Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Days 32, 33, 34: The Lars Experience

Viking Lars, high on the Pfeifferhorn

So what is the Lars Experience? It's three days of touring with viking Lars. He's a great friend who hails from Colorado, and had been skiing once this year prior to his visit to the Wasatch. This is how it went down.

SATURDAY: Picked up Lars from the airport at 9 AM. He was waiting for me at passenger pick up in ski boots and full garb. Eager? WIth the overnight snow, we went looking for some powder skiing. Found it in Argenta, which provided a couple laps of glorious untracked fun. Then Tradition overwhelmed good sense and we made a stop at McDonald's before continuing the day with a powder run from just down the ridge from Little Superior. It was a great warm up at 6,000 ft for the day.

SUNDAY: I overslept and woke up to find 7 missed calls from JD and Lars and had to rally to the White Pine Trailhead to play catch up. Driving up, I saw them above the trees, entering the Little Pine Chute. Forty minutes later, heart redlined, I caught up. We pushed it around 2,400 feet up the chute before things started to feel a bit sketchy. Up to that point it was obvious the whole chute had slide with a large crown visible along the walls. Above the upper choke, conditions weren't so reassuring so we turned around and got the meat of the couloir in the best conditions I've had it...still not great.

The viking liked it though...

From there we decided to bang around Cardiff a bit and the rest of the day went as follows:

Up Flagstaff and along the ridge to the Hallway. Down Hallway, then back up the drainage and up Holy Toledo and up Toledo Peak. Down Holy Mole, then up the drainage to gain the ridge which we took to the summit of Superior. Down the north face of Superior, then back up for a run down the South Face. At this point, I was sure the viking from the border of Nebraska would be done. Wrong again, he was up for another 1600 feet to break 10,000 for the day. As it was now getting dark and we were without headlamps, we took the most efficient way and ended by skinning up Chip's Run and letting the Snowbird lights guide us back down.

10,000 feet for the day...Lars' first.

Here are the pics:

Lars finds the Hallway:

The Hallway all rimed up:

Who needs that fixed line? Not a viking.

Lars finding sheltered powder in Holy Mole:

North side of Superior:

Bumped into John on the way bakc up:

Lars strutting it on the catwalk

Superior South Face at sunset:

A grinch or a viking?

MONDAY: Perhaps the greatest day of Lars' life? The plan was to ski the NW Couloir of the Pfeifferhorn and for everyone to make it down in time for their afternoon engagements. Lars and JD had to be at the airport at 2, Bart had to be home by 1 to make sure his kids got to school, and I had to work at 2. That meant a semi alpine start and that Lars would be pushed as fast as his weary (but surprisingly fresh) legs could go. The pics can do the talking for this one.

Beautiful morning in the mountains:

Approaching the Pfeiff, Bart charging ahead putting in his trademark bootpack:

On the summit ridge looking for a bypass ramp of snow as the normal entrance was a bit rocky.
We were able to down climb the ridge and enter from the side.

Bart keeping things mellow above the cliff:

Getting a little more spicy:

Lars figuring out how to use a rope:

JD on Rappel:

Bart skiing the lower half of the chute:



Been wanting to do that one for a while.

Then it was up out of Hogum, down Maybird a bit, then up and over into Red Pine. We found this great shot above the lake:

We were back in time to lunch and everyone, sadly (except maybe Bart getting to see his kids) made it to their engagements and back to real life. Monday was an awesome day in the mountains with great partners covering a ton of ground. Love it.

20,000+ feet for the long weekend.

Viking video to come...


  1. Great Weekend! Got me hooked on that Wasatch crack, want more...NEED more....

  2. Hi Andy, it's Chris, your skinny, mouthbreathing runner friend. What sort of rope did you bring for the NW Couloir in early december? Is it possible to make such a descent without a Dynafit one-piece? How do you guys stay so tan all winter??

    These questions and many other singe my synapses. Lets meet up for some skiing: Christophercawley@gmail.com...