Forums Trip Reports season three – a tipi recap – wayyy late
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    198 Posts

    a tipi recap
    i have finally gotten around to uploading my photos and thought i should share a few, just to say “hey, im still out here”. this past year i thought i would go for more quality versus quantity posting, since last season was a lot of hype and no serious action. unfortunately i only got a handful of trips in this year, but they WERE better quality. i explored two new zones in my local mountains, both being effing awesome! and i also rode some chutes in the original tipi zone that i have been looking at for a couple of years now, which was pretty satisfying. overall the snowpack in the south monashees kicked ass this past winter, i wish i had gotten to ride more of it.

    first there is the fall ritual of setting up the tipi

    cutting some poles – i had 20 in it this time around if i remember correctly

    a very tight fit this year

    Bailey dresses for the occasion with a kind of french voyageur look

    it took two trips to get the thing fitted just right. the first time out i ended up with the canvas sitting six inches off the ground – not exactly optimal. so we went out again the next weekend and sawed six inches off the bottom of the poles all the way around and presto! the tightest setup yet. this turned out to be a good idea because things got HEAVY this past year.

    i jumped the gun on the first trip out

    i had hoped to get some november turns in up high but got turned back by 1 foot of slippery snow on the boulder field.

    actually not quite true. i got over the rocks but didnt take my usual way up and instead came upon this little waterfall/rock section

    doesnt look like much but in softboots with no gear it stopped me. then upon turning around halfway up, i went to step down and my skis spiked on the rocks behind me. This pitched me headfirst back down the slope onto the thinly covered rocks and half into the creek. i was glad no one witnessed that boner move, haha.

    next time out things were deeper

    i got some good pow turns in that day. this was a sweet south facing slope with around 50 cms of fresh, about 2500 vertical feet . interestingly i think this was the shallowest pow i rode all winter. – looking up the run of choice

    and looking down

    from there it kept getting deeper

    when i showed up this time, i was worried. that leaning snowcap was what killed it in year one, and it looked like it might be half collapsed…

    but it held strong

    i was wallowing up to my armpits on the final boot on this day, and really wishing for a trail breaking partner. consequently i didnt take any pics.
    then i took a break from the same old zone and went exploring a bit. the next valley over has a nice mountain in it. its a bit shorter sled and you can ride right to the start of the skin. some on here will recognise this one but i wont name it cuz im just greedy.

    on the way in

    the outhouse at the trailhead

    i went up and had a look at the mountain proper (sorry, flat light and a terrible camera)

    but chose to ride the smaller peak to the west because i just didnt feel good about getting into the open avy paths by myself on this day.
    i intended to get into these openings, but routefinding in the forest can be a bit tricky, as you all know.

    the skin was up this gully around to the left, then climb the left side to the top.

    keeping to the left in the gully

    then skin up this to the ridge. ( camera tricks here, it isnt nearly as steep as it looks)

    there was a short but horrible, wallowing bootpack to get up on top. but at least the sun started to poke thru.

    once i was up on the dome i had some lunch and enjoyed the peace that comes with being the only person in a 10km radius. these are the times i notice my hearing damage, when its so damn quiet all you can hear is the ringing in your ears, lol .

    when it came time for the down, i went a bit too far west, and ended up in a line that wasnt on the aspect i wanted it to be. i got away with it, but i was a bit pissed that i didnt end up in the place i had chosen to ride. still a great run though. looking back up the pow line of the day .

    then transition , and back out to the snomo, for the ride home

    up next was the best trip of the year, and probably where i’ll be riding most of next season. the area has varied aspects, and varied steepness, with both open riding and old growth cedar tree runs. plus i can snowmo to the base of the skin.

    i think this was in april, and we were getting a sunny warm spell, with melt freeze cycle. note the complete lack of ski penetration in the valley bottom. Bumpy as hell!

    this is an east facing run that empties out right on the road. i considered trying to get up this quick before it heated up too much, but elected to push on to the heart of the area and some more shaded slopes.

    heres some west facing gnar on the other side of the valley

    i snomo’d along the road and past another east facing chute before reaching the parking spot and turning the sled around for a quick exit. heres the start of the skin . my lines of choice are around to the left and out of sight.

    around the previously mentioned corner, some of the goodness becomes visible. todays goal was the run to lookers right.

    taken from the same spot- a target for another day

    a look at the open bowl to the left of the small peak, as i stood at the base of my line.

    another view of another days target as i neared the top of my line. repping Mac’s splitfest sticker to the max, lol.

