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 Post subject: Super Couloir, Goat Mtn
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:42 am
Posts: 312
Location: Girdwood, AK!!!
OK so lots of "scenic" shots here with maybe 2 "action" shots, unless you consider skinning and booting action. Splitboarding is mostly skinning and booting with little riding you know... But the riding is worthy though (unless it sucks).

...That all being said, Jdoneil and myself got a eh-um early morning start at 11:00am for Super Couloir, again, with Snowsavage about a half hour behind.
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By the time we made the base of the couloir Snowsavage had caught up and took over the skin for me.
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Thanks buddy :D
Looking out across Goat glacier
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and starting to gain some elevation
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tag, my turn to lead while Jdoneil and Snowsavage switch over to "Verts"
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and Snowsavage takes over again, damn this is a long couloir!
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Fruck! Lights changing fellas
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It's kinda pretty though
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hey, there's The North Face, Christmas and New Years Chutes on Alyeska Resort way below us!
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and The Chugach... with fast fading light, C'mon fellas!Image

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One last look at the STEEP
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and Girdwood valley in the last light of day
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This is where I was looking to get a action shot of Snowsavage. Instead I got a shot of a look of fear for the snow we hiked all the way up for was Sh*t! About a 10" wind slab on top of sugar.
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Snowsavage slashes some turns anyways, 'cause how else are we gonna get down?
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Then his sluff catches him and takes him for a ride, about 5-700' or so. I watched him slide on his backside in a river of snow down and around a corner below. He dissapeared under the rock buttress below me and I saw the sluff run down low in the bottom of the couloir wiping out our skin track and boot pack, but no Snowsavage. I yelled out for him to make sure he was all right. All clear he yelled back, and then I saw him resume making turns down to the flats and safety. Obviously I had other things to tend to then taking pictures at this time, so no shots of this event. :(

Then it was Jd's turn.
Here he is sending snow and debris on top of me (I'm hiding under/behind a rock, it's ok)
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and there he goes...
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Now it's my turn... and with each turn 10" deep slabs peeled off from my board to their tracks, and I stopped and watched. Turn, fracture. Turn, fracture. Fun stuff, especially after just watching Snowsavage go for a ride. Needless to say, it wasn't pretty. But the day and the couloir sure were!!! and down at the bottom the pow was, well, POW! And best of all, we lived to do it again another day!!!
Image :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Super Couloir, Goat Mtn
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 8:05 am
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Location: 395
AK awesomeness!!! Too bad you couldn't get some alpenglow riding shots. Sick line. Nice of snowsavage to guinea it for you. Doood, careful bro!!! :shock:
Get an earlier start next time :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Super Couloir, Goat Mtn
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:34 pm
Posts: 269
Location: mountains
i'll not try to gun it through my sluff again; definite major violation of sluff management protocol; that sluff hit me like a train and just annihalted me; there was no chance of regaining control; I pushed hard though and finally got out of it as it passed around that corner; scary for sure but very low consequence terrain, ideal for understanding the power of sluff first hand; same scenerio in exposure to cliffs; rocky terrain; crevasses; shrunds etc. and I would certainly be in big big trouble.

despite 24" new inches or so last cycle the snow here up high went to shit; wind crusted out the top layer pretty deep so breakable crust on every turn; tough conditions; but thats pretty much the 'worst' snow I have skied in AK all year thus far; all my other days out have been very powdery; even so the bottom 1/3 of yesterdays line was excellent GFP so I am still stoked plus my lungs feel darn good today after that climb (check some elevations and it looks like RT across the valley is almost 5,000 ft. so I am going to guess that we climbed somewhere in the range of 4,000 ft. yesterday.

Oh and BG, I had to work in the morning so thats why I showed up at 11:30 :)

and lastly- after all these years VERTs still kick ass!

any word on good snow up high in AK anywhere? there's gotta be a reserve somewheres? Think i'll go search for it tommorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Super Couloir, Goat Mtn
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:44 pm
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Location: The Magic City
Looks like a great line!

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 Post subject: Re: Super Couloir, Goat Mtn
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:41 am
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Location: Altadena SoCal
Beautiful report. Glad you are OK.
The natural avy in the second pic is a good indication of the snow condition that day.


