The Straightchuter says this about the Medusa's Face:
Like Russian Roulette--more fun to watch than to play. This is a good line to skip unless it's really been weighing on your mind. The angle and settings are superb, but the approach, egress and snow conditions ruin a theoretically great line. It all depends on the snow pack, but considering the geography, good skiable conditions are rare. The underlying bed surface is a smooth, high angle rock slab that continually sheds snow, so the pack is never very deep. . . . About the only saving grace of this situation is that there are quite a few small trees that can be used as anchors if you choose to ski roped. A fall would be graphic and fatal, and you're likely to end up at Einstein's Bagels if you do.
-- A. McLean, Chuting Gallery, p. 70
|Me and Sam on Olympus' summit ridge|
So, did West Slabs meet and exceed our greatest expectations? I guess, it depends. We were disappointed to find out that we couldn't ski it from top to bottom, but all in all it was a one-stop shopping experience that provided a week's worth of adventure in one compact, exciting package, all within view of Einstein's Bagels.
|Beneath her Nose|
|Everything you could ever want within a 5 minute Drive|
- Class 6 Buswhack
- Mountain lion tracks
- Alpine ascent of Olympus' backbone
- A ski descent down Medusa's forehead, which was covered with 8 inches of powder, 8 inches of crust, and 8 inches of facets on top of top quality quartzite
- Jump turns, free floating, hoping and praying what lies beneath is snow, crust, or facets, and not solid stone
- Jump turning onto solid stone, sliding, skidding, sparks flying, hoping that the ski edges would just bite already
- Watching sluff reveal a cold, hard, icy, rocky, face from Medua's nose down
- Crossing a rock spine covered with thin ice, slipping out, doing a dinner roll, and landing on edges with them biting hard
- Skiing past rappel anchors
- Having the actual thought cross my mind that I am about to go through Einstein's roof
- Rapping off a particularly steep section
- Downclimbing a rotten runnel with a tool and a whippet with a few rock moves thrown in for good measure
- Skiing the chalky apron below Medusa's face and then transitioning onto a bowl of frozen debris
- Trail skiing through the scrub oak
- Laughing at and with and being scared with and for my brothers.
|Sam, apologizing to his skis.|