Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pfeifferhorn - NW Couloir

My birthday is March 29th.  This was always nice growing up as I would usually ask for ski stuff for Christmas and baseball stuff for my birthday.  Things are a little different now.  I no longer play baseball and it turns out that chute skiing in the Wasatch is prime in late March.  Huh.  Who would have thought?

Can anyone think of a better way to celebrate one's birthday than to ski something any sane person would never consider?  Me neither.  I called Mark Hammond about skiing this line and he was a bit hesitant.  He had done it before and knew better.  But he eventually agreed to it (I am sure, as a personal favor to me).

The peak.  Skiers: James Good and Brook Golling

The approach to the Pfeifferhorn is a bit longer than the typical Wasatch walk, but once you get in view it begins to pay off.

A dude was headed up there while we were yet approaching.  He helps give a little bit of scale to this peak (that is him as he approaches in the lower left of the frame).

The bootpack up the actual peak isn't too bad it is the walk across the ridge getting to it that was scary.  It is pretty exposed in spots and I have never been great with that.  I don't know what it is, but I am much more comfortable on steep stuff when I have my skis on.
Our objective for the day was to ski the Northwest couloir (the Northeast face is what you see in the above photo).

And this is just the beginning.  Skier: Brook Golling

Here it is.  A 50 degree couloir that just seems to get steeper as it approaches the rappel.  The conditions weren't exactly ideal for skiing this type of terrain.

The business end of the chute.  Skier: Brook Golling

It just gets steeper and icier.  The final 10 feet approaching this anchor got my heart beating a bit faster than usual.

Everything changes once you are on rope.  Skier: Brook Golling

I was psyched to finally ski this chute.  The skiing was marginal all the way out, but a lot of the time with this stuff you don't do it for the skiing.  You do it for the overall adventure.  And it was a good one.

1 comment:

Teton Sports Orthotics said...

Awesome Pics and TR! I'm working on a lecture and surfed "beginning skier" and found the top^^^ pic on page for or five.... Ha ha.

Thanks for sharing
Stephen McDonald
Jackson Hole