Saturday, March 2, 2013

Jerry Sloan's favorite mountain

Kessler(left) and Raymond(right) with the boys skinning(really right)

Today was a great day in the Wasatch. Bluebird, sunny, and warm with highs in the 50's. With Court set up for a date at 1 pm, we rose early to get some skiing in before he had to go act like a normal guy with a girl named after my 2nd favorite shoe company, Merrill(maybe Sportiva would be a cool name?). The plan was to hit up cabin run off Gobblers Knob(Illinois birthplace of the Jazz coach legend), the 10,246 high point on the millcreek/bcc ridge separation. Having skinned up butler once or twice now, and having hiked Gobblers in the summer from that direction, we opted for the shuttle approach: up Butler, then down into Porter Fork where my black hyundai would be waiting for us, prestashed the night before(Court's gold hyundai took us up to Butler, Steve's hyundai stayed at my house, and Nick's hyundai is likely stolen in Mexico).

We started skinning about 7 am with us harrassing steve as he was the only one not pre-skiined. The skintrack was ice, ice, ice. The warm sun had been baking it since our last escapade last saturday up there, creating a luge of cement snow. All was going pleasantly, minus a few slips, as we skinned in t-shirts, until tragedy struck. Pete's binding suddenly decided it didn't want to be attached to his ski anymore, so his ski took off down the icy hill. He dove for it and caught it, quite the save really. Unfortunately now his ski binding holes had been stripped and no amount of voile strap jimmy rigging could keep the binding in place. He was forced to retreat back down Butler via booting and butt sledding back to the car. Steve, Court and I pressed on. (Pete would later arrive safely back at the car, but realizing he no longer had Nick's borrowed beacon, his 2nd lost beacon in as many weeks. Not the best day for Pete)

Navigating the steep icy skin

Pete after his binding malfunction/ski save, while Court and I laugh without offering assistance

Aspens and Kessler

Stevo skinning up Gobbler Ridge

We hit the summit about 9:20, a great time by my standards, after avoiding the full traverse to the saddle inbetween Gobblers and Raymond by booting straight up the ice field to the ridgeline. Steve made a sarcastic comment towards Court about cool he looked with his ski crampons as Court passed him. Moments later Steve lost traction and slid 20 feet back down the hill. Classic.

Cabin Run, right off the summit


The skiing off the summit was fun, but crusty, and it got better down lower on true north facing terrain. We had fun on the ski out through aspens, pines, gullies, and the final porter fork road, shaking our heads at the poor saps skinning up that 2 mile ice rink.

Entering Gully that leads to Porter

Skiing out the road

We went our separate ways, me joining Annie for half of her 12 mile run on the Bonneville.

1 comment:

  1. Skinning on ice is he worst. I had my ski rip off my binding in the same way up Woodcamp but wasn't so quick to grab it and had to ski down on one. Beacons are expensive, bad day for Pete.