Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Triangle Couloir - Wow

Triangle Couloir from the road
After Spanish Fork Peak on Monday I thought I would be content for the week. Turns out those good skiing feelings don't last very long. The next day Andy and I started thinking about the next line. We decided that if conditions permitted we'd give the Triangle a go. It's been high on the list ever since Bart and Jared skied it a few years ago and even though we've tried multiple times, we've always come up empty.

Today I thought we'd probably get up there, get sketched by the conditions and turn around. We parked at the Y turnout and were greeted by a handful of coworkers who had just skied the Y.  They raved about stable powder, I was encouraged.  From the parking lot, we followed the skin track all the way down to the base of the triangle. The access almost felt too easy. There was even a bridge to get us over the creek! Before we knew it we were looking up into the chute.  The snow was soft, consolidated powder, sitting on top of a harder layer but as far as we could tell the stability was okay.

The entrance
About to start the roped climbing, photo by AD
We booted/skinned the first 1000' to the base of the actual climbing. Andy got the first lead and made quick work of it. I took the second, shorter lead and it took me a long time. The ice petered out right as the rock wall squeezed down. This left a narrow chimney with crappy ice that was awkward to climb with skis on my back. Luckily the protection was good.
Andy on pitch 1

Seconding pitch 1
Pitch #2, the squeeze lurking, photo by AD
View off the other side
Once we were done with the roped climbing we realized we had about 45 minutes before our turn around time; Andy had to go hang out with Lars. I started coiling rope as Andy gunned it to the top. I barely caught him before we topped out but we made it with a few minutes to spare.  It's nice climbing with someone you're familiar with and who has the same agenda as you. We didn't need to talk, we both knew time was an issue so he put the booter in while I sorted gear. Teamwork.  On the way down the rope work was equally efficient.  No real talking, just moving. I guess there's something to be said for knowing your ski/climbing partners. 

The skiing was fantastic.  We had consolidated powder from top to bottom.  Even though the upper turns were thoughtful and controlled, they were great.  I thought Monday was the best day of the year but today might take that honor. 

Andy near the top
Rap #2
Hurrying home with heavy packs, photo by AD
The lower section, photo by AD
Boulder field just east of the chute


  1. That's a fun line. Too bad it doesn't go on for another 6,000ft like that. Just mellow ice intermixed with some skiing.

    1. It is too bad, this one almost felt a little short.

  2. You guys are nuts. I like it. - Bryce B

  3. Nice one Jason! Double bonus points for doing it in Aliens.


    1. Thanks, the Alien climbs like an ice boot!

  4. Yeah! Just wondering the big snow year it looked like you could almost ski the raps, what do you think?

    1. I think it would take a big year... That woud be pretty amazing though.

  5. You might be able to ski the lower half on a year like we had two years ago......I doubt the upper last bit ever fills in for anything more than a fall into a really nasty alcove.