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 Post subject: TR: The Diagonal Couloir, Pinnacle Butte (11,516 feet), WY
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 3:59 pm
Posts: 608
Location: Lander, WY
by Wyomingsplit_ride

With spring in Wyoming, the backcountry opens up a whole new aspect of riding. Three words: steep-couloir-riding. The Diagonal Couloir found on Pinnacle Butte (Togwotee Pass) is the epitome of these three words. It is truly a classic couloir that drops 1500 vertical feet, is a sustained 45 degrees (steeper at the top), and is surrounded by huge vertical walls that add to the true mystic of it. The Diagonal is not for the faint-of-heart or a place you want to get flushed for that matter.

Shad Hamilton and Wyomingsplit_ride decided to make a second attempt on this line. We left for the mountains at 3:45 am. Unlike the Sierras, wet slides are much more common and we knew that we would need to be riding this shot before it got too warm. Our timing was perfect and we made the summit by 10:30 am. The snow was solid and had undergone a proper melt freeze cycle that would aid in our ascent and descent.

Pinnacle Butte and our approach and descent route (Photo Kevin Forrester):
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Looking up at the Diagonal Couloir from the bottom (Photo Kevin Forrester):
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Shad climbing the apron:
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Into the Diagonal:
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Shad Further Up and starting to commit. The snow seemed pretty solid despite frozen melt balls:
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Wyomingsplit_ride in the gut of the beast. Notice the frozen melt balls. They made the riding interesting on the way down:
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About halfway up the couloir looking down:
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Shad climbs:
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 Post subject: Part TWO: The top pitch and summit
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:21 am 
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Location: Lander, WY
Part TWO: The top pitch and summit

The top pitch made the pucker factor climb a bit. I was thinking….gosh and we get to come down this…stoke-age or broke-age:
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Shad climbing the top pitch:
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A little steepness perspective on the top pitch of the Diagonal. Only jump turns down this section:
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Shad climbing the last 40 feet of the Diagonal Couloir:
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One of the sickest views from the top of the Pinnacles and the Diagonal. Togwotee Pass and the Tetons in the background. Truly, phenomenal!
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Mandatory summit shot…grins to boot!
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 Post subject: Part Three: THE DESCENT
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:25 am 
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Location: Lander, WY
Part Three: THE DESCENT

Wyomingsplit_ride drops the Diagonal. WHO SAYS VOILE SPLITBOARDS ARE FLEXI? I wish they let me buy a Mountain Gun!
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Looking back on the summit, couloir, and the sun shining down on the Pinnacles. The perfect end to the perfect day! Thank you Jah.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 351
Location: bozeman
SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!

The top of that looks pretty hairy. It looks like axe and crampons are mandatory for the last part of the climb. Did you guys have to hike for a while or was it skinable from the beginning(or did you cheat?)? Definitely on the to do list, but need to find crampons and an axe first. Wait to go on nailing a nice line. Makes me feel even worse for not getting out this weekend.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:01 pm 
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Location: Lander, WY
We did a tow in, otherwise we would have had to start at Midnight...not my idea of fun...three and a half hours of skinning to the apron and climbing to the top. Ice axes and crampies a definite must! Ohhhh yah...grizzly bear tracks EVERYWHERE.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 351
Location: bozeman
Just giving ya a hard time about cheating. That is one hell of a line. If the steeps don't get ya, a griz just might. We saw three black bears and a griz in the park the other weekend on our way to cornfest in Cooke city.
I like the TR layout also, really puts you there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:16 pm
Posts: 43
Nice TR and sick line! Way to get after it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm
Posts: 4938
Location: California
Awesome TR WSR!

Congrats on getting the sweet line. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:06 pm
Posts: 85
Location: bozeman
Can I get a Hell YA!!!!! That line so sweet. It looks like a great time. I think that Lifelinksplit and I should come out next spring and take a trip up the diagonal. Sweet TR :P
Well I wont be online for a least a month. Its time to head to AK. Have a good summer all. I am glad I got to see this TR before I left.

BH OUT.....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:54 am 
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Location: oaklandish
love the view from the TOP. are you kidding me?! would be hard to head back down... good stuff

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:47 am
Posts: 9
Location: Summit Park, UT
Three words: SICK ASS LINE.

Good on ya for getting after it, WYSR!


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