Thursday, June 10, 2010

Memorial Couloir #3 - Mount Olympus

During the winter I somehow found myself with a few extra days of time-off from work.  Whatever shall I do with this time?  I called Mark Hammond and asked if he wanted to join me for some skiing.  He said he had his eye on the Memorial Couloirs off Mount Olympus, and it sounded good to me.

We approached from Neff's Canyon and up the backside of Mt. Olympus.  You know the main chute that faces the city between the North and South summits?  We walked right up the other side of that.

Contemplating which line to ski.  Skier: Mark Hammond

We went back and forth a bit about which chute we wanted to ski (and which chute was which according to the guidebook).  We decided to go from the North summit into what we thought (I am still not sure) was Memorial Couloir #3.

I knew I learned to climb for a reason.  Skier/Climber: Mark Hammond

After a bit of an interesting final approach, the view from the summit was pretty cool.

Remember when Zeus cried, "Release the Kraken!"? I imagine he was somewhere near here.  Skier: Mark Hammond

We then had to drop in just about ten feet or so to get to the top of the chute we had decided on.  Just so we didn't lose any of our gear, we slung a rope around a rock and lowered ourselves into it.

The West-facing chute was too cool-looking to not make a quick turn or two for a quick photo op.  Boarder: Zach Clanton

The chute we actually skied was the east-facing one opposite the above photo.  It was super tight and super cool.  Zach went ahead to make sure it didn't cliff out halfway down.  It didn't… much.

Nice.  Boarder: Zach Clanton

There was, instead of a big cliff, just a short section where you had to point it and hop over a few rocks.  I got going a little too fast and had to bail into the snow.  The only problem was that just under the snow was a rock that was just itching to make acquaintance with my face.

I think I am pointing at the rock that got the best of me.  Ph: Zach Clanton

If anyone knows if this is actually Memorial Couloir #3 or not please leave a comment below.  I question it because the guidebook is a bit unclear on this and it seemed more technical than S4-, but maybe that is just the blood talking.

For more photos be sure to check out:


Jimmy Bunting said...

I like the bloody picture... keep'em coming!


Ryan said...

wonderful blood shot. I am loving the the look and feel.

jeremyv said...

I am totally digging the new post format, sorry I haven't commented earlier but China doesn't want people looking at ski blogs for some reason. . . what can you do?