Sunday, February 3, 2013

One of Italian "Descent"

View from Kessler Peak
Looking south to Kessler Peak...
A good view of Argenta, the right slide path

 With my normal ski partners either ice climbing in Ouray, baptizing in Pocatello, or teaching English in Mexico, I called up my long lost friend Jake who I don't think I've done anything with for like 2 years. He has recently married an artsy girl who he calls Mackie, who I've only met briefly, decided against doing an MPH, and lives in the Avenues in a small cozy place minutes from his desk job at Myriad Genetics(which I was privileged to see after the described debacle below). It was good to catch up with him on the skin track.

We met at Einsteins near Millcreek about 7:30 with plans to ski Gobblers despite the considerable warning danger of avalanches. We arrived at Porter Fork, donned our boots, and were ready to depart when Jake realized his beacon was missing. He had left it back at the cozy bungalow with his climbing gear after his last adventure skiing Heart of Darkness the week before. Neither one of us thought it was a good idea to ski that day without beacons, so we undonned our skiwear and proceeded to the Avenues to retrieve said beacon. "i'm never that guy" Jake said, referring to the guy who always forgets something. Everyone is at one point.

Having lost an hour running errands for Jake, we decided the 4 mile skin approach to Gobblers would leave us little time to actually ski anything good since I needed to be back for my Grandfather in law's 80th birthday party in Mapleton at 3. We hit plan B which was Argenta on Kesslers up BCC. Turned out to be the best thing we could have done.

The skin track was already in, and you gain vert right from the road, which certainly wasn't the case for Gobblers. We cruised up, catching 3 guys who had left when we arrived at the parking lot, who gave us the beta on accessing the different aspects of Kesslers. I have hiked this mountain in the summer a few times, but never in the winter so I didn't quite have my bearings straight. We summited the peak(yea court, we actually summited a peak) two hours after departure and decided to ski the Greaseball(derogatory name for an Italian says Wiki) couloir which is a northwest facing wide chute that would stick us back in Argenta proper. We skied right from the summit with some pretty dang good turns where we ended up in the narrow part of the chute, forcing some tight turns. We were all smiles and with 2 hours till Annie expected me back, we hiked back up the headwall and enjoyed another run of fantastic tree powder with tons of cool hoppers. It was a delight.

Greaseball is far couloir up left of obvious rock headwall

If you think his sunglasses are cool, wait till you see his coat

Pristine skinner surrounding by POW

Crazy cool day up on top of Kessler with Catchers Mitt in left foreground

Good turns down the Greaseball

Jake coming down the narrow part of Greaseball

I think he was screaming, "its so good, its so good!" maybe that was me though.

The ski out was enjoyable with no bobsledding and some interesting small aspen dodging in the lower part of the gully. We only saw 6 people all day, and felt completely alone for the majority of it, a stunning fact considering the quality of the mountain. The skinning was easy and fast. I will definitely be back to Kesslers. Next up: Catcher's Mitt and Gods Lawnmower.

The best part: no one died in an avy.

On a different note, saturday I was selected as one of 400 participants in the 2013 Wasatch 100. Looks like this summer will be full of running in prep for my first 100 miler. 

1 comment:

  1. That is the one that I was thinking we should have skied when I was up there for Christmas, north facing and somewhat protected in the trees. Glad to see that your are getting out on your skis and making me drool. I pulled out the hangboard a few weeks ago to get ready for Vegas coming up. Can't wait. Major congrats on getting picked for the 100. I guess. I have to do one now. I have some narly prep runs brewing in my mind too. Take it easy!