: December 20

The longest night of the year was upon us, and as if to make a point, the cosmos conspired to take the moon away. This was too much. A protest was in order. I organized a demonstration to prove that the dark could not crush our spirit.

The entire Alaska Skier Boyz Precinct gathered along with a couple of Marks for a protest march in the Chugach. Skies were clear and the moon was on our side, but old Cosmo was attempting to strong-arm our celestial brother. By the summit the moon had been completely subdued. To honor our fallen comrade, we skied the dark moonless night for 1,500' vert of knee deep blower.

Hubert and The Noodler led the protest march back up the bowl for a second helping. Cosmo's grip began to loosen and our old dear friend was beginning to light the way. The battled silently raged on. Cosmo had made a statement but our compatriot was intent on taking back the night.

At last it was over and the moon was victorious. Our loyalty was rewarded with a perfectly lit second run in North Bowl and for a third run back to where our protest had begun.

Taking away the moon on the longest night of the year was bullshit. Sitting idly on the couch is what Cosmo wanted, but we refused to give that cold bastard the satisfaction. Rise up! Do not ignore the injustices in the heavens! Take to the hills! Let the canyons echo with your protest chants as you plummet down sheer faces and cramped couloirs! Now is the time! Rise up! Rise up! Injustice will not stand!

-Fast Eddie

Another Inexplicable Fashion Trend from the World of Nordic Skiing

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

True winters first storm hit hard as it made its way to SLC and the Wasatch mountains from the pacific. This storm dumped epic amounts of snow in Mammoth and across to the wasatch it continued. We are gonna exceed six feet in four days. The temperature won't stay at a constant cold so our snow level has been going up. Skiing has been dreamy! Before the big one arrived we had Green light conditions and a fresh coat. It didn't last too long and onto the low angle we play.This is a classic shot of a skier boy Adam Lawton setting the booter up the exposed East ridge of Superior. We opened the S Face at the crack of noon. The snow was sluffy and beautifully soft just wish the visibilty was as clearer.
Skier on the lower shot of N chute on Lake Peak in White Pine. We ascended this way and skied the more E chute from the summit.
Chris fish dropping in to the NE chute avoiding any rock lobsters. It was a beautiful day in White Pine. The last blue sky day before it began to puke.
This was our clan for the day. After Lake Peak we went across to the Tri chutes and Birthday bowls to ski some more deep pow under blue bird skies. An unfortunate party attempted to race Todd to the top and had to settle for the right Tri chute as they watched Todd snake the cherry pickings.
Celebrating the coming of winter in White Pine!

Chris fish and I skied the big N aspect into the Birthday bowl and Todd and Stefan came back up the ridge to enjoy the lower one lookers right.
Fraser and Olivia drove up from Ridgeway, CO to ski this storm. Some gusty winds weren't gonna stop them from having a taste test.
"Its definetly drier and deeper than Co" Fraser adds after a sampling in Willow meadow.
Matoosh Matook taking in what the Wapan has to offer on high danger days.
Bouncing Beattie enjoying every day he gets out.