Monday, January 19, 2015

SLC Twins - E Face and NW Couloir

Skiing with Lars and Chad turned into skiing with crew of 8.  Normally that seems like too many but for the day it was pretty entertaining.  Jared set a race pace up Broad's Fork and we were up below Drom at first light.  From there we had to break trail so the extra number's were appreciated.
Lars and Justin
Justin with Gobbler's and Raymond in the background
The crew spread out between Twins and Jepson's Foley
More of the same
Lars on the slab move heading toward the summit ridge
The couple slab moves on the way to the summit log jammed our massive party so we decided to split.  Half headed up the south facing chute and while the other half futzed around on the rock.  Ontop we initial plan was to split up.  Chad, Justin, and Jared all had obligations and had to be back down.  We watched from the summit as they skied the top portion of the East Face.  It looked so go we decided to follow.
Tom, Jared, Elliot
Tom airing a little rock mid chute
Jared chose the other option
Lars lower on the face
After skiing the E face we found ourselves back at our ski track.  It's kind of hard to turn down a nice skinner so we headed back up hoping to find decent conditions in the NW.  We did.  We all felt the NW should be considered on of the Utah classics.  It's rock lined, long and steep.  we should have just flipped it and head back up to the summit but the alure of Deaf Smith was too strong.  The 6000' of great skiing, crap skiing and walking was just what we were looking for.
Teague in the NW
Tom, following Teague's tracks
The awesomenss that is Deaf Smith
While waitng for Tom's amazing girlfriend to shuttle us back up the canyon he's instagraming, "out of the alpine and unto suberbia." 

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Week That Was - Wyoming Randonee Roundup, Red Baldy, Kessler

Two of the three US team qualifying races happened over the past weekend.  In order to qualify for the team that goes to Verbier I would have to have two great races as I already botched the first race a few weeks ago in Crested Butte. Here is my very short/crappy acount of the weekend.

Targhee was back and forth between Tom Goth, Scott Simmons, and I until I gained a little time on the last climb and held on for the win.  Definitely a good start.  

Later that night there was a single qualifying race for the US sprint team.  The top two places would get the spots.  Andy and Lars dominated!  It must be their 400m power that the rest of these endurance wienies don't have that allowed them to throw down.

The next day was the Jackson Race.  Typically this suits my strengths pretty well and I think this year was no different.  The skinning was tricky and it kept the top 5 or 6 racers fairly close.  I skied the long penultimate descent pretty well and managed to get onto the last climb with a few second lead.  Being the overconfident prick I am I figured I'd slowly pull away and hold on for the win!  I was psyched! Then I got tired.  Tom passed me with roughly 100 vertical feet to go and then Max did the same with about 15' to go.  Damn.  I had to settle for 3rd.  Tom's time gap for the day was bigger than mine the day before so he also got the overall win for the weekend.  At least the two days were good enough to earn a spot on the team!  I just booked tickets to Switzerland!
Sprint race start
After a tough week of racing it's been nice to get a little powder skiing in.  A couple days ago Fitz Cahall (of dirtbag diaries and duct tape then beer fame) and Aidan Hailey were in town to do a little filming for Outdoor Research.  We decided to head up White Pine drainage and check out Red Baldy to see if we could find any scenery worth filming.  We did.  The entire valley was under cast and we found consistent untracked powder.  If you weren't up high on Wednesday then you missed out! 

The base of Red Baldy
Andy and Teague higher up
Andy on the summit ridge
Teague and Fitz.  Fitz is holding rough $20K worth of camera gear.  
Andy and Fitz futzing
Brothers contemplating.  Photo by Teague
After an amazing day on Red Baldy we figured the north facing aspects were still holding amazing snow.  Lars had the morning off so he rounded up Tom, Teague, and I and we headed up Kessler to check out God's Lawnmower.  En route to the Mower we crossed above the East Couloir and couldn't resist.  Tom aired into it to find rocks and firm icy snow and for some reason Teague felt like he should do the same.

