March Madness . . . the month of making attempts :-)

Although March is often the best skiing in southcentral, this year in the local mountains we had some funky conditions that didn't make it the slayfest it can be . . . buried surface hoar is not our friend!

Bobby and I were hoping to ski the N couloir on TT43 . . . on the way up the NE face, we saw this gully and talked about not wanting to skin across it . . . but right on the edge, we were on shallow enough snow to affect the buried surface hoar responsible for the Cornbuscuit slide a few days before . . .

It broke just under Bobby's foot . . . I was a few steps ahead . . . we were both out of the way of danger, but it was a big slide with big propagation nonetheless . . .

. . . with big debris that went almost to the trees . . .
A little snow science . . . yep, buried surface hoar.
So, we took some time to enjoy the sun and chill out for a bit
and then decided to get on the rocks and head toward the summit - different angle, deeper snowpack . . .
We looked down the N couloir, but decided today wasn't the day, especially since it would be best completed with a descent down the east face that may have similar buried surface hoar . . .
Summit happy couple photo :-)
I managed to break off a huge cornice before skiing the W face, so we had a decent stability test before dropping in . . . the skiing was excellent!
And we finished the day with a view of our slide . . . yikes!
The next day dawned sunny again, so we decided to head to Portage to make an attempt on Bard . . . I've had my eye on it for awhile!



We got partway up the face above my head when we dug a pit and found some pretty unsettling layers and an unfavorable compression test . . . so down we went . . .
Me enjoying a brief moment in the sun before skiing the fun apron turns, crossing the Shakespeare Glacier, skiing to Whittier, and hitchhiking through the tunnel - a much better return than slogging across the lake!!!

A few days later, we headed out with Chris Page and Ben Ward for an attempt on Captain's Chair . . . again, I stress attempt!

Beautiful views on the skin up - eye candy!!
Gaining the ridge . . .
Me on the spicey trail break!
We decided the ridge had too much rotten snow, and there was a natural crown on a similar aspect to the one we wanted to ski, so we opted out early . . . deciding to break the cornice over one of the N shots before we skied it . . .

Cornice break was successful, then time for fun skiing! Our line is just below the high point on the ridge . . . we may not have gotten the line, but we got a damn nice one anyhow!!!

1 comment:

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