Sunday, February 9, 2014

Y get up so early?

The Y, courtesy of some internet site. 

I'm gradually ticking off my hit list for this winter's ski objectives. With my wise deductive reasoning that this weekend's avalanche forecast would be high(its actually extreme today) I thought it best to hit the Y couloir earlier in the week while it was still stable. Unfortunately with my full time job, this requires either after work skiing or before work skiing. Seeing that I hate getting up early, I decided to conquer my distaste for pre- dawn activity and found myself at the Lisa Falls parking Thursday morning at 4:30 am. Court, lacking a full time job and any kind of time responsibilities, agreed to accompany me knowing he could go home and sleep till noon afterwards while I struggled through a normal work day.

Skiing in the dark is a little tricky. Without being able to see the couloir and the standard approach thicket creating a visible and physical barrier, we managed to completely unsight(the opposite of an onsight in climbing) the approach and bushwacked way too high. We eventually entered the couloir and began the long slog of booting upwards. We were forced to climb some testy steep icy sections, perform some 5th class mantles and partner pole assists, and other hoopla till we reached the final open section towards the top. We were a bit slower than we'd hoped, so we had to turn around about 1/4 way from the top.

The skiing was great in the upper couloir, and the lower couloir required all of my steep skiing tricks(i have 2, removing skis and falling) plus some to arrive back at the car at 7:30. Pulling into work at 8 I felt tired but excited to have pulled off something that cool before work. I'll be back to ski the whole thing in normal daylight hours.

About 12 pm I wasn't as excited and spent lunch sleeping in the car.

This picture of the Y at night won me the"worst blurred picture of the Y at night" award

Hardcore athletes like Mr. Krupicka do twofers, or doubles, in their training regiments. They go once in the morning and then later at night. I am not hardcore so once is enough for me. But Saturday presented an opportunity for a twofer so I took it.

 Jake and I skied some laps up Pink Pine which was fun as I had never been up there. We intentionally and safely dislodged a few windblown cornices with ease to test the slopes. After unsafely not digging a pit, we enjoyed some fantastic powder turns. Upon reaching the parking lot, Jake was unsure if he beacon was working, so we wisely performed some tests. You should always test your beacon after skiing in avalanche terrain.

 Went home and dried out my gear, watched some bball, then hit up 2 laps with Court on Short Swing at 4:30. The last lap was full on in the dark(bringing my ski runs in complete darkness total to 2 for the week) with quite painful blinding snowfall. The question we faced was, do you goggle up and create further blackness and hit a tree, or do you not goggle up and risk being blinded by windblown snow daggers and then hit a tree?

Sometimes I wonder if I'm an idiot.

The view across white pine along the Pink Pine ridge

Jake enjoying some powder hopping down Pink Pine

Pink Pine ridge

Cool people take pictures of rime ice  
Court slogging up Short Swing

Cool people take lots of pictures of rime ice. 
If I wasn't a little girl when it comes to ice climbing, I would climb this. The Zicicle. Photo by Mr Burr

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