|Basking in the sun last year|
Last week we stood on the summit of Teewinot for the 4th time in the past year. Weather was far from perfect this time but the psych was still strong. We wanted to ski the SW couloir and then head over to Mt. Owen to see what the Koven had to offer.
After summiting we found ourselves in the clouds struggling to find the SW couloir. We made one false start down a chute that cliffed and then resorted to following our blue dot on the phone. In the chute we found rock hard snow which made for some slow, thoughtful turns down into Glacier Gulch. So far weather was great. It was cloudy, cold and had been snowing lightly all morning but no appreciable accumulation was present, yet.
|Andy high on the E. Face|
|Heading over the notch to the SW couloir|
|Andy in the SW off Teewinot|
|Heading towards the Koven|
|Heading to the upper snowfields, Koven in the background|
As we were climbing the Koven, the winds and snow fall picked up and we found ourselves on the East Snowfield with less than ideal snow. There were isolated pockets of wind slabs that we wanted no part of. To make matters worse, the rate of snowfall and winds kept picking up. We turned around right under the summit block and decided to down boot the snowfields to avoid taking a potential ride.
I down climbed the majority of the upper chute. Andy made a few turns and then opted to down-climb as well. Teague was feeling brave and kept his skis on the whole time. What a psycho. This was STEEP and FIRM. Props to Teague.
Sometimes it's good to force it through bad weather but that was not the day. We were all feeling the growing strength of mother nature and were not excited about it.
|Bailing off Mt. Owen|
|Teague easing onto the ice|
|Ready to get out! Photo by Teague|
|Teague cautiously side-slipping over the ice I just down climbed with 2 technical tools and crampons|
|Teague, looking cool|