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.

senior climbing


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.

ridge two

Here’s a bad pic of the view, and a crazy gnarled old tree:

senior view two

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:

senior carving


Mark makes like he’s water skiing:

water ski spray 

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.

mark looking at my skis two

Looking back up at 3200 feet of creamy goodness:

senior bottom

The crux move of the day–crossing the river to get to the car.



9 Responses to “argenta”

  1. mark Says:

    So in my defense for not gaining the higher point on the ridge than what I actually did, remember that I had climbed 5,000 feet at that point, including the first 2,500 or so of Argenta at redline pace trying to make up for the 1.5 hour head start you and Senior had going up the hill. My legs were quivering with exhaustion at that point, and working my way a difficult 20 feet higher on the ridge just didn’t seem worth it. Not to mention, who would have taken your picture dropping in if I were up top?

    Now the truth: I’m just a ninny and didn’t like the exposure, minimal as it was.

  2. KanyonKris Says:

    Looks like good times.

    dug, please rate this ski season. From your reports, it seems like it’s been better than average, but I have no reference.

  3. forgingahead Says:

    You guys must have incredible lung capacity! Great shots.

  4. tipper Says:

    Wow such beautiful country! Looks like a good time was had by all.

    I enjoyed your septic tank post-that just doesn’t sound right somehow 🙂

  5. bikemike Says:

    man, i thought you guys were in argentina…my bad.

  6. grizzly adam Says:

    Honestly, I have none of that “can’t wait until summer” anxious energy right now. I just want more powder.

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