Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Box Elder

Tuesday Jason and I traded Tom for Zack and continued the Utah Valley theme. We made use of the good snow stability and the fleeting weather window to get up on Box Elder. It is the shortest drive of all the Grand UC peaks and happened to be one that Jason and Zach had yet to stand on. We got a late 10:30ish start but that played into our favor as an earlier party was able t0 put a skinner in most of the way up. In the UC breaking trail is the norm. We got lucky.

Up the red, down the green. We skied the North Cirque first in some nice variable chalky windblown. No sign of the sticky wind pockets we found on Timp. Skied right to the skin track for another ascent up the ridge so we could enjoy a run down a barrel of the shotgun chutes. Fast settled Wasatch powder skiing and not another track to be seen. Exit out Dry Creek was also kind of fun if your into survival type skiing.

First time I have ever been able to skin right from the Dry Creek trail head.

Timp always inspires,!Where was that visibility yesterday up there?

ER doc, tele skier, and a rad mustache!

Now for another storm...

Monday, December 27, 2010


Christmas Eve was a great tour of some Wasatch Classics including Silver Fork, Days Fork, Holy Toledo, High Ivory, and South Black Nob exit. Christmas weekend was enjoyed with family including a MTB ride in Provo and Hike up Rock Canyon.

By Monday I was ready for some more skiing. While in Provo, I figured it was a good opportunity to take advantage of the huge snow and stable conditions. Timp was looking good!

Picture taken on Christmas from the Farm. South Summit is the 2nd high point from the far lookers Left. Wish we had that blue sky!

Set a track up Primrose Cirque and got to inspect the mighty power of the Avalanche. 3-6" of new snow had fallen over the piles and bed surfaces to soften things up. Multiple large slides were inspected from nearly all aspects. This debris pile was huge and looked to have initiated up in the "Hilary Step" area of the Cirque which in this picture is at the top of the Saddle. This is surely a place you don't want to be picnicking during a natural cycle.

Up at the lake looking for the sun up through the Summer snow field. Unfortunately the sun was never really found and we had to make do with clouds and limited visibility.

Looking from the South Summit down the South ridge. We did not partake in the incredibly fun sport of cornice cutting but there was a few bus size prizes to be had for the adventurous cutter.

Tom and Jason both laid some nice tracks that I was hoping to catch with my new camera but the visibility did not cooperate very well. We did get a little practice vertigo skiing which is always kind of fun. Here's Tom enjoying the new wind blown Snow on the SW face of Timp.

After skiing the West face from the South Summit we flipped a U and went back to the top rather than exit out the dirt into Pleasant Grove. Climbing up the West Face and Ridge is nearly as cool as skiing it. This allowed us to get back to our car at Aspen Grove and enjoy another nearly 5k descent.

We did run into a couple rouge wind pockets in Primrose Cirque that could give you a scare. Although they were small and not burial material, in the complicated cliff strewn terrain they could easily get you off your feet and heading in a wrong direction. As expected they were stubborn wind slabs about 8-10" deep that would run maybe 50-100'. Although the danger rating is low, these unpredictable slabs need to be watched for.

Monday, December 13, 2010

NW Coulior Pfeffierhorn

Nice way to start the week!

Andy, Jason, and Lars above Red Pine Lake

Lars and Jason on the East ridge of the Pfeffierhorn

Looking into the NW Coulior which is lacking snow on the upper section. Could have rapped in but chose to down climb the ridge and duck in from lookers right.

Good steep full concentration skiing in the upper section before the rappel.

Andy rigging up.

Down he goes...

Lars checking out his line about 1/2 way down the lower section. You can ski with reckless abandon down here.

Hogum into Maybird.

Beautiful morning, wanted to ski some other nice lines back there but had to get back to the real world. I am continually amazed at the amount of ground that can be covered on skis before brunch!

Now to figure out how to post all this great video I have been getting with my new camera.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Selkirk Classic

Cyclocross nationals are in full swing right now and I am at home and perfectly happy. I have been asked;"why are you not at nationals" maybe a dozen times this week and have not had much of an answer other than it was time for something new. I have been riding the cross bike as good as ever this year and maybe enjoyed it more than ever following such a rough summer. I would love to racing up in Bend with the whole Utah crew but with limited time to be away I had to make a choice between cross racing and skimo/Canada, new experiences won out.

Because I am slow to get to a trip report I can now rely on Jared and Andy, they both do a better job anyway. Here are a few shots and some commentary.

Andy and Jason skinning through the burn in Glacier National Park, Montana. Montana has a lot of trees and if you don't have a sled, access can be kind of slow. Good thing we don't mind 10 miles round trip of flat skining/skating to get to the vertical, If it was not for slide paths there may not be anywhere to ski up there. I think we are a little spoiled by Wasatch access!

The big 212 chopper was impressive. Smooth ride with not all that much vibration. View of the Esplanade range of the Slekirks was impressive.

Mt Cupola, the highest point in the Esplanade range. The hut sat down in the clouds at the base of the shady North face. The 3rd climb of the race skinned up the South ridge and booted to the tip.

Touring options are endless and the snow stays cold so much longer. Sun effect seems to have much less play on the South faces this far North at this time of year. I guess daylight from 8-4 may have something to do with that.

Sir Donald maybe the most impressive peak in the Rogers Pass area. From what I understand, attempts have been made but it has yet to be skied.

Jared booting out of a couloir on Mt Cheops shoulder that we found did not quite go. From the other side of the valley on Video Peak and 8812 it looked like it went.

Sir Donald again. That ridge looks like a fun ascent?

Hermit drainage on the way to Little Sifton. I love feeling small in big mountains, humbling for sure!

Best trip of December 201o, so far.