Sunday, February 12, 2017

Eddies North - 2.11.2017

When we skied the southwest face of Wolverine last week I couldn't take my eyes of the wall across the way: pinner chutes so tight and incised that that they're barely visible. Despite sunnier and easier options I convinced Alex and Bobby to check em out.

Things started off well with a forgotten beacon and a memorable scramble in and out of the Wolverine Creek gorge.

Photo: Bobby Lieberman

Then we were out of the gorge and into the jaw-dropping valley. Breaking trail in the morning light as the final snowflakes of the last storm fell out of the blue sky was one of those really special moments of perfection.

Photo: Bobby Lieberman

Arriving at the bottom of the chute, we could see that it had slid during the night, then filled back in. Perfect. Under the imposing south face of Wolverine we switched over to booting. Noah Lohr and Eric Dahl's insane line from last week is visible behind us.

I was so busy trying to keep up with Alex and not lose my toes that I barely noticed the 2,000 foot climb go by. Near the top we stopped while Alex dug a pit and looked back down the line.

The top was awesome. To the north, Wolverine looked huge, to the south we could just see the dark north wall of the Library and the Kickstep Glacier. We all wanted to look farther over the edge, but alarming cracks in the cornice and a painfully cold south wind kept us away. Wolverine:

Bobby dropped first:

A few huge, fast turns down the steep and exposed entrance and he disappeared into a giant powder cloud. Bobby rips; its a rush watching him ski.

Alex dropped next. Across the way, a strong inversion fog was building in Turnagain Arm.

Alex about to go over the edge of the bowling ball:

I played caboose. The line was everything I hoped for: tight and steep plus fast and heavy slough. The right wall had great double fall line to ski while the slough poured past. Alex:

After countless jump turns we pit-stopped to lose our down layers. Looking back up I watched Bobby slash the walls then air back into the chute:

Alex with the line winding out of sight above him:

The apron was even deeper.

If you look closely you can see Bobby's head poking out of the apron.

At the bottom it was already 3:15 and so so cold. Above us the wind transport off the peaks and into the couloirs was picking up. Far from the car, and already with a small margin for frozen toes it was time to call it a day. I can't wait to go back.

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