May 14, 2010

Dane and I have both been up Quandary Peak many times.  Most or all of these trips have been with skis in the springtime, but we've always ridden the same line (northeast bowls) down.  Yesterday we finally got to ski  the Cristo Couloir off the south side of the summit.  With 4 inches of fresh snow and a nonexistent wind, we thought we'd have perfect conditions for a safe powder descent of this famous line.

As it turned out, the surface which all the snow fell on was hard and crusty.  This made both the layer of fresh snow prone to sliding on the old surface and the skiing less enjoyable.  I suppose we should have expected this, but we were trying to be optimistic.  We skied the upper part very cautiously as we were concerned that our sluff would accumulate and become difficult to manage - which ultimately never happened.  There were a few sections in the middle where things felt more stable and we were able to let 'em rip.

Because it was snowing and a partial white out, none of the pictures turned out (see exhibit 1).  However, we took a few videos that aren't half bad.

Exhibit 1

Me skiing the middle section of the Cristo Couloir

Dane Boarding lower down in the Cristo

We're heading out for a 3-day trip to the Indian Peaks Wilderness today to test out some of our gear and systems for Denali.  We anticipate this will go well, and hope that it does, because we fly up to Anchorage in 5 days.

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