Who the Hell is maadjurguer?

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I like to ski, mountain bike, drink beer, cook and listen to any jam band I can get my hands on; all while making a complete ass of myself. Hopefully this catharsis is as interesting to others as it is to me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Dankness

To say that we found some good snow to play with on our 11 mile, 9,000k of vert overnight tour would be an understatement. Even if it had been all bad, we still would have lucked into some tree powder; yet since we committed ourselves to the northside where most folks don't go, we had set ourselves up for.....The Dankness.

On Saturday; myself, JoeM, JMoney-Millionaire, Splitchimp and Dean set out from Aggasiz lot under the cover of fog.

Slipping through the flat light along familiar tracks gave way to frosted trees and the opening up of the sky.

Making the base of Dutchmans, I observed quite a bit of hoar frost which glistened in the low light of morning....cataloging this for later observations, I snapped a pic to remind myself of this layer before the next snow fall.

Above the plane crash, we shed our stix, strapped them to our packs and started the bootpack up the western ridge which floated above an inversion layer......ebbing and flowing around the topographic undulations below.

Trading diffuse light for brilliant colors, the blues became brilliant and the pinecones became prolific...

....and then disappeared into a world dictated by left foot-step, right foot-step....the sound of breath and the pounding of pulse forming a zen-like metronome
Cresting Allison Clay's southern ridge, the world became a white whirl of sastrugi, tortured rime forms on rock and frosted clouds hanging in opposition to the brilliant blue of sky

Looking southward, Aggasiz was seen framed by the tops of clouds

Moving northward now on the main ridge, Splitchimp pauses to view the west which was the only open patch of land to be seen.....

....while JMoney trades snow for water....

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity"

.....the summit as seen through my eyes....

As I drop into Beard Canyon, I'm surprised to find a nice bit of powder hanging on the flanks, surrounded by wind slab and rock. Stopping a third of the way down, I spot Dean dropping a knee..

....Splitchimp propping the mountain up....

....and Joe slicing some snow....

Avoiding the lower half of Beard, we traverse north into Aubineau and descend to our planned campsite. After dropping off our food, bags and shelter; we skin back up for a sunset run down Aubineau where the sun illuminated the cornice forming above Cohonina..

Digging a pit first on Aubineau, then traversing across into Cohonina for a second pit; we determine the stability to be good despite the depth hoar which was only found within the rocky base matrix.

Viewing the pastel light show north of our pit-site, we were in awe of the beauty of the day.

JMoney finds the gold on Cohonina...

Dean forges a path towards the clouds...

Joe fishes out some untracked skiers right.... ....and Splitchimp follows up

Continuing our descent, we head down to our campsite, while passing under the Crossfire...

Moving fast under fading light and above the glowing sunset, we were transported silently along our skin track in wonderment of the clear skies. The Milky Way and the crab Nebula our source of light, we refused to turn on our headlamps.....instead feeling our way along the skin track with our ski tips. Just as quickly as the daylight disappeared, the full moon melted its way above the cloud bank. Starting as a golden glow illuminating the clouds from below, it rose as a sliver first, and grew until it cast a white glow over the landscape. We moved from the pure darkness of tree shadows, to hallways of brilliant light reflected from the moon. The sounds of wind and trees combined with the moonlit sparkle of virgin snow beneath our feet created a sense of magic. Reaching our camp by moonlight, we feasted on calories of every form while boasting of the days events....slipping slowly into rest below the trees and moon.

Slow to wake in the morning inside our bags, we ate, packed up and skinned back up the canyon to an unnamed slope for some morning powder turns.

On our skin back up to the summit, I shot one last picture....we will be back....soon.


u2metoo said...

umm, that is freaking epic to say the least. Well played, sir.

Chad said...

pretty freaking amazing...thanks for sharing some snow passion.

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