Posts Tagged with "Fuze"
If there is a heaven, I think it might be near the NE entrance to Yellowstone..
On another random Wednesday evening, Brad and I planned a quick and dirty trip south to rip big lines in classic Montana fashion. The Tacoma adorned with my old Summit 700, a case of PBR, winter bags and a tarp, we blazed through the park, losing count of the numerous close calls with various hoofed animals.
We had some big missions in mind, and thankfully, the snowpack in the region has been very conducive. With no consistent weak layers, and a minor threat of wind slabs, our confidence in some of the bigger objectives started to overbear any fear of strength, ability or prowess. We toured around day 1 ripping some beautiful east facing lines only to be blindsided by one of winter’s deadliest predators. Skirting along a knife edge ridge, making it a point to stay as close to the windward side of the ridge as possible, Brad stepped just far enough to make everything go BOOM!! Scrambling to secure himself back into terra firma, a truck sized cornice ripped itself loose and tomahawked downward. Usually the best sign of instability, proved itself … READ MORE >
Nothing like springtime in the mountains. You ever been sitting around early on a Saturday morning sipping black juice with your buddies trying to come up with a plan for the day? Should we head to the Gally? Maybe run the Kitchen Sink, ride Leverich, or try to find some north facing couloirs to boot up? It’s the fortunate problem we all run into living in Bozeman, and especially during the spring months. As the snow continues to melt faster and faster with the warming days, we thought it would be wise to try and get in some big lines prior to full blown summer. Gallatin Peak looks good, as does the Y Couloir on Big Black, but we thought that instead of the classic descent in the later months of July and August, we decided to have at the big NW Face of Blaze Mountain.
I was off the couch after a 3 week stint of travel and work so needless to say I was psyched to stretch the legs a bit. The sun was blazing by 9 am and we trudged through the