Friday, January 14, 2011

the berkshire division of skier boyz on the mower

roy herbason nursing a broken dynafit to the bottom of the mower he must of toured those binders into the ground again
sometimes I wonder how many board feet of of trees where consumed by this slide path over the years

scogs inspecting at a glide fracture lower on the mower

Amanda sking the mower for the first time and learning the kick-turn

Scogs above the glide fractue laying down turns with out rocker.

The massachusetts division of the skier boyz went out this morning expecting a normal tour upon arrival to the mower we ran into the last sterbender on his 2400 snowbile he even offered to put custom rocker on all our skis unfortunately he got my skis everyone else got away . Now i got rocker everywhere and can't even tell whats the tip and tail they both look the same. I guess I should have listened to tightass on the whole wasatch being closed to day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Suicide: January 9

There's been a lot of talk of dawn-patrol lately. I found myself participating in the storied ritual early Sunday morning. My reasons were simple: free ride up the canyon with a promise of breakfast.

Cornwallis and I geared up in the covered entry in the shadow of Hellgate. The snow was beginning to let up and stars and planets peered through the last remnants of a weak system. The skinner began at the road in 2 angry inches. Trail breaking was easy and we were at the base of the chute in short order.

Cornwallis put it in 4 low and took off in a fury. I would not see his face again until the top. The higher we got, the deeper it got. It became obvious that we were in for a treat. Wind and snow had conspired together in our favor.

The cornice was bigger than usual and required some low 5th class moves. True to form, Cornwallis strong-armed it. I elected to pass my pack up.

From our perch, we shouted obscenities at Snowbird and Alta for longer than was necessary. Eventual we clicked in. We didn't say much because of hoarse throats from our recent hollering. The snow was excellent and the skiing effortless. 10" of low density scattered as we silently plummeted towards the 210.

We rounded the bend and passed from shadow into the sweet sunshine. Lower down there was only 4" and the turns were getting loud. Trenches from skiers earlier in the week were frozen solid. We worked right to a smoother area and let 'em run until it got quiet again.

I've always wanted to "ride that shit switch into the road," but the reality of a 4' drop to flat convinced me otherwise. It was still early and my stomach reminded me of the pre-arranged breakfast. Free-ride, free food: maybe there is something to this dawn patrol fad.

- U.K.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Coalpit 4 & Bell's Cleaver: January 7

J-Wow and the PA Prince had sent the booter up "The Cuatro" two days prior. We used our phone-a-friend to get the inside line on the creek crossing since the bridge at the power house is out. Shred-Hound quickly found the class 5 skinner through the brush and on to the booter. The Prophet and Powers took turns leading the charge while Cornwallis and I lurked in the back.

Up Coalpit 4

3,200' later we topped out on Perla's Ridge and the Cleaver came into view. There was some debate whether to ski down into Bell's or to conserve vertical.

Shred-Hound Visualizing Lake Bonneville

We made some turns but mostly trascended across the south facing slope. There was a rapidly warning crust and frozen roller-balls, but the going was fast and we were skinning towards the Cleaver. The closer we got the worse the snow looked. A prior wind event had the team worried about snow quality up high. We were 800' below the summit looking up at the NW face of the Cleaver. The dream was over; it was not to be. The consensus was the snow was garbage and Powers starting skinning to a mini-pass east of the Cleaver. But Power's must have been suffering from vertigo. He kept going up where he should have switched back. He was above the pass. Now another kick step and another. The distance to the summit was halved and the Prophet took the lead. The distance was halved again and we regrouped on the ridge about 200' below the summit and there was no choice despite the rock, ice, snow route above.

Leading the Charge

The last 200' took 45 nerve-racking minutes. At last the summit yielded. High fives all around. Powers had obviously won the uphill portion of the tour and was offered 1st tracks, which he graciously accepted. The spine started in the high 40's and and mellowed to a reasonable 41 for the run-out. Snow quality defied expectations: it was creamy goodness and the coverage was excellent.

Cornwallis on the Run

NW Face of the Cleaver (click photo for better view)

The day was far from over. The 3,200' Coalpit 4 waited patiently for her 5 lovers to return. Passion reigned as her tender slope fell away. Light gave way to dark. Snow to rock. Love to exhaustion. Exhaustion to hunger and back to love. What a great day!

This upper schuss is not in the Chuting Gallery so we were at a loss for a name. I felt empty knowing that I would not get to check anything off in the back of the Wasatch Primer. The shot deserved a name. Meat Cleaver? Leave it to Cleaver? Maybe NW Face of Bell's Cleaver should stand instead of some "Cleaver Play on Words."


- U.K.