Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Aiguille d'Argentiere - Y Couloir

Andy, Teague, Billy, and Collin raced the relay in the morning which meant we would be getting a late start.  They came in 10th which was a few spots lower than they would have hoped but everyone raced hard and I think they were happy with the effort.  Immediately after the race we pilled in a car and headed for the steep skiing Mecca of the world.  Andy had scoped out several of the Aiguilles off the Argentiere Glacier and was able to navigate us quickly to the base of the Y Couloir on the Aiguille d'Argentiere.  From there we debated the safety of climbing through the small rock band guarding the entrance to the Y.  There was a little debris funneling though the band and given the spring-like temps we were concerned about wet activity.  Scott Simmons didn't seem to mind so he poked his head through and found a skier high in the chute who was the cause of our worries.  
Teague coming through the lower rock band
The rest of the crew following
Once he passed, we tried to rally up the chute to top out before the wet snow refroze.  We didn't quite make it.  We were close to the branch point be still had about 1000' to go.  Not wanting to slide to our deaths we flipped it and headed home, content with the experience.  It always sucks bailing before completing an objective but for our skill level it was the right call.  As it was, the icy skiing felt a bit treacherous and I can only imagine it would have been straight scary if we would have kept going. Oh well, add to the list.  

Teague racing the sun
Scott with Andy and his new camera watching
Andy
Andy
Scott down climbing while the boy rig up a rappel

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