Teague is back in town and we are psyched to have him! We exchanged a flurry of text messages last night and decided to meet this morning at 8 to get in some up tempo skinning at Snowbird before hopefully leaving the resort and running the ridge from Hidden Peak to the AF Twins to Red Stack and on and on until we got tired.
At the patrol shack, we checked in so as to not cause a problem and were told that leaving the boundaries of the resort was definitely not allowed this time of year. The guys were cool and since the Bird is really great at allowing up hill traffic, we didn't push the issue. Besides, Jason was skinning up behind us, having gotten a late start after a late night at work.
Down we went to our cars and then the White Pine TH where we continued the day on our ultra light set ups (A nice package came in the mail yesterday with an eagerly awaited pair of SCARPA Aliens inside. Luckily, they fit my race skis so I was in instant business).
We skinned the road until just under the Tri-Chutes on Red Stack and chose the longest middle chute for our second course. The snow was variable to say the least but we dispatched the couloir proper quite quickly before stumbling through the upper wind swept talus. After maybe 100 meters of boot scratching quartzite, we crested the summit and sat on the lee side, enjoying wasabi almonds, juicy oozers, and Powerade.
|The guys skinning toward the middle chute|
|Still skinning, "Wasatch Style"|
|Happy to go skiing|
Now thoroughly chilled, I asked the guys if they were ready for some bad skiing. Teague reprimanded me saying, "There's no such thing as bad skiing, only bad skiers and bad attitudes!" I repented instantly and from then on we uttered such phrases as:
"All skiing is good skiing!"
"It's always worth it!"
"It's all good!"
And it was.
|Bringing skinny back!|
|Rocky choke in the middle of the middle chute|
The crust/wind board was just strong enough to support us on the descent and down low, we found even a few pockets of something resembling powder before hitting the trail. From there it was skins on for course three. I had another run up Red Baldy in mind but this time wanted to try our luck in another chute just to the south of the one I skied on Tuesday.
|The Red Baldy Chute du jour (photo from 11/26)|
We tried to skin the whole thing but eventually were forced to boot and scramble over some blocky white granite near the ridge. From there, we tagged to southern most summit and again found a nice snack bivy on the lee side of the ridge. We shared peanut butter Snickers and a clementine before reversing our tracks and trying not to destroy our light gear (which is surprisingly strong and escaped with no dings!).
|Near the ridge at the top of the Red Baldy Chute|
|Taking the fun way|
|Teague heading home in the lower section of the chute|
The whole day, the skies threatened but refused to share. As I type, a light rain is falling in the valley and my hope is that the snow line is at a reasonable level. While nature may hit reset on this winter, the skiing this week, including four new descents for me, has been more than worth it.
|The amazing SCARPA Alien and some awesome earrings made from real cam lobes. They are made by a friend of mine and for 20 something dollars, make a great present during the holidays. Check out Breezy Desert Designs for more.|
Stay tuned for a review of the Alien and Alien 1.0 as well as of the best ski mountaineering quiver around (fact not opinion!)