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 Post subject: Re: Super Couloir, Goat Mtn
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:26 pm
Posts: 33
I watched the final bootpack and descent go down through a spotting scope while packing for an overnighter to Summit (-15 brrr) and am glad that was some splitters as this line was on my short list for the day. It was scary watching the sluff take the first guy out! I was really impressed yall didnt drop in from near the Surprise bowl saddle under alpenglow light, but instead pushed for the top of the line and descended in fading flat light. Way to send it! Sorry to hear snow conditions werent better, there were huge plumes off Goat and the Eagle in the AM which changed my plans for the day. Any idea where that huge debries pile on the glacier came from; recent wind loading in the AM or storm-cycle avy?

As far as good snow up high there wasnt any in the Summit area Sunday, but down low was great cold smoke pow. I would head for T-Pass south faces from Wolverine to Pastoral.


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 Post subject: Re: Super Couloir, Goat Mtn
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:56 pm 
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Location: mountains
AK split, so that was your truck lights down on the road then? I saw you. I was embarrassed that somebody was watching! being that the conditions were so difficult making for very sloppy riding. Yeah south on the pass seems the best; north looks to be very wind affected. Any idea why that is? Its a strange pattern for me to see south softer than north (1st season on turnagain). Heading out this week at all? I'll be looking for someone to ride some south stuff with on the pass.

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 Post subject: Re: Super Couloir, Goat Mtn
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:26 pm
Posts: 33
That wasnt me in the truck, I have a great view of Goat out my window. Looking at it right now when I should be working. You were just a fly on the wall even at 45X.

N vs S in terms of aspect: high pressure typically fills in with N or NW winds so N faces get scoured. Storms generally bring NE winds loading S-W faces deeper. If your noticing S "softer" than N in terms of surface snow/sun crusts as is typical in the L48, thats due to the low sun light this time of year, plus winds. Mid march starts to see real sun affect on S aspects.

I think you are asking in terms of location: Upper Girdwood is higher at 6k vs only about 4k in TPass so sees a lot more wind up there. Plus areas closer to the Arm get stiffer, channeled winds, while TPass is further from the sound and more protected by surrounding peaks.


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 Post subject: Re: Super Couloir, Goat Mtn
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:34 pm
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Location: mountains
thanks man, that is very helpful information for me. I went up to the pass yesterday w/ my L48 persepctive and based on the crust on Goat I was guessing that North facing would be less wind affected , but not even close. In fifteen plus years of backcountry, with the exception of spring corn, I have very rarely seen south facing aspects softer than north facing aspects, so was quite bewildered and just trying to figure out how that occurs around here. Really good to know and your knowledge is much appreciated. The info about differences between gwood and the pass is also very interesting and helpful. Hope to see you around sometime. You have a very stellar backyard btw.

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 Post subject: Re: Super Couloir, Goat Mtn
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:37 pm
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Location: Alaska
Never really know till you get up there especially in the steeps, but last weeks weather brought a bunch of snow easily transported by the winds starting on tuesday with hurricane force winds out of the S/SE which blew out the Sunburst weather station. This continued through thursday when the arctic air started coming in and Girdwood saw more wind activity than the pass and a switch in wind direction to the North associated with oncoming high pressure. We saw those plumes on approach and even felt a nice burst on final push to the top of the couloir as we where getting a feel for the conditions we were about to ride :shock:. Awesome day overall and stoked to get this classic with Savage and DGREEN :thumpsup:


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 Post subject: Re: Super Couloir, Goat Mtn
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:42 am
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Location: Girdwood, AK!!!
First and foremost...

Image
...AK_Split???

If so, NICE WORK!!! Sorry I didn't get a photo of the solo track before others got up there too.

Next, I did a little research on Google Earth and found that "Super Couloir" is 3000' vert plus or minus a couple feet at a sustained 40-45 degree pitch. That's just the couloir itself! Then it's at least another 1000' vert of meadow skipping over a mile back to the car.

...and "Backdoor Couloir", the photo above, is 4,420 vertical feet. As Snowsavage said "a very stellar backyard"!

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