    things got really warm on this day, and i crapped out before i topped out, but still had an awesome run. note the bombhole from going over the handlebars. being new to hardboots on a new and shorter diy split was interesting this season. i may have to go to a longer board, because this happened too many times this year.

    the bottom half was very mellow

    end of run play zone

    on my way down, the heli for sol mtn touring was buzzing through the valley and gave me a light flash when i waved to him, which i thought was cool. as i got to the trailhead , i started wishing he wasnt around, because he got to see me frantically digging out of this .

    remember that east facing chute that i drove past, then turned the sled around? well the mf’er let go in the sun, and came very close to ruining my day! the good thing was, i managed to keep it just enough out of the way that it buried the right ski, but didnt even knock my helmet off the hood. so, i had to get my shit packed, run out there, dig out the ski ,start the machine and drive across the debris all while there was some angry rumbling from further up the chute. half of which the heli witnessed as it burned along low in the valley.

    after that excitement, it was time to get back to the tipi. i let it sit for the last 3 weeks without digging it out, and once again i was worried that all the days of heavy snowfall would have crushed it. where the poles cross, its ten feet tall.

    digging this hole took longer than id care to admit, i’m glad there was no one at the bottom of it.

    with a fire going to melt the 1/8 inch of ice/frost that accumulates on the inside of it. it takes an hour or so before it stops raining inside, but after that its quite livable.

    the next day my battery died so i ended my season with no pics. too bad too, because it was a beautiful day and i got to hit one of the several north facing coulies that line the south side of tipi valley, which i have stared at for a few years now.
    so that was it for me last year. i was super impressed with how the tipi held up to the mega snowpack. only one broken pole on the last trip – it was heavily bowed in, but i can live with that. unfortunately, the settling snowpack had its way with the canvas, and it needs some major hole patching to make it useable again. aaand the door hole has always been too big, and bothered me. aaand the new zone of choice has no flat spot large enough to put it up on. so i may have to move on from the tipi itself this upcoming season. but – i have at least 30 poles accumulated from the last 3 years, so i may go with some sort of A-frame tarp structure in stead. the tipi has a certain obligation to it – you have to be getting in there and knocking the snow off the top or the thing will fold up on you . im hoping a ridgepole will ease the guilt that comes with wanting to visit more than one area.
    i have to say – booting to the top was killing me this year. it was probably just the extra fluffy snowpack, but man, one of my top priorities this fall is going to be a lightweight hardboot compatible snowshoe. just an aluminum frame with nylon cover, and some toe and heel bails, for the armpit deep days.
    ok , happy summer everyone, thats all i got. thanks to all who post for the varied inspirations :thatrocks: .

    and yes, i will get a new camera!

    254 Posts

    awesome work bro,love the tipi,they are really strong to be able to handle all that weight

    407 Posts

    Looks like an epic zone, love the tipi :thumpsup:

    69 Posts

    Remarkable! Did you have a wood stove or fire pit?

    198 Posts

    thx for the comments guys 🙂

    im rocking a small wood stove with four feet of chimney to get the smoke up and out faster. i tried just a pit in the very beginning, but i was getting ash all over everything and i could only maintain the bottom 4 feet of airspace smoke free – super lame when standing, haha.

    as the winter went on, the snowpack became kind of self supporting around the thing. so if it could withstand the initial stress of a new snow load, the snow would consolidate eventually. sometimes i would get in there and even feel an inch or two of airspace between the canvas and the snow.

    104 Posts

    holy shit that really piled up out there…ha….if you need some help this fall let me know…

    check out this link for some really good sectional drawings of an a-frame cabin for reference. the nice thing about this design is that you could have an interior platform that is raised above the ground so that you aren’t having to dig down every time….i guess it would depend on the length of the poles but the whole thing could be lashed to create a pretty bomber structure…..

    198 Posts

    check out this link for some really good sectional drawings of an a-frame cabin for reference

    sorry about the late repy – man that thing is a five star hotel compared to what ive got going on, lol. but i love the idea of a high entrance and a platform (god willing we’ll get that much snow again this year). right now im thinking about cutting two 16 foot high A frame ends out of 8 sheets of plywood, and hanging them from a 2×6, leveled and lag bolted between two trees. a pony wall would have to be built under each end for support. then tie the two ends together with a few horizontal 2x4s before throwing a bunch of poles up against the ridge pole and tarping the whole thing. this way i could make it work on less than even ground, and i have almost all the necessary tools to get it done. so ya, some help in the fall would be awesome – do you have climbing gear by chance ? or maybe a telescoping ladder?

    30 Posts

    nice dude…looks like good times!

    here’s a really simple structure one could put together fairly quickly.

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