Teague about to land on a bunch of rocks.  

Teague bouncing of the rocks and back in the chute.  

Tom lower down
Once again, Freeride Teague
After skiing the chute we headed up the skinner to the top of the Catcher's Mitt and scrambled the ridge back to the summit.  From there we attempted to ski the Mower from the top but turned around about 100 feet down after we found nothing but sugar and rock.  Instead we opted to skirt all the rock and settle for 3000 feet of powder.  The Mower was shady so I didn't even bother taking the camera out.  Here's an instagram video Teague put up.

Tom and Lars heading to Kessler
More of the same

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Jackson Race Taper

The biggest ski races of the year are coming up this weekend.  There will be USA team qualifying races at Grand Targhee, Snow King, and Jackson Hole held over the weekend.  The goal of the week is to go into the weekend well rested and ready to move fast.  The only problem with that plan is that there is a lot of good sking to be had!  Today Andy, Jared, Sam, Lars and I headed up to Red Baldy to ski a line into Icefall canyon.  We've all been on Red Baldy numerous times but no one had actually skied the line.  All day we were hyping it up, calling it the King Line.  King Line indeed.  The hike out to East Pass was pleasant as well.  There is certainly more exploring to be done.  
Andy and Lars, Red Stack in the background
The boys on the summit ridge of Red Baldy
More of the same
The SLC Samurai himself
Andy next to Jared's tracks.  Even Mark White would be proud of Jared's wiggles.
Yesterday I only had time to head up to Brighton for a quick workout which was good for the taper but the day before I was once again forced to get out and ski.  When Andy and Sam call it's kind of hard to say, "no, I'm resting,"  We headed up Argenta and found primo condiitons in the East Couloir.

Sam in the upper East
Andy down low
Now it's a real day of rest and then we hit the road for Jackson.  I'm guessing this was a perfect taper. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Reed and Benson, The Hallway

It's always good to get go to new places.  I've stared at/scrambled on the Reed and Benson ridge line all fall and summer but never skied the Reed and Benson Couloir.  Luckily that changed yesterday.  Andy, Teague, Matt, and I headed up Cardiff with no agenda.  We saw a skinner heading up to the Reed and Benson and felt obligated to take it.  It's quite short but very scenic.  The skiing sucked but it was fantastic.
The boys heading up Reed and Benson
Matt and Andy nearing the top of R and B
Andy shredding
From there we kept heading up Cardiff until the Hallway caught our eye.  This was all I had time for but the other guys kept rolling for the majority of the day.  Turns out there's enough in Cardiff to keep you busy for a long time.
Matt skinning the Hallway
The Hallway
Andy skiing the skinner in the upper Hallway
Freeride Teague

Thursday, January 1, 2015

December 2014 - Photos

No writing, just pictures.  Here's a handful from December.  Happy New Year!

Tom G., Bart G., and Andy D. Heading up S. Lone Peak
Andy and Bart admiring a plastered Question Mark Wall
Tom and Andy heading off Lone

Andy in Days

There's a pole tip in there

This was the deepest I can remember.  Andy, Noah, Tom, and I headed up Millcreek and were blown away.  The skinner went to mid-thigh.  The snow was too deep for Hannah so I shoved her in the bag and away we went.  Photo by Noah Howell
Another shot by Noah
Tom G. heading up Raymond from Porter Fork.  The plan was to end up in Alpine but a poor avy forecast had us pulling the plug once we hit Little. 

Tom summiting Raymond
Summit ridge of Raymond
More Raymond
We think hitching is lame when the ground cab be easily covered on foot so we ran the mile and a half up the road from Mill A to Cardiff Fork
Andy and Tom heading off Superior.
Andy high on Kessler
More Kessler
Teague Holmes, Jason Prigge, and Noah Howell on Cardiac Ridge
Andy summiting Raymond.  Teague following.
Andy about to ski to off Raymond to the east