Saturday, January 19, 2013

Shotgun No Battle!

View from Box Elder

 Oh the classic childhood sibling dilemma. Who gets to sit in front?  In order to claim your prize, you must first call out your desire, the "Shotgun". Then you must simultaneously insist no one else can fight you for this deserved and coveted car position, "no battle". I'm not exactly sure what the "battle" might consist of. Maybe a punch to the shoulder like slugbug.

The usual ski clan set off on our own quest for shotgun status by heading up the dry creek trailhead outside alpine to ski the shotgun chutes off Box Elder Peak. The approach is a bit lengthy, but what hasn't been this year? Its apparently in the 4 mile range. We did not get an alpine start due the late momentum session the previous night had by most of us, so after waking up at the allotted meeting time I found myself skinning up the trail around 9 or so with Nick, Court, and Stevo. Nick's car tires are totally balled so Steve had to sit on the hood for additional weight while Nick gunned it up the gentle icy slope to the trailhead. We skinned in the fresh air while debating the appropriate times to wear or not wear garments. It took quite awhile to gain the base of the chutes, but it was enjoyable skinning with many short log balancy river crossings, where unfortunately no funny mishaps occured. 

Our route from Alpine

The Shotguns as seen from LCC ridge

A tricky river crossing

We skinned up the north ridge of Box Elder through some pretty tight and steep switchbacks using many tree assists before gaining the saddle about 1:15 pm above the chutes. Some wanted to press on to the summit(likely another hour), but most decided we were ready to ski. The snow wasn't bad, and got better once we got to lower elevations as it was super crusty and hard on the initial drop in. We chose the skiers left chute, and after launching off a small roller I landed completely lacking any cerebellum function and ate it quite hard as I crashed like homeboy in his shiny lifted truck who we saw 180 after nailing the cement barrier on I-15 while driving to the trailhead that morning. (There was a cop nearby so we didn't stop). Fortunately I came out much better than that guy's truck did and enjoyed more fun skiing till we hit the skintrack. 

My view of the Chutes

The boys skinning up with Chipman Peak behind.

Steep skinning up the ridge

My standard, "glad to not be down there" picture

Steve getting his pow on

Nick shredding on the skinny skis

From then on out, it was Jamaican Bobsled time, doing pizza pie on my long Zealots down pretty narrow and steep terrain in what I call, "coma inducing tree crash speed". Steve almost landed in the river once while attempting to cross the log with his skis on, but managed to clear the water by falling near the end on solid ground.  We all made is safely down for Barbacoa lunch and a political debate regarding gay marriage and Utah liquor laws over Dr Pepper and burritos.

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