Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful...Thanksgiving Time Trial and Superior South Face Now Open

Day 20 was a good one. It was bitter cold and painfully clear this morning after days of stormy skies. Jared, Bart, Layne and I met at Snowbird for a turkey day time trial. It was going to be 3,000 ft of discomfort. Who could tolerate the most? Layne may have suffered the most in his Garmont Megarides, having the heaviest set up, but that also limited his competitiveness. I thought I was done when Jared and Bart put a 30+ meter gap on me on the first major climb, but was able to keep them within striking distance until high above the Gadzoom lift on the steep groomed run, Regulator. Then, Jared (always prone to bail on skinning) switched to booting straight up the groomer. Bart followed suit and I skinned by them both. They had some difficulty getting back in their skis and when I looked back, it was done.

52 min to the top from Gad Valley. Jared says that's a good time so I'm happy. As for the win*, there's an asterisk because while ahead, patrol stopped them for about 20 seconds while I was making up ground. I stopped as well, but for only about 10 seconds. That didn't make a real difference though. I was just able to take advantage of their tactical error. And, the finish would have been totally different if we actually skied down too.

Then, with Jared short on time, we were going to try to rally up Superior to score first tracks down the south face. He made it about half way along the ridge before bailing to the south to make it to his family feast on time. It's too bad too, since on top, we were staring at 3,000 feet of untouched goodness.

A couple from the way up:

Bart leading up the Black Knob:

Periods of high wind disturbed the otherwise beautiful day.

Bart toting around his Surface skis, which he says are turning out to be pretty fun.

There are a number of rocks still lurking so we cautiously dropped in from the summit. With some trepidation, we made numerous ski cuts, and finding things satisfactorily stable, dropped into the chute on the skier's left of the upper face.

It was as good as it gets until this happened:

I was skiing the chute until it went from concave to convex over a small subridge. Moving right to pull over at an island of safety, the slope cracked at my feet and as I pulled to a stop, I watched the slide run the full length of the gully and out onto the apron. It was small (crown 12") and didn't seem to entrain a deadly amount of snow but probably would have been pretty uncomfortable to get washed over some rocks on the way down. Strangely wind loaded on the pre storm crust...there's pockets of considerable for you.

Hard to see, but the slide path was down through the choke in the middle of the pic onto the apron.

Bart, graciously letting loose the hang fire: (I was really more off to the side than it may appear)

The rest of the descent was blissful and uneventful...except Layne blowing out an edge, poor guy.

Now I'm sitting at my parent's where my cute little mom is making a FEAST...thankful

Superior with our tracks...thankful!

77,600 ft for the year.

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