Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Red Baldy

I had a few free hours this afternoon, so I had to head back up the White Pine Drainage and remedy my choice to be responsible the day before.  Flying solo, I was glad to run into Layne Caldwell, who was heading out.  He agreed to turn around and hike the approach which was nice and made the time pass quickly.  Unfortunately (for me), he is a responsible husband and father and didn't want to push his curfew and sent me off near the base of Red Baldy.  

I skinned up to my desired chute, where I found pieces of the boot track the guys set yesterday.  They had said it skied well so I assumed at least part of it would be soft.  I guess if skiing "well" meant  rock hard turns then they appeared to be right.  

I tagged to southern most summit and then clicked in and started making cautious turns on the firm but smooth surface.  At the entrance to the chute, the snow was punctuated by rocks, reminding me that the coverage is marginal at best.  As I slipped around the obstacles, I stopped and pulled out my phone to measure the slope angle and was really surprised to see that it was only 42 degrees.  

My mind has gone soft.  

Perhaps the upper chute only felt steep because I was alone, early in the season with firm conditions.  I expect my perception to change throughout the year.  In any case, I enjoyed an uneventful descent and easily made it back to the trailhead under my self imposed 3 hour timeline.  

Here are a couple more pics showing the current conditions (although all will likely change with the impending rain storm).

Today's line marked in red (taken 11/27)
Gift wrapped with a booter

Red Baldy, Red Stack, and the Twins

Thin but tempting coverage on White Baldy, Box Elder, and Timp

A good look at our skiing from yesterday

It only looks rocky.  The chute actually skied quite "well".


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