Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Y - Exercise or skiing?

I only have 3 more days off the rest of the month and every 3rd day I have a 28 hour shift. April's schedule sucks. Yesterday was one of the few days when I had an afternoon off. I had plenty of energy to spare and I wanted to put in a hard couple hour effort to keep me sane during my next long shift. Josh Anderson had skied all morning in LCC but was willing to join.
Josh crossing LCC creek
We decided to head up a debris filled Y with hopes of finding some soft snow up high. We skinned to the rock choke and then started booting. The center of the chute was rock hard but could be avoided on either side. After the first right hand turn we found ourselves looking and a wall to wall section of hard icy glaze. We made a few attempts and bashed our toes pretty hard but with no whippets or crampons it seemed foolish to try and climb past. All I wanted to do was keep booting! I thought about climbing a mix of sketchy rock/snow to get past the little icy patch but then remembered Teague Holmes's quote, "backcountry skiing shouldn't be confused with exercise." Although I use skiing as exercise all the time, in this situation I think he was right. We bailed and I ran instead. Thanks for the advice Teague!
Booting the choke

Trying to avoid icy patches

Glad to have skies on

Debris filled retreat


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one to make this mistake.

    Yesterday I thought Coalpit #4 would ski well up high, found more slide debris and glare ice than expected, then had to turn around after 2000' to get to work on time (just as the snow started to get better). On the way home, I was left thinking that maybe the Y would have been better; turns out it wasn't.

  2. Such thin cover, crazy.

    1. Remember when you used to live here? We had snow back then. Maybe you should come back.

  3. Sad to see you guys in the throws of spring. We just had our best week yet of fresh snow, cold temps and light until 10pm. Only in freakin' AK, man! Spring is coming but wait until you see the pics of our shananigans.

    And to Teague I would say, "when faced with the need to exercise, use skis whenever possible".

    1. Glad to heat you're still getting it. It's crazy how fast it warmed up here. We're in the middle of a few minor cold fronts so maybe winter will keep holding on but I doubt it. When are we going to Jackson? Seems like the skiing's prime.