Monday, March 29, 2010

Wolverine Cirque Circus

The other day, actually just after my 2nd lap in Wolverine Cirque, my friend Dudley Campbell called me. He asked me where I was and laughed when I told him. Apparently some of my friends have been getting a chuckle lately, joking that I am having a "mid-life mountaineering crisis". Haha, very funny, but not quite. I like to think of it more as a "mid-life mountaineering renaissance"!
Anyway, went for yet another dawn patrol on Sunday with Snowbird locs Forrest Gladding, Tyler Anderson and Travis Wade up to Wolverine Cirque. Four laps in the fantastic North facing bowl and one run out Patsy Marley back to the trucks was a damn full day... on the Plaza with a 12er by 2pm....

First rays of light peek over my shoulder and find the face of Mt. Superior

Tyler, Travis and Forrest topped out on Patsy Marley as the sun came up

Stayed nice and cold up high, the boys bundle up and scope our first line

Forrest Gladding earned his first turns before dawn

Forrest, Travis and Tyler, back up the boot-pack for Lap 2 and looking at some bigger lines

Forrest Gladding drops into lower Big Bang, Wolverine Cirque with Tyler Anderson waiting in the flats

Travis Wade slashes his own line down Big Bang, Wolverine Cirque

Boot-pack to paradise. This thing is way steeper and way longer than it looks from here and we stomped it 4 times

We had two laps done before the Alta hippies even started getting to upper Supreme

...and another lap. Tyler, Travis and Forrest push back up to the ridge.... again.

Little Cottonwood with the Salt Lake Valley below

Mt Superior looming over upper Little Cottonwood Canyon, we were there a week ago

I had a minor memory card issue with the GoPro on this adventure so no helmet cam shots. I did shoot some video with the G9 so check back for an edit soon and go peep Forrest's blog!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mini Golf with Ziebert

Yay!!! My snowmobile is back and running great! Super huge thanks going out to my boy Bunyan, the greasiest of monkeys!!! Well, after a shakedown ride on Monday it was time to get out and ride some lines. I had noticed this mini-golf zone last year riding with my sledneck homey's but just didn't get to it last season. With Neil broken and Ian in B.C. getting radical it was down to just me and Z-bert for the mission. So stoked to be back on the Kitty Kat.....

Our base camp under the mini-golf course

After a super quick skin up I was looking for the holes with windmills, clowns, castles and ships

We only found powder. Z-bert, hole in one!

Bert decided to get Johnny Airtime in ski mode. He sank in on the landing and smashed his balls.

Front rolling in

Pow in the trees was reeeal nice
It's hard to see cuz it started snowing pretty good but here's my last line, straight down past the big dead tree. 15 minute skin to get to this.

This was the back nine, but we got chased away by the weather. Next time....

Breakfast Jams

Thankfully work has started to mellow out a little bit in the last few weeks and I've been able to get out and enjoy what remains of winter. After our pre-dawn adventure the other day I remembered how much I like the early missions and with a 12:00 noon start time for work and a little new snow I went for another sunrise solo sesh yesterday (3-24-10). Mmmm... two runs sunny side up, slashbrowns and plenty of wind whipped cream for my coffee, just what I needed.

First up to Powerline Pass for the 2nd time this week! First hints of dawn over Little Cottonwood

Here comes the sun just as I moved onto my line. Kinda looks like Indiana Jones discovering where the Ark was buried....

Early morning light on fresh snow, that's a hearty breakfast!

One down, time for seconds

Delicious. That should keep my soul going strong for the day

Done and out of the Canyon by 9:00 am...........

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Superior Vid

Here's a 5 hour-ish adventure compressed down to 2 minutes.

Vertical Ice Skating from Nathaniel Gauthier on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vertical Ice Skating in Little Cottonwood

Been a long time since I rode a line down the south face of Superior so earlier in the week when Forrest Gladding asked if I wanted to hit it on Saturday, I couldn't refuse. The forecast looked like it might work out just perfect, a little snow Thursday and Friday then clearing early on Saturday morning. Yeah, that would have been nice but it seems as though few of the storms this season have made good on their promises. We knew it was going to be like vertical ice skating but we went for it anyway. Check out Forrest's report on his blog here

Pre-dawn patrol


Damn hard to hold the camera still for this long exposure when your hands are freezing. Looking out to Superior from Cardiff Peak before sunrise

The first rays of sun hit Lightning Bolt chute on Cardiac Ridge

Andy Earl and Forrest Gladding make their way up the Black Knob above Little Superior

Andy and Forrest negotiate the first knife-edge on the approach. This was the mellow one, I was so gripped when I got to the really gnarly one I couldn't even think about getting my camera out

Looking down the face of Superior at Snowbird's Cliff Lodge 3000' below

That little dot in the center of the picture is Andy Earl, 20 turns in, another couple thousand to go, praying his edges hold

Our run, from the little bump on the center of the high ridge, the highest point on Superior, 3000 vertical feet of rock hard ice down to the road. By the time I was half way down even the smallest bumps in the snow caused a pain that felt like an ice pick in my quads. Good times.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Skiin' With Ian

With Neil Provo heading out at 3am on "official TGR business" to get the early morning sunrise light, big brother Ian Provo and I followed up later to get some turns of our own and survey the righteous lines put in by Neil and the TGR crew. Don't forget to click on any pic for a closer look...

Neil's line to the left and Todd Legere's psycho line on the right

A full view of Cardiac Ridge with lines from left to right by Neil Provo, Todd Legere, Julian Carr and Forrest Shearer

Superior Ridgeline with a couple guys climbing

Yesterday was a scorcher and this shot was taken pretty late to be up this far, these guys got away with one, a sweet line down Superior's face

Radiational heating was creating point releases by early afternoon

Julian Carr's line to the left and Forrest Shearer's to the right

Ian Provo, Superior Ridge, March 1, 2010

I've enjoyed tens of thousands of vertical feet of bliss over there, and almost as many drinks

The world famous Snowbird Plaza as seen from about 3000' feet above

With all that heating going on Ian and I opted for a Northeast facing slope for our exit, jackpot!

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