Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 17: First 10K Day of the Year

Friday was my day off for the week so I figured I better get out and make the most of it. I had all kinds of ideas swirling around, but the low snow pack on south facing slopes and a couple partners with limited time led me to...

South facing slopes (Pinball Alley descends from the summit ridge on the looker's left before connecting with the upper apron.)

Well, some east and southeast facing.

JS met me up Little and we took a run down Suicide Chute. It was Jon's first couloir. He normally chases powder. Says he moved to Utah for it. Doesn't he know the best skiing is crusty and rocky?

Some actually decent snow near the mouth of Suicide:

From there, a bomb crater marking the mouth of Pinball Alley high on Superior was all too beckoning to resist. We skinned the upper apron, found passage into the couloir, alternated between booting and skinning, and found ourselves topping out the ridge to make a descent neither of us had done before. Pretty cool where a little early season exploration will take you.

JS dropping into Pinball Alley:

A couple icy narrow chokes kept things interesting (JS slipping through a 180 cm wide section on 186 cm skis)

The meat of the couloir:

We skied down to the road where I traded Jon for Jared and my 170 cm in length, 78mm waisted powder skis in for my 160 cm in length, 64 mm waisted kid skis. We rolled up pole line and toward Superior from the east before taking a short shot into Cardiff. Sure to be late to work, Jared made the responsible decision to skin back up to the Black Knob to make a terrifying, rocky, crusty, south facing descent (visible in top pic) back to the LCC road.

Now 5800 feet into the day and gunning for more, I was solo and the weather was turning to crap. I decided to play it safe and took a lap up Patsy Marly and then an extremely tiring lap up Hidden Peak just to eek out some vertical and claim 10,000 feet for the day.

After being cooped up at work since Sat morning, things sure look differently out there.

20,300 ft for the week

62,800 ft for the year

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