Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 41: Christmas Eve Tour

Gloomy skies in the valley were a little misleading as the morning up high looked more like this:

And this:

We (Bart, Jared, JD and I), started with a beautiful run down into Silver Fork from Grizzly Gulch. From there it was up to the ridge line where we stumbled upon one of the largest cornices I've seen in the Wasatch. Overhanging and the size of a bus, it was practically groaning under its own weight. We were wishing for a knotted piece of cord to drop the whole mother into a north facing chute above Day's Fork.

I guess the only alternative was:

Jared trusting Bart with the ole "pole anchor"

I was moving to the side to get a better angle on the carnage when it let loose and I missed the actual collapse. I felt the ground vibrate though. Jared said he gave it a single half hearted karate kick, with the result being:

Close up:

The chute had already slid down to the low density snow layer from earlier in the storm, but the multi ton cornice stepped it down to the bed surface. Safe to ski, we enjoyed soft avy debris into Day's. A quick climb brought us up to Flagstaff where we debated the Hallway vs Holy Toledo, with the latter winning out since we saw a party across the drainage we wanted to catch. They were part way up High Ivory on the western end of Cardiac Ridge. We rallied down into Cardiff making huge GS turns, skinned up the other side to the top of the ridge where we were greeted with a great view of SLC.

SLC beyond the Cottonwood Ridge, wonderfully undercast:

We laughed our way down another great run into Cardiff and then skinned up the drainage, rather impressed with the recent activity.

This pic doesn't come close to conveying the extent of the slides:

A run back into Little from the Black Knob ended our day around 12:30 (prematurely) because we all had family duties with this being a holiday and all.

Maybe it was the Holiday, or the clouds in SLC, or concerns for stability, but the place was almost eerily quiet. Very few travelers back there today. The snow was dense and fast and mostly stable. I would have liked to have stayed out until dark.

The next few days will be spent in Zion with the wifey.

Merry Christmas to all.

No comments:

Post a Comment