Rick's World

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Green Creek Couloir

I've been wanting to ski the Green Creek Couloir for a couple of years now. There's a few ways to approach this line. Probably the best way is to use a car shuttle and combine it with a climb and ski of the North Couloir off Dunderburg Peak. That requires a bit of driving, plus I had climbed Dunderburg yesterday, so John and I decided we'd head up to the ridge to the climbers left of the couloir and then contour around to the top of it. We found an easy river crossing, booted up the first couple hundred feet (this was probably the most difficult part of the whole day), then were able to skin up to the ridge and around to the high point above the couloir.

The Green Creek is simply an amazing line. The total vertical is 3000 feet and the vast majority of that is the couloir proper. It didn't look that long from the top, but after skiing my first pitch, looking up at how far I had skied, and looking down at how much was still to go, it was obvious it was a lot longer then it initially looked! The snow was transitioning winter snow at the top, even further transitioned the lower we got. Not corn, but not too mushy nor sticky (the few places it was heading towards mash potatoes you just moved to another micro aspect). Excellent skiing the entire run!

Walk towards the moon!

Looking down the couloir


I can't imagine why Mother Nature put this here other then to ski it!

The whole ridge has a bunch of ski oppertunities!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

South Couloir off Dunderburg Peak

It's spring time, ski resorts are starting to close, which means some of the best skiing of the year is coming into shape!! Spring is the time to head down to the East Sierra and ski come couloirs! Word was out that Virginia Lakes Rd is open (sort of, the sign still kinda says road closed, but it's over to the side and easy to ignore :) and that south facing lines are corning up. South facing stuff tends to burn out quickly this time of year, so it was a great importunity to ski a line that probably won't last much longer in perfect conditions.

The South Couloir off Dunderburg Peak is a little over 2000vf. I started at 8am and skinned up about 800 feet before switching to crampons and booted up to the saddle between the peaks. Scoped out some stuff on the north side while waiting for the couloir to soften up, total climb of 2500vf.

As I started my descent around 11:30 I ran into a group of 3 women who came up behind me who were waiting for their friend Jen who has a hurt ankle, they told me tell her they had beer waiting for her :) Hmm, I know a Jen with a hurt ankle, and sure enough after I few turns I ran into her! Great to see Jen out there getting after it again!

The skiing couldn't have been more perfect, awesome corn all the way down!

Heading up

The poor telemarker in the top of this picture broke her binding, I've seen more broken telemark bindings in the backcountry then AT bindings, that's for sure!

Looking back at the couloir