After a couple days of marginal, stormy weather w/out much new snow I headed down to eastside to search for remnants of the elusive sierra blower. I hoped the winds hadn't ruined what was left. My fingers were crossed.
My goal was Mt. Thompson's north facing chutes:
Beautiful, cold morning w/ no wind. Bulletproof skinning conditions had me slightly worried, but I new it'd be different up high.
Mt. Hurd looking epic:
As I gain elevation the views get better. Still looks like winter to me:
After hitting the 11k foot mark I started a north facing traverse to find deep, epic pow! Now I had a spring in my step :D
North couloir of Mt. Gilbert (the real one Tex!). I was actually gonna decide on this or Thompson when I got up there. I knew it had been skied by a party of two about 6 days prior and when I saw it I kind of puckered up even though it looked absolutely beautiful (I'd actually prefer it a tad more filled in). Then I looked over at Mt. Thompson and it looked like too much good, clean fun not to do!
My playground for the day:
Started out verting up to my knees and finished on a steep headwall of windbuffed. The last 15 feet was kind of challenging climbing w/ one ice axe and one useless pole shortened all the way down. I was taking the handle of the pole and scraping out trenches to sit the pole into to use as a hold. Not too scary but some interesting improv snow climbing techniques to top out. I think the chutes top out at about 13,100.
Looking down the goods:
Views at top.
Aggasiz, Sill, N. Palisade w/ Goode in front. I think Mt. Johnson (cover of bcd's guide book) is in the lower right. Not sure though:
To the south:
Looking down :shock: :
Time to ride!
The top 50 feet was excellent, steep windbuffed that nicely transitioned to epic blower the whole way down.
16 epic turns to bottom!
It was so good I thought it'd be shame to not make us of my vert track and do the next chute over. It too was awesome windbuffed on top then insane pow:
There were two other lines in between mine involving 10-20 ft airs that would be sick if you were feeling burl. Probably not a good idea to be doing alone in the backcountry if one were inclined to do anyway.
Happy w/ my results!:
Another view of Gilbert. Some other day:
The side exit lower right looks intriguing:
Did some bonus ridge hiking on way out to get a few more pow turns: