After some planning, met JimW and Ecobrad at the Sister's Bakery at 5am. Euclid and Solo showed up a bit later, and we all headed out of town to the Pole Creek TH. The plan was to approach North Sister via Soap Creek and ride something on the Thayer Glacier headwall, though other opportunities existed as well, such as the Villard Glacier.
Gearing up in the TH:
Jim studying the map during the first splitboot stretch of the day:
Skinning towards the headwall:
We got up into the basin below the headwall a little too late unfortunately, as the chutes that come off the ridge and down through the choke of the headwall look awesome. Smooth up high, committing, and steep (maybe 45-50 degrees). As we skinned up the apron of the headwall, a small wet sluff poured off another chute and rockfall happened occasionally. Jim skinning towards the chute:
Jim and I were a bit higher than the other guys, and via radio, we started to voice our concern over the conditions. Opting to play it safe and bail on the headwall chute, we headed north towards this chute, that would also let us ride the Villard if we weren't comfortable with the south facing conditions:
Cool looking rocks:
Looking down my bootpack towards the other guys:
Ecobrad, Euclid, and Solo:
The chute was about a thousand vert and around 40 degrees. It tops out on this narrow little ridge between the Thayer and Villard parts of the E face, with just enough room for us to sit and hang out for a while. The view to the north:
Dropping in, the run was sweet. Stable nice corn. Jim aired off the ridge into the chute:
And then my camera batteries died . . .
We rode down the apron and out as far as we could. We transitioned to split booting, and booted down about 200 vert that we could have ridden, then got fed up with it, and rode a little bit more through the trees. A 2.5 mile hike back down the trail brought us back to the vehicles and beer. I had great fun riding with you guys, and can't wait to see your pics.
_________________ - Kyle
"Oh man, that's like releasing a pack of wild baboons onto a keg of Icehouse next to a tied-up and gagged Lindsay Lohan." - Luca Brasi on TGR
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:46 pm Posts: 25 Location: Eugene, OR
Nice one Kyle! I don't have too much to add- a few pics and some great memories of ridin with you guys. Glad to see you got to ride SouthSis too. I think solo and i will try her soon, hopefully with less wind. As for the North Sis:
In the forest -splitbootin' shot:
Our objective from a bit farther:
Here's the bowl between the moraine and the Thayer Glacier Headwall to provide some scale. That's Kyle and Jimw about a quarter mile ahead of me (which is where they always seemed to be...animals!):
The view East from our ridge looking out over the high desert of Central OR:
Looking down our descent to that giant bowl:
And finally, if you look really close you can see our tracks and the ridge Jim jumped just above halfway and to the right:
all in all a blast with representatives from all three pacific states. let's do it again soon!