Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great White Icicle Climb/Ski Descent

Yesterday was a fun day. Jared had his sights on a bigger line in the mountains but conditions weren't going to allow stuff like that. I'd figured as much, and had all night while at work to become fixated on the idea of "skiing" the GWI. I proposed the idea to Jared and he seemed pretty psyched as well.

That was until...

The road was closed so we walked up to the pump house. It opened just before we got there. I bet waiting would have been a wash.

Here are a bunch a pics and a narrative of the day.

Jared, about to get frisky:

At the top of the first pitch, I looked down and saw BG rallying through the forest to join us. It's always more fun with three. The climbing was a bit of a cluster with the deep snow and three man team. We roped up for the first pitch.

Getting started (photo by JI):

We all soloed the second.

Solo train up pitch two (photo by JI)

Deep snow...balls deep:

Jared led the bulge with his nano tech Camp crampons and did a fine job even though his feet skated all over the place. Maybe he's convinced that some proper vertical front point steel spikes are better?

(photo by BG):

Belaying, scared that Jared's aluminum crampons were going to break (photo by BG):

Bart followed while I climbed the left side because I was too cold to wait around (photo by JI).

From there, we all roped up to the top. The ice was thick and low angle sections had more snow than I've ever seen up there. Lucky too since we were going to try and ski as much as we could (photo by JI).

Below the last pitch:

BG near the top (photo by JI)

From the top, we rapped back to the uppermost snow field and donned our skinny skis. We each made a few cautious turns before clinging to the rope and rapping back over the bulge.

Jared, deciding not to air the huge bulge below:

BG, committing to the rope:

From there we skied belayed back down pitch two. Looking back, that wasn't necessary, but we were being pansies. At the bottom of pitch two, we finally put away the ropes for good. It was sweet powder skiing...for about 8 turns, before reverting back to side stepping our way around pitch one and skiing out the mini apron.

After the bulge (photo by JI):

Side slipping pitch two (photo by BG):

Best turns (all 6) of the year (photo by BG):

Jared in deep powder on the GWI:

Typical Samurai, straight lining the exit:

Not a lot of vertical and not a lot of skiing but a lot of fun.

Thanks to JI and BG for sharing pictures. I forgot my camera and just had my phone. Stupid.

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