Saturday, February 5, 2011
2nd run wiggling down above MoFat
First Tube....can you make out the Wiggler?
Monte Cristo Headwall.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Skier Boyz mobile recruitment division has had steady business since finally making it back to the west coast. Having spent December helping a friend with a family Business (www.dinkels.com) then spent the beginning of January in Wisco making delicious food for my family and catching up with those important folks that I see all too rarely, I made my way back west to the mountains.
Through Outdoor Research I connected with Jason Hummel, (a TR with Jason’s Photos can be read at: http://www.cascadecrusades.org/SkiMountaineering/larrabee/larrabee2011sfacewestface/larrabee2011.htm) a photographer who has spent his entire life here in the Cascades. He, Adam Roberts, and I connected within days of my return and headed up to the Winchester Lookout for a shot at Mt. Larrabee. This little lookout is pretty picturesque and in the summer time is a short hike from Twin Lakes. In the winter the 8 mile road to Twin Lakes is closed and you have to skin, hike, or…snow machine to the end of the road. We were lucky enough to have the help of Roy, a local ripper from Glacier, and his old (1985) and small (500cc) snow machine to shuttle 6.5 of the 8 miles up the trail. From there it was pretty painless trail breaking to the lakes and then the hut. The weather was beautiful, the clouds going in and out and we made the hut just about sunset. Perfect.
The next day we climbed Larrabee. The breakable crust was so thick I thought I was skiing Superior with the Beattie Twins, but as we climbed it got (slightly) better. We found ourselves on the summit with pretty low visibility and waning hours, the result of the incoming clouds and a late start. We skied our ascented route and made it back to the Lookout before dark to find five more people had made the 8-mile trek in from 542. How bromantic.
Booter to the summit, Day 1.
After an evening of swapping stories and making dinner we went to bed and woke to clear skies. It was time to ski something more aesthetic. We had been staring at the SE face of Larrabee since we got to the Lookout. There is a lot of ice in the middle most of the way across the face. The lookers right seemed to be the best bet. Two others had started a couple hours before us up our track from the day before. We caught them at the summit and they decided not to ski their central line (of course) and to ski the line we had been considering. Fortunately their tracks broke some of the crust and made the couloir actually enjoyable to ski.
We headed back to the Lookout and packed up, headed down to the road and made quick work of the trip back to the car. I was pretty happy to have this as my first tour of the season.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Our party heads through the forest towards the hut.
The Crossman squirrel inspects his nest, approval was met when we saw the outdoor sauna and the view.
That evening we got nice run down the Triangle towards that lake, and Ed departed. We headed for home as some light snow began to fall. The next day we headed up the shoulder towards Heyburn.
We found a nice little chute to ski on the way to the approach.
Being somewhat alpine deprived in the Wastach this last month, I immediately wondered what kind of conditions were like up high. After crossing the 5th lake it became boiler plate at the base of Heyburn, upon entering the north couloir it became settled powder. The massive granite walls protected the snow. Shed some green light on it.
Looking up the North of Heyburn.
Brian and Brennan boot up the final section of the north Couloir.
Bret and Dylan at the top, they wanted to be the twins this week.
Brennan dropping in and going all the way.
Brian shredding it.
The snow was so darn nice, and we missed couloir skiing. We decided to Heyburn another one, and ski the South Couloir down to the lake. I had see the couloir in the summer and new it would be a good long shot. What was more surprising was that the powder was better on the top of the south couloir. The rest of our party headed for Iowa peak, will the twins and I headed up the booter.
Dylan in the south, the deep south.
The south was less steep and football field size. Bret likes, and enjoys a gs turn.
We all arrived back at the hut that night. Totally stoked on our day, imbetween steams, stoking the fire, and eating delicious food that Shaun cooked up there was much talk of the next couloir. The next morning we headed up the triangle again to ski a south shot down to the lake. We were heading for the Grand Mogul, to try to ski the Boyscott couloir.
The Grand Mogul, the Boy Scout comes of the right shoulder. There was much debate if the pinch went clean. We heard that it had a rappel in it off a chockstone.
Our party getting reading to skin across Redfish lake towards the mogul. Unfortunately I didn't get to many pictures of that day, I was preoccupied with climbing chockstones and rappels. The snow in the boyscout was some of the best all trip. The pillowy tree's below it were a fun exit at dusk. We ended up skiing the whole thing, the rappel took us a while. We ended up skinning back to the hut at night. Brian hung out in the cave( similar to the Y-not) and watched sloughs cascade over his head.
The next day we packed up from the Bench lake hut and headed towards Fish hook creek Yurt to finish our trip. On the saddle of Iowa peak, Brendan made a fire and cooked hot dogs it was awesome. We enjoyed the sun, then dropped into the Gun Barrel couloir with full packs.
The Yurt had a beautiful view, and a hot tub (horse trough) was very relaxing. With our last day of the trip approaching and the eminent drive back to Salt lake, there was still something on our mind.