March 27, 2009
So Yes, I did in fact go skiing this morning, took the father in law (hereafter known as “Senior”) up Argenta, halfway up Big Cottonwood Canyon. We were having some trouble deciding on which shot to do, because the Wasatch had just received almost 4 feet of snow, and while yesterday the avalanche danger was rated as “Extreme,” a word they only use about once a year, in the Spring, things settle out pretty quickly, so we figured if we didn’t get crazy, today would be epic. And, in fact, the snow stabilized, and we were in for a treat.
Halfway up Big Cottonwood Canyon, Senior and I still hadn’t decided which shot, and we went back and forth between Spruces and Circle Awl, back and forth, until we rounded a corner and Argenta came into view.
I just pulled over. Discussion over.
Three important things happened. First, Mark, who finished his Scotties shot and came over to Argenta and chased Senior and me up the hill, wouldn’t climb the final switchbacks to where the best view was (thought I want to be clear that it wasn’t because he was tired). Second, the snow was awesome. And third, I dropped a cornice overhanging a gully, and as I landed in the deep heavy snow, both bindings released and I did two complete cartwheels free of my skis.
And on to the pics.
We gained the ridge, and even though we weren’t heading for the true summit of Kessler, just a little higher of where Mark hunkered down gave spectacular views into Mineral and Broads forks. Mark didn’t care. He just sat down there like the dwarves in The Last Battle, and pretended it wasn’t there.
Here’s a bad pic of the view, and a crazy gnarled old tree:
From the top:
And we’re in:
Senior disappears into the cold smoke:
I drop, but not quite as well:
Out in the open bowl:
Mark makes like he’s water skiing:
This is Mark doubled over in laughter because I’ve just dropped that cornice, and notice how my skis stayed right where they landed, and I’m quite a ways away, snapping this picture.
Looking back up at 3200 feet of creamy goodness:
The crux move of the day–crossing the river to get to the car.