I've been wanting to do this mountain for a few years now. Last year we had some pretty dismal snowpack, and I didn't do much bc boarding. I was pretty psyched to get a couple of nice days and a good snowpack to head out there this weekend.
Ed and I left the TR at 9 to give the snow a chance to soak in some rays and hopefully soften a bit. The snow was a little firm through the trees in Commonwealth basin, but at the base of the route, it was very warm and quite nice. We stripped off our layers, and began the skin up.
Several hundred feet below the summit, the slope steepened considerably, and we switched to bootpacking. Unfortunately, I dropped a skin, my lunch, and cell phone while futzing with my pack. This necessitated a trip almost back down to the tree line to search, (less a bag of gorp that was strewn about the snow) but luckily I found it all on the way back up. That ate up enough time that we weren't able to yo-yo a few slopes, just make one run from top to bottom.
Managed to link to an already established bootpack,with steps well frozen in. That make the push to the top go a lot quicker.
We took some panoramic photos up top, and appreciated the cornice on the ridge, ran into a group of 3 tele skiers, and after finishing what was left of lunch, headed down after the skiers. The snow was nice and soft "hero snow" with a few small slick spots. I had the scare of my life when I lost an edge on a steep avalanche runnel down low, but otherwise it was great boarding! Leepfrogged turns all the way down, took a few more photos, then skinned out. The snow was not yet frozen in the trees, and we made good timing back out.
We boarded down the SW face. The S face looked pretty interesting as well. It is a lot more varied in pitch, with some small bowls and ribs to play on. If I got a good pic of that, I'll put it up.
Oh Phil, it pains me to see your skier bias play out so unabashedly. Every snowboarder knows, that Hero Snow is the killer pow-pow that let's you straightline 70 degree couloirs and drop 100' cliffs with virtually no impact!
Then again, perfect corn is also mildly acceptable for goin' off.
_________________ Me llaman el desaparecido
que cuando llega ya se ha ido
volando vengo volando voy
de prisa de prisa rumbo perdido