Loren and i had been planning a trip to Chamonix for about a month now, to see what winter conditions were like. After hearing that Red Lodge recieved around 22 inches in the past 24 hours we were excited to head out.
We left Bozeman around 4:30AM, and arrived at the trail head just after sun rise. It was setting up to be a blue bird day for all.
View of the mountains on the way in.
Getting ready to go for the day, i managed to snap my binding. Luckily we had some duck.
Loren starting in.
A little waterfall on the way in. On the way up there we were able to walk past California Ice, the famous ice climb. We were lucky enought to watch two guys climbing up towards the top. (sorry no pic of that)
View on the way in.
Once we left the trail, we soon realized that we had gotten ourselves into something more than we had expected. The snow was up to our waists, and we continuously were dropping into chest deep holes between the rocks on the way in. Although we were doing this, we would reach areas, that were unskinnable. The snow would go from waist deep to about 3 inches deep in one step. We opted for no skins. Not sure that was the best idea.
Me not too happy going up
My mood improved soon though, but i'm not sure why. It could have been the scenery. Not too shabby.
A view of the couloir itself.the picture doesn't do it any justice. It's actually about 2000 feet long. From where we left the trail to the platue on top is around 4000 feet.
Loren fighting his way up. This turned out to be the wrong way...
After fighting our way up to the couloir we realized it was badly out of condition. All that hike for no ride. The real kicker was the rock fields that we got to ride out on. Bruises and scrapes all around.
Me getting acouple decent turns in, before i hit a rock and did my signature face plant.
Enjoying what was there.
A view of some of the wonderful turns we got in.
Finally towards the bottom of the rock fields.
Loren feels the defeat.
Finally Loren on the way out.
All in all it was a good day. The weather was amazing, actually too hot on the hike out. Snow was decent, and there was great company. Although Chamonix won this round, we will be back in the spring to take the next one.
The lower boulder fields should loose most of their snow by spring.Which will make getting to the couloir itself MUCH faster. The couloir itself had plenty of snow to ride, but was extremely unstable. Come spring it should be in prime condition, hopefully with more snow held in the couloir itself. I was expecting the lower fields to be covered in snow, when we got there i was a little suprised to see deadfall, rock and trees coming up out of the snow all over the place. I was expecting TONS of snow to be there, creating good coverage. Just not the case. I would expect the couloir to fill in more by spring and be perfect. (knock on wood)