Sunday, February 3, 2008

Grinning (in my mind)

Good day in the backcountry yesterday. No pictures to prove it though. If you could only read my mind. . . .

Sam and I did a little recon for the upcoming PowderKeg race. We got up early -- before the snowcat or the masses hit -- and did a fast skin up the Grizzly cat trail. We went to the base of the Patsy Marley face, kicked a big cornice and got a fairly decent sized pocket to pull out, 15 inch crown in one place. Sam held onto my poles while I kicked the cornices. It only took a couple karate ski chops before there was a big "WHUMPH" and the cornice fell away.

After that we took a steepish run off into Twin Lakes area. We were eyeing some chutes in Wolverine Cirque, but decided not to tempt the dragons. I'm glad the biking season is around the corner, because I think I'm developing a chute addiction. That's not necessarily bad, but it can increase the acceptable risk level.

We skinned out of the Twin Lakes area and burned up the cat track to Black Bess, where a mob of Solitude patrollers were doing avy control work above Honeycomb Canyon. Some of the dudes were standing on sheer cliffs, shoveling cornices off into the canyon. I told them they deserve hazard pay. They weren't amused when we asked if we could drop some of the chutes down into the canyon.

Mid-way down towards Michigan City, we ran into WOW -- the Wizard. He recognized Sam's fluro green coat and was surprised to learn that there are actually two samurais. WOW was headed "cross country" -- up into Silver, then Days, then Cardiff, then out Mineral. WOW mentioned he had seen the post below about drilled F1s and asked "What's yer point?" Good question.

After our WOW encounter, we cruised up the Patsy Marley ridge and dropped off the top into Alta. (That was only after we debated dropping into the Wolverine Cirque again. . . The first step in dealing with addiction is admitting that you have it.) That run was good. Really really good -- like over your head good every turn. Sam said it was one of the best of the year. I kind of agree. I skiied it straight without stops, trying to develop some downhill stamina.

Perhaps the highlight of the day, however, was my family BC tour. Karen was on Dynafits (without heel pieces) for the first time. And I made some mini-skins for Ethan's cross country skis. With those skins, Ethan was able to set a pretty fast pace up Neffs. He crumpled at the water tanks though because he was tired and didn't think he could make it to the top -- he was pointing to the top of Olympus. I told him I didn't think we were going that far.

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