Thursday, February 11, 2010
"Children: are your parents making wise choices in the backcountry?"
I must say I got a chuckle out of this line from Brett at the Avalanche center this morning. But it seems that some time someone is going to have to ski those lines right? Well, its probably not going to be me! There is always someone younger and braver right? (This isn't an encouragement to go ski steep North aspects lines)
So I know most people haven't been enjoying the lack of snow, but I have really been appreciating it recently. The last two days I spend skiing some new lines (for me) that have a certain aesthetic appeal, as apposed to well... the normal Utah draw. First was little pine @ 3300ft straight up out of the car and then directissmo, 3200ft although not right out of the car... Both are steep south facing lines that have tight couloirs, big slide paths, and no fall zones. Tomorrow I'm thinking Tanners would add up nicely. (so that means you can't go there unless I've invited you)
One of the fun extra exciting things about directissmo is that you start in a large gully that cliffs out in every location but one. So you can't really ski off any where you want, you need to follow the exact route which neither of us had skied before, but we did see some of it from the road. So when we crest superior we go into a cloud back with very little visibility. I know the ridge we follow so we start off down the catwalk hoping for the clouds to raise but they don't. So I have no visual aids, I left the compose in my other ski pants, and I've never skied the route before. So what do you do with a single point exit or fall to your death? Jump in of course! So off we go very, very carefully down into the gully in search for the directissmo chute. Once we get a little lower we start to see the slope roling over to what we assume is the rock face. After tipptoeing around we find the entrance, unfortunately we are a little low and have to 'huck' the 3 foot cornice into the chute. With much pain and suffering I finallly commit and it turns out to be easy, and most importantly a safe, rock hard snow pack.
Up until this point we didn't shoot any photo's or video because the focus and tension was high, so all of your shots will be below the entry to directissmo. Enjoy! Oh and in case you wanted to go there, the skiing could be described as either breakable death crust or cement that spilled out of a cement truck on the freeway.