Monday, March 4, 2013

Grr Couloir to South Summit Couloir - Cascade Peak

I can't think of a bad outing I've had in Utah County.  The place is magical.  Andy, Tom, Layne and I headed down this last Saturday to poke around on the south side of Cascade peak.   10 minutes in I took my camera out (I brought the big one for the day figuring the setting would warrant hauling it around) and the back screen read, "change battery pack."  We were only 10 mins from the car but I knew my partners would drop me if I turned back.  I was stuck using a phone for the rest of the day.  Even though all the follow pictures are all grainy and poor quality I think the phone camera did a decent job. Andy and Layne wrote better write ups than I can do and had better pictures; their posts can be found here and here.   I'll let my phone's pictures tell the brief story...

  We parked at rock canyon, headed up to the camp ground and then followed the road to the base of the Grr. We were greeted with mountains of wet debris.  As least all of this wasn't still hanging overhead.
Besides feeling a little safer with much of the hang fire now filling the chute, it also make for quick, firm travel. 
 Andy, Layne, Tom, heading up the Grr Coulor
The lower Grr
Once we were close to the ridge that heads east to the south summit we had to make a few decisions.  1. Ski the Grr? No thanks 2. Traverse a rotten steep snow patch above a cliff band? No thanks. 3. Climb a rock and ice filled choke with no crampons?  Not ideal but we thought it beat the other options so we pushed on. 
Tom in the choke.
From there it was a short walk over to what was labeled as the South Summit on my map. (This and the next picture are from the big camera.  I had the battery in my pocket all morning hoping it would warm up and work for the down.  It didn't)
Layne traversing over.
  Layne topping out, Timp and Utah Lake in the background. 
The north facing half of the South Summit Couloir skied great but anything past the halfway point was a crusty mess.  Tom in the upper South Summit Couloir
Andy lower down, staying in the powder
About 1000' down the chute narrows and steepens a touch.  This happend to coincide with the start .of the wet debris. Andy in the wet debris buffed hard pack.
 Steep runnels with rock-hard wet debris plastered about turned our nice peaceful descent into survival/adventure skiing. No one would call it great skiing but I think we all found what we came for.
Layne enjoying the hard pack/debris


  1. "I can't think of a bad outing I've had in Utah County." SHUT IT!

  2. Nice pics Jason. Do you mind if a repost the ones of me?

  3. Alright Jason. Where can I rent some A/T gear and go on one of these adventures with you guys? The one at Spanish Fork looked sweet.

  4. Your timing on this adventure was rather amiss ole' chap. That western chute has been the scene of some real whoppers. The slope to the left is the ticket. Oft overlooked. Let's see what March does. It's the make or break month.