Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Grunge Couloir Photo Report

After a string of night shifts, I needed to switch my schedule back to the one normal people keep.  I figured the best way to do that would be to stay up and ski.  VWD was keen on Timp and didn't have to work hard to convince me.  Nick was added on as a blind date of sorts at the last minute and the trio was set. 

The day was an amazing mix of spring conditions on the multi thousand foot approach, and a wintery mixed bag in the couloir.  The top out was firm, but at least the cornices weren't too threatening.  The descent of the mythical Grunge itself was memorable mainly for the ambience - rocky, consistent grade, remote - but it was the thousands of feet beyond this that really made the day.  Gang skiing perfect corn in that remote amphitheater and eventually ending in a T-shirt at the car made for a lot of smiling.  

Virgil and Nick wondering if the apron will ever end (to the skier's left there was smooth perfectly timed corn on the descent)

Virgil and his black baggy pants.  Tom Evans would be furious!

More of the man in black moving through the lower crux (the upper crux would have to be just getting into the Grunge from the ridge - we down climbed to a nice stance)

It gets slightly  more interesting near the top


Looking North from just below the top. 

Looking south from just below the top out - True North Summit 

Virgil rallied and beat the deadline by 10 minutes (and was still barely on time to work)

There's this for anyone who wants a belayed ski cut or rap into the thing

Getting started

Navigating the cruxy choke

Lower Grunge with some lingering powder

The Grunge
For anyone who cares, on 3/19/13, the road was melted out for about 10 minutes and then one could skin or boot the rest.

But there's a rumor of snow later this week...

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