Monday, February 15, 2016

Exploring Nebo

Last week Noah was on a kick to ski something new to him every day.  With a pretty open schedule mid week, I joined for a couple adventures to the Mount Nebo area.  He'd had his eye on a dense patch of chutes for a while and this was the excuse to suss em out.  Unfortunately, they were all a little tighter and shorter than we'd hoped but the area is still pretty cool.  Noah dubbed it the Garden of Skiden.  

We thought we would shoot up the chute to the looker's left of the big patch of trees at the bottom left of the photo below, ski a few lines, and move on to the summit.  

The Garden of Skiden.  We ended up skiing the bigger chute on the looker's left. 

An hour and a measly five hundred feet later, we were topping out, pissed off and soaked from battling the steep faceted snow pack.  Jason called to check on our progress and simply stated, "You guys are slow."    Maybe, but at least we were about to ski.  

After a quick game of "rock, paper, scissors" I landed the job of photographer while Noah won the chance to ski first.  In the photo below, we spied an entrance ramp and he went for it, completely surprised that it was almost flat as evidenced by his track.  Keeping with the biblical theme, Noah is referring to this one as Eve.  

Noah in Eve's tenderloin

By this point, I was interested in checking out some of the higher elevation terrain and Noah obliged. We headed up a nice slide path that bisects the ridge coming directly off the summit to the northwest. On the way up, I was captivated by all the weird towers and chutes across the basin.  

At the top of the slide path, we were tempted to continue on to the summit, but five hundred vertical feet of rocky ridge walking didn't make sense so we transitioned and skied the 2500 foot line back to the bowel below the Garden.  By now the sun was getting low so we kept the rally going and skied the remaining 3500 plus feet back to the car in surprisingly good snow.  

Noah near the high point of a fun line he's calling Genesis .

Dropping into the Genesis

Looking back up at Genesis

The next morning at 5:30, we were again pulling out of my driveway, this time with a sleeping viking in the back seat.  I was on a tight schedule to get home for a rare lunch date so I convinced Lars and Noah to join for a mad dash trip back to Nebo since our skin track was mostly in.

We mad quick work into the great bowel below the main summit and worked our way up the Champagne Couloir as our first option for the day looked a little boney.  The upper Champagne was a little boney for that matter but there was just enough.  The last time I had skied it, I didn't see a thing in a white out.  It was almost like skiing it for the first time.

I also couldn't get Kanye's "So appalled" out of my head with the lyric "Champagne wishes".  It's not a good song to have on repeat.

Lars near the top of the Champagne


Into the sun

Lars from the top of the skiable section

Noah getting into the rhythm 

After leap frogging a bit in the chute, we started to open it up and ended up skiing almost the whole shot to the car without stopping.  This worked well as I needed to be home around noon and we made it to the car at 11:06.  We would probably have been more on schedule if it weren't for the horrendous skiing on the exit road which the day before had been perfect powder.  Instead, it was a death defying luge of frozen tracks and breakable crust. A couple attempts to scrub speed on my part, led to chaotic crashes, including one crater where I inadvertently left my glasses.  Oh well, the mountains give and take and Nebo gave a lot more over those two days than she took.  

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post Andy. A keen eye for the landscape for sure.