Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Snowball effect

Yesterday when I left work, I was planning to get out on dawn patrol this morning with Aaron. Then I checked my email last night, and Jared asked if I was planning to get out. Then I got a text from Tyler saying he wanted to come too.

When I showed up at the BCC lot this morning, Adam had come with Aaron, Tyler had his brother Quinn with him, and Jared had brought his friend John. What were two became seven just like that.

Some people get a bit sensitive about touring with large groups. And for some tours, I can see the point. But on dawn patrol, which of necessity is a short trip, in familiar terrain, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I’d much rather have a big group than nobody to go with.

The part that I don’t get is why Jared would be slumming it with the rest of us. Here’s a guy who recently got back from Pierra Menta, who skied Lisa, Coalpit, and Pfeiff with McLean’s ten in ten project, and who, along with his brother Sam and Bart G., climbed and skied Box Elder, Pfeifferhorn, and Superior in the time it took us to climb and ski Box Elder.

Either John was late to confirm, and Jared was desperate to make sure he had a partner, or else we’re far and away more charming than we realize. But it couldn’t have been about matching ability levels. Compared with Jared, Andrew, Noah, Derek, among others whom I consider the top tier of the Wasatch backcountry scene, we’re a sliding junk show.

But I guess when you’re still skiing fresh snow on April 15th, you just take what you can get. Most of us headed up this morning with the intention of “just getting a workout.” We were pleasantly surprised with boot-deep powder on the way down. And it’s still snowing. So you know where I’ll be again tomorrow morning. And probably the day after that.


  1. I was a little surprised how well that heavy new snow had bound to the crust underneath. I guess it was wet enough to sort of melt into it.

    But on our steep drop through the trees I was sort of expecting something to kick loose.

    Above about 8500 though the powder was quite nice.

  2. I had a lot of sluffing on the descent and kicked off something about two ski lengths wide that ran for about 15 feet. Had it been warmer, things could have been much worse, as the snow underneath may have been more likely to run.

  3. Yeah I had some pretty good sluffs as well. Will be interesting to see how the additional snow today interacts with what already fell.

    I suspect at higher elevations the temps will be cold enough to keep things fairly dry and light.

  4. Passion, it's all about passion.