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 Post subject: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:10 pm 
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My Buddy Vito and I have been talking about nailing the Couloir for quite some time now. We would make plans to hit it, and then change them for some reason or another, whether it be to climb in The Valley or to take on Shasta, or work, etc, etc, etc.

Well that all changed after pinpointing through NOAA and cancelling on the Wintun Glacier this past weekend. Seeing Miami Hurricane force winds on Shasta allowed us to make a quick last minute change for the better. On Friday June 22 Vito, Clay and I headed out to Tioga Pass.

And at Saddlebag Lake we caught our first glimpse of this...

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Stoked, we quickly drove to Tioga Lake where we dumped our car, sorted our rations and headed up to Glacier Canyon. I frick'n love this hike. There are so many different wildflowers, trees, rock formations and of course streams and waterfalls which pour out of our destination's canyon and snowpack.

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We set up a really nice base camp at the terminal moraine. Our original goal for a camp was at Dana Lake, but 45mph winds kept us a bit lower in a nice wind protected nook.

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Which allowed for a pretty sweet alpine glow show.

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But not for much rest...the winds were howling all night and didn't stop into the morning as we were hoping for. But the sky was clear and it was time to go.

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So we made our way up the moraine and into the winds.

Check out my 3 layer Gore-tex impersonating the Michelin Man.

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Up and over a few talus hills and we had our first full glimpse of our objective. "Oh Boy!" The entire canyon was lookin pretty sweet for June on a "shitty" snow year.

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Within an hour we were crossing the Dana Glacier regardless of Hurricane Tioga.

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It's amazing to see and experience geological transformations first hand, especially on such a little known, yet very important, receding, glacier. Loving the footing and blue ice runnels.

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The shrunds were beginning to yawn and toss and turn. They must have had a hard time sleeping as well.

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Time to cross the main shrund and up onto the Couloir itself. For some reason the winds died out just as I began to cross the shrund. Trippy man.

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Climbing...

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"Bump it!"

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Vito and Clay just bellow top side.

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It didn't take too long to top out and we were all feeling really good at the notch. There wasn't even the slightest gust of wind and we were surrounded by blue birds everywhere.

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Then it was "EEEWWWWW YEEEEAAAH BROTHER!" time.

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Me dropping

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Vito dropping

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Clay exiting

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Needless to say we were uber stoked.

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As was Dana.

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Carnage.

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After a few minutes worth of attempts on mimicking the sound of the wind, we transitioned and made our way down the moraine and back to camp.

At the lower lake I took one last glance at the Couloir.

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Notice the white caps on the lake. The wind picked back up just as we began to hike out. It was so strong at times you could literally lean into it with all of your weight and be completely stalemated. Weird how it died at the couloir but terrorized us on the hike out. At least Professor James Dana allowed us up and down his most aesthetic feature without it.

We slowly made our way back to camp, ate, broke it down and ran down to the car. Mission accomplished, and time for another..... :guinness:


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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:54 pm 
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Very sweet! Good job getting it done in spite of some nasty looking wind. Looks like a fun line!


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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:46 pm 
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Thanks man. I got pretty stoked when I saw Jimw's post last week from Saddlebag. I was starting to think it would have to wait until next year, and then I saw his pic, and got totally re-motivated. It's pretty darn fun, but I don't know how much longer it will be good for. There was quite a bit of white ice at the top. I'm just hoping that it will clear out at Shasta again soon. If not the North Peak chutes may still be good. Turns until September.


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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Well it's about time! :)

Nice work. I love that hike too. Dana was still looking good when I was up on the plateau the week before. Those chutes just past Dana couloir in that cirque at the end of the canyon looked good too. And Solstice too... how did that look when you were there?

You mention North Peak - those chutes were in great shape the weekend before your Dana trip. Since then I've heard that area is melting out fast down low, but those chutes may still be good.


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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:11 am 
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Yeah Solstice and the lookers left most chutes still looked pretty good, but the run out was pretty burnt out for both. Dana probably had the most dicey conditions. It was full of pretty hard sun cups up top, but that made for killer climbing. And the run out was still pretty good on that. We were able to ride to the moraine just above the lake.

