Sunday, December 30, 2012

Inferior to Superior

Superior and Sysco

Annie and I had planned on hitting up St Jorge for the New Year's holiday but due to early season snow and below average cold weather in Zion where we had plans to do some scrumbling(a mix of climbing, scrambling , and hiking) we abandoned that in hopes of saving money and enjoying the new snow.

Nate came in last weekend for the xmas holiday so we got up early and headed up to ski Cardiac across from Alta accompanied by his brother Andrew. Unfortunately, despite the fairly recent snow, the skiing was well, horrible. Nate would say any skiing is great skiing, but being only a moderately stoked skier,  I found conditions to be pretty crappy. Ice, hard, no good turns. But we had fun anyway and got in around 2000' of vert, so exercise is always a good thing.

Brighton recieved a foot of snow overnight heading into Thursday, so I decided I wasn't feeling very well so I called in sick. Enjoyable day with Court, Pete, Stevo, and his visiting brother.

Saturday Court, Pete, Nick and I headed up Cardiac again with hopes of better snow. Court had his eyes on skiing the South Face of Mt. Superior at 11,040, which I now understand to be one of the classic ski lines in the most classic Utah backcountry area. We joined a conga line of sorts, skinning up the face in the early morning daylight till we reached the ridge. A variety of interesting terrain stood in our way of summiting Superior, including steep icy skinning, downhill sideslipping, humping the rocky ridge, testy switchbacks, a booter, and my personal favorite, attempting to skin over exposed gneiss and aspen logs. Court was the only one who managed to keep his skins on the entire time to booter territory. The rest of us managed to salvage our pride and gear through hiking means.
Skinning up the ridge

Pete deciding whether to keep the skis on or not

Courts hat is an avy survival tool. If he gets buried we can still find him.

We summited Superior with 8 other folks mid morning, and froze our butts off while the Alice's and Nancy's ahead of us took their sweet time clearing out of our potential slide path should we trigger an avy on them during our runs. Court and Nick skied right off the summit, while Pete and I took a more conservative line just north of the summit.

Nick booting up the final stretch to the summit with hunter orange-Nate Lowe-wannabe Court pondering his line

The snow was awesome. Deep, deep powder on pretty steep terrain. It was the biggest and most intimidating thing I'd skied in my life. Maybe that means something, but probably not as Pete said he was more scared of 5.10 trad than our ski line. To each his own. We hit the road 3000' feet later, and hiked the mile back up to our car reminiscing about one of the best ski days we will likely have this year.

Court skiing the goods

Nick enjoying the lower bowl screaming, "my quads, my quads!"

Yep, we skied from the top of that sucker.

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