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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rope, Helmet, Whippet, Skis? Check.

In theory, that combination spells trouble. In principle, well . . . it worked out ok. Bro skiier Sam and I did a "tour" this morning.

Our ultimate objective was Superior (the pink part of the mountain in the background).



Along the way, we took a few detours. We climbed up Toledo Bowl, went up the ridge to the first saddle, and then dropped off into Holy Mole. The entrance was nice.



Someone kindly left a rope for us to get into the actual chute. A "one arm rap" was sufficient.





The chute was steep, but not too steep, and held some nice snow.





And the apron was ok too.



Climbing back up to Cardiff Pass, we got buzzed. The first time was kind of cool. The ninth and tenth times weren't so cool. And after that, it was just plain irritating.



On the pass with Superior back in our sights.



From the Black Knob, we booted up the ridge.



This probably qualifies as mixed climbing; no tools necessary though.



When we got a couple hundred feet from the top, we skiied off into a northeast facing chute.



The snow was nice.



And then we climbed back up again. I opted to walk around the catwalk. Brotha Sam closed his eyes and "put one foot in front of the other" . . . ok, maybe the closing the eyes part is an exaggeration.



We topped out at 11,400 feet.



And then skiied down the South face, opting for a chute on skiier's left.



Things got a bit hairy since the "snow" in the chute was rock hard. Midway down, I thought I was too tuff to slide slip, and I put in a little hop turn in. My ski edges didn't hold that well, and I spun around, landed on my back, and started sliding down the mountain. My thought process was: oh crap, I'm glad I have a helmet on, it would be better if I could be sliding down feet first rather than head first, stay calm, get your feet below you, it's good I have a Whippet in my hand, get in a position to dig in, okay come on Whippet, arrest, arrest!, ARREST!! Luckily, I came to a stop and my skis stayed on. I temporarily lost a pole though. About 500 vertical feet later, I recovered it.

Here is Sam demonstrating the side slip.



Once we got out of the chute, the snow was decent. Here is Sam, freeing the heel. What was that saying I heard? . . . Something about half the binding half the brain?



It was a long long run.



3000 feet later, we hit the road.



Some cool dudes stopped and gave us a ride back to Alta.



Great day skiing with Brother Sam. Afterwards, I picked Ethan up, drove back up to Alta, and we made 5 lift-served runs in Albion Basin. Ethan likes to straightline the basin. It kind of worries me.

3 comments:

Facelessghost said...

Next winter, you're going to have to teach the ropes in the backcountry.

Jared said...

Does that mean you want to skip BC Skiing 101 and go straight to Ski Mountaineering 808 (a course requirement that requires pitons, ropes, and axes)?

Facelessghost said...

Umm..yes?