Monday, April 6, 2009
It's 10 pm do you know where your kids are? I sure don't. Just got back to the motel. It's 2am east coast time. I'm so beat. We waited around all day. One group went out and got whited out. Someone in the group tweked a knee. We sat, played disc, I went for a tour of Kristens' bus, and we grilled burgers, well the guides did that. Then at about 3:30 when we all took off our boots, it cleared just a little. We had a code blue for some close stuff. We warmed up on a sweet short couloir about 47-48 degrees. It was a great feeling managing my slough for the first time. Next up we landed on Stairway to Heaven. All of eight of us got to be on top to ski together. We built a spontaneous Cairn for Coombs which was really something else and emotional. We skied off one at a time. About halfway down I augered into a slough pile. I was thrown forward and my heal pre-released. Yes the din must be much higher than normal up here. I flipped over and self arrested before ragdolling down this 48 degree pitch. I only lost about 20 feet. The turn radius of my skis is 25meters so I didn't even lose a turn. I radioed up to Kirsten and Zell that my ski was 20 feet above me. It was really deep for hiking and I knew I had backup. Kirsten came down grabbed the ski that was sticking straight down tip first. Did I mention it was steep? She gave me the ski and said, " Nice, you didn't miss the shot at all." I skied down with a new respect for the Chugach . Also, since these last two runs were variable conditions and not the perfect pow you see in the films it was much trickier and demanded a higher level of concentration. I know now that my mind was so overwhelmed by the whole experience that I wasn't concentrating hard enough about each turn. "in the perfect moment . . . all one can think about is turning." (Benedetto from Steep). Final run of the day- Diamond Pillow off of Diamond Peak. We shot this couloir all together again, eight of us. A great ski. A very techincal coulor with varied conditions much like the Left Gully in Tuckerman's. MANAGING SLOUGH IS A full time job! So it's too late to think. I need rest. Every day seems to get bigger. And I must ski a bit slower. This is no place for just letting them go.