The Noodler and I finally linked up for a rare full day tour, that is full day for me (not for him). We were at the Falls Creek trailhead and skinning by 10:30 AM.
|Starting at Sea Level|
|Out of the Scrub|
|Options for Next Time|
As we climbed higher, more couloirs became obvious, but we were already in the mellower upper portion of the drainage. We decided to attempt the high point: South Suicide (5,005'). The sun was just barely starting to melt the snow in the upper bowl, but it was taking a brutal toll on the climbers. There was nowhere to hide. Temps were in the 40s but the sun, bright white snow, and a complete lack of wind conspired to kick the shit out of me.
Finally the slope angle eased, a feeble breeze kicked up, and a dry rock provided an opportunity to recuperate. I finished my water and chocolate and used the corn snow to get the salt out of my eyes and face. I put it in low and eased my way up to the head of the drainage.
The Noodler scrambled the last 100' to tag the summit while I rested. After about 20 minutes we were both ready to reap the reward of our effort. There was 4,500'+ of continuous snow below us and I was confident the first 3,500 would be awesome. Below that would get interesting.
|Top of Falls Creek|
I gave the top 2,000' an A+. The Noodler only gave it an A, but as you can see, he was much more intimate with the snow than I. The corn fiesta continued lower and lower. We knew it had to end eventually, but we were continually surprised with the quality as we descended towards the sea.
|Wet Slide Debris|
(the s isn't silent)
Shit, he knows where the beer is!
I tightened my straps and was off in an awkward hustle into the mud and bushes with the rapidly fading hope of beer below.