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Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:29 pm Posts: 296 Location: Tacoma,WA
I don't have a photo sharing account, and I don't take many pictures so this is a descripition and video thread only...although BS and jcocci were along and got lots of photos and may chime in.
My first day on a splitboard was in July of 2012. I went to camp Muir and a peak across the valley with a few couloirs caught my attention. These were the type of lines I got my splitboard for.
I went to lane peak a couple weeks ago and found less than optimal conditions. The couloirs had all slid and had left a dusting of very light snow on top of a bulletproof bed surface, with debris piles at the bottoms. This didn't allow me to ride them the way I wanted. A couple storms came through getting progressively lighter and colder, and I wanted to go back to lane and ride these couloirs in good stable snow. Ben and John were willing partners.
As we approached the base of Lane I was a little scared that I was going to find similar conditions, as the approach had some dust on crust in the trees, and I could see some sluffing at the bases of the couloirs. Once we got into the choke of the first couloir I knew it would be better, but maybe not what I was hoping for as it had slid and the crown was 3/4 the way up to the top. Luckily this happened in the early phase of the storm cycle and the debris was soft, and we found boot to waist deep snow. John dropped the first section that hadn't slid and was billowing cold smoke on the way down. This is what I was hoping for.
The second couloir had just minimal sluffing, and knee to waist deep boot packing was required. Luckily I had my verts or it would have been a nightmare to climb. This couloir rode like a dream. Many face shots and billows of cold smoke were had. I got to the base and skirted out of the way to see a waterfall of sluff streaming down the center.
We had a plan of riding lovers lane, the last steepest and tightest couloir, but it looked like it may have slid, and it is not a line for three people. So we decided to go for another more playful couloir that was more friendly to multiple tracks. It also had a very steep and tight section at the top. This climb was very challenging, and when I dropped into the top of the narrow chute I set off a slab that cleared the snow to the bed surface. This decent wasn't fun. Ben found another way down and was rewarded with awesome snow. The apron on the way out rode like a dream
Unfortunately my camera died before we descended.
All in all it was a good day with good company and some great turns were had.
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:31 am Posts: 268 Location: a vanagon somewhere in WA
nice edit all around, and great riding by all.
agreed on the props for the high quality video... but i don't know about the gaper in the red helmet--he falls down every time you point the camera at him!
it's rare that i can show snowboarding stuff to the family and hold their interest, but this video was an exception. hell i even had a couple of 2nd graders enthralled watching over my shoulder!
thanks, saign, for the suggestion on a great way to spend last friday. after seeing the footage from your earlier trip with leyland, it was damn fun to ride those lines in such optimal conditions.
the view from the road gives a great overview of the potential... this mountain is like a vertical maze!!
it was relaxing to leave the car in daylight and be at the line in well under an hour.
saign quickly dispelled any doubts i had about the utility of verts for couloir climbing.
john and i wallowed behind, grateful to have someone plowing the way through all that great snow.
we reached the top of the first line while the sun was still out. john enjoys some sushi and the views of rainier.
i'm not sure the names of the many "lanes" on lane peak, but we rode the prominent rightmost line first.
next we set our sights on the "middle couloir". this one had not released during the storm and held knee deep pow for its entire length. again i gave thanks for the vert tracks to follow.
nearing the top... this sure isn't the longest couloir i've ever climbed, but it maintains a fun pitch and width for its full length.
knowing this would be the run of the day, we had 2 cameras and a gopro firing away as saign took the first descent. he immediately disappeared into a cloud of powder, so you'll have to watch the video to see how fast he rode this one!
still plenty of freshies left.
john didn't let the weight of his DSLR and two lenses slow him down!
instead of trying to all 3 fit into the narrow "left couloir" we decided to climb a meandering line further west from the base of the first line we climbed. i insisted on breaking trail until the combined steepness and deepness had me immobilized in waist deep snow. saign took over with his verts and charged through the steep part up to the trees, where we enjoyed the novelty of "5th class wallowing" with branches above and below the snow becoming our hand and footholds as we dragged ourselves up the comically steep slope.
the last line we rode proved a little less filled in... i guess that's why you get for not climbing what you ride! i rode down next to our uptrack and got some impressive sluff movement from the otherwise fun snow. the apron proved a fun connection to our exit.
it was a refreshing break from this year's trend to be back at the car in daylight and headed home for dinner!