I was really itching to check out the North Peak Chutes that weekend, but the wind really took its tole on the teams morale. It was absolutely terrible, and in fact it was more strenuous down climbing back to base then it was in the chute.

They seem like they would be pretty shaded, so hopefully they hold on to steyrofoam for a bit longer before they completely freeze up.


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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Location: Where the air meets the reefer
burlacious summer line, bros

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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:19 am 
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hoglord wrote:
I was really itching to check out the North Peak Chutes that weekend, but the wind really took its tole on the teams morale. It was absolutely terrible, and in fact it was more strenuous down climbing back to base then it was in the chute.

There was no sign of ice when I was there (couple climbers I ran into that day were bummed about that! :)). I hear ya on the wind. Recalling the forecasts, it seemed like the wind when you were out was about the same as when I headed out to North Peak (at least mph, not sure about direction). It was nuking in Lee Vining canyon and on the drive up. I thought I was gonna have to bail, but figured I'd go out there anyway. But interestingly enough, the North Peak area seemed to be protected from the S/SW winds. It was basically totally calm below and in the chutes. It was whipping once I got back down to 20 lakes basin though.


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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:43 am 
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That's awesome that the chutes are still holding snow. Even into July. I think next week I'll head over there and check them out. I'm pretty jelous of you for scoring on two out of the three. :bow: That middle one has a pretty burly chock stone near the top. But a rap through it maybe fun. This definitely is the summer of wind so it seems. Everywhere in California there is some sort of wind daily. It's frickn crazy. But the wind chill must be keeping the snow cold up there so I should stop complaining.


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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:03 pm 
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nicely. been up that mountain a bunch but have yet to tag that most iconic line. well done doing it w/ that extra needed motivation :rock:

i love the emoticons on this site :doobie:

last year all 3 n peak lines were good to go. the middle got real narrow above the chock. too narrow for my skiis but one of boarders rode most of it w/ a board. i think its on sparks site. great late season spot w/ a hawaian waterfall exit experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:47 pm 
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gimpy wrote:
last year all 3 n peak lines were good to go. the middle got real narrow above the chock. too narrow for my skiis but one of boarders rode most of it w/ a board. i think its on sparks site. great late season spot w/ a hawaian waterfall exit experience.

WTF, seriously?? That's awesome! If you have a link or any other info/pics I would love to see more about this (didn't find it on a quick search of the Spark blog). I can't imagine that middle line ever filling in enough from the top, but I guess last year would have been the year if any. When were you there? You know who the boarder was?

A few years back I ran into granjero out there in early June I think. He and his buddy rode both main chutes starting from the lookers right one, I started at the other end a rode all uh "2 1/2" chutes... climbed that middle one up to the narrows but there was no way it was gonna happen above that w/o a rope. What snow was there was like a board width wide, as in the narrow width - like a foot.

Speaking of gnarly North Peak chutes, anyone know if the one just up and around the corner from the main 3 ever goes? From the topo it looks like this would top out pretty close to the summit. I've never gone up to look at it... wanted to last time I was there but then would have been too late to ride the main chutes in good snow. Here's a shot hinting at it - it's the line just to the right of center:

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And here's a pic from an old steeleman trip report looking down what I think is the same chute:

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Here's the page from steeleman's TR:
http://www.tahoebackcountry.net/feature ... tioga4.htm

Quote:
hawaian waterfall exit experience

Funny you mention that, I always think the same thing every time I'm there! I call it the "weeping wall of North Peak". :)


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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:34 pm 
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The Weeping Wall of North Peak. I like that. That looks like a killer line. Hmm a rope may be necessary eh. Sounds like a rappel trip. Center chute followed by that. What do you think Jimw? That looks and sounds pretty awesome in my imagination.

:bananas: :disco: :rock:


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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Sounds good... for next season!

But I think you should go up there this weekend and do a recon mission, and report back here. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Dana Couloir! Ah Yeah!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:12 pm 
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I should have but......
I went up to Shasta and climbed and rode the Wintun Glacier :bananas: :bananas: :bananas: :bananas: :rock:

TR soon to come.

I'm heading up there this coming weekend to climb Cathedral Peak and The North West Ridge of Conness though. So some recon will be in order. Good call my friend. Good call.


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