still going

March 13, 2009

map pic

I bet you thought I was done talking about skiing. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that–heck, Rick transitions from biking to skiing in October, and he transitioned from skiing to biking like a month ago.

Me, I like to blend my seasons a bit more. Plus, I think I’ve also transitioned into thinking of ski season as the A season and biking as the B season. I’m not saying it’s right (it is) or wrong (it isn’t), I’m just saying. You know. What I said.

Actually, here’s why it’s wrong to turn the skiing off as soon as it gets warm enough to ride your bike. This is from today’s Avalanche Advisory:

Yet another day in paradise with sunny and warm weather, delightful, soft, settled powder on the sun and wind sheltered slopes and mostly stable avalanche conditions. And this time of year, less people are getting out, so there is much more untracked snow. Life is good.

We’ve got poetical avalanche forecasters here in the Wasatch.

Anyway, I’ve been out twice this week, because even though we’re in the middle of march, the powder is plentiful and the crowds are thinning.

This morning, me n Tyler (my mom used to tell me to stop calling my friends “mean”–get it? “me n tyler”=”mean” Tyler? Isn’t that adorable?) went a bit longer than usual, starting from the church across from Alta and heading up the Flagstaff ridge an hour or two before dawn, hoping to skirt Upper Days and drop the next two shots, where we were sure there was some deep untouched to be had.

Here’s the route (the far side of the ridge is what we came up, and then back down, but the picture isn’t see-through, so you can’t see that part):

map pic route

We had to take off the skis and boot the first climb in the dark, because the skin track was not just frozen solid, but had also been recently sprayed with Pam. Luckily, someone had already had the same problem, so it was a question of stepping in the holes.

Here’s Tyler at the top of Flag. Our route is to go along that ridge behind him, cuz it’s warmer in the sun:

tyler first summit sun

More traversing:

tyler around big rock

And a little technical traversing (technical for us beaters):

tyler more technical

Here’s Tyler dropping into shot number one. I’m sure these shots have names, but I’m not privy to them.

tyler first drop

Tyler again, in shot number one:

tyler first drop two

You can see, there ARE tracks there. It’s hard to get there before the helicopters four days after the storm. But you can also see there’s plenty of snow left for us.

In fact, after we skinned up to the next ridge, we found that the helicopters had respectfully left the center chute in shot number two untouched. Yay.

tyler in the untracked heading for the chute

Tyler drops into the actual chute, which is only about two ski lengths wide and steeper than snot. Which is pretty steep on the snot scale.

tyler drops into chute

And there he is, IN the actual chute. You may wonder how I can get a picture of him both DROPPING into the chute AND exiting the chute.

In a word, Magic.

tyler exiting chute

Okay, NOT magic, since you can see my exit track.

Which makes one wonder, hey! Where are all the pictures of dug?

Of course, we had one camera between us, and it happened to be my iPhone.

So, here’s another pic of Tyler. For Mike.

tyler finishes

After this powder fest, we only had to slog back to the the main Upper Days bowl, up the face, and ski 1500 feet of south-facing breakable crust to the car. No pics of that.

15 Responses to “still going”

  1. mark Says:

    Shot 1 is main days, shot 2 is banana days. http://utahavalanchecenter.org/~uac/files/HoneycombToMillBSouth.jpg

    Now you know.

    Need to find a partner so I can go hit it tomorrow. Paging Wonder Twin Rob…

  2. dug Says:

    thanks mark. so what’s shot number three called, since that’s one we do pretty often, and i hate calling it “days from below”.

  3. Rachel A Says:

    What’s the difference between poetic and poetical? I’m assuming it’s the same difference between ironic and ironical? (oooh! Even writing that felt like nails on a chalkboard.)

    • dug Says:

      rachel, i just like saying “poetical.” i imagine that in addition to ironical, it’s also like historical.

      here’s how i do it–ironic is serious irony, real irony. ironical is alanis morrisette. poetic is shakespeare or maya angelou. poetical is the avalanche report.

      does that help?

      • Rachel A Says:

        That definitely clears things up. So just as poetical is a derivative of poetic, someone being poetical or ironical is sort of (but not quite) like being poetic or ironic.

        I actually like your definition. 🙂

  4. Ty Says:

    Thanks for not mentioning or having a picture of how far behind I was on the last climb.

  5. gbrown Says:

    Dug,
    You are the finest backcountry skier I know. World class by any measure. I would like to do a Q & A with you on my blog regarding your exploits in the BC. Do you accept this invitation? The three readers of sugarpotpie.com eagerly await your answer.

  6. Jenny-Jenny Says:

    Me an Mike would prefer B season year round. My mom used to say she was so sorry that my friends were mean to me.

  7. Jay Says:

    That looks so awesome…I will be dreaming of it now!

  8. grizzly adam Says:

    The bottom right hand corner of the route photo is where we went on Tuesday right?

  9. dug Says:

    Adam, yup, that’s the one. the meadow chutes.

  10. tohellandback1st Says:

    thanks for the extra Ty shot… although my favorite was the ‘technical traversing’ shot. he has the best GQ shots of any backcountry skier i know…

  11. Rick S. Says:

    I was mountain biking or I would have joined you guys.

  12. Ty Says:

    tohellandback…you know more backcountry skiers than just dug and I, right? It’s about time my better side gets a little recognition. Dug – this comment was not meant to be catty, just needed to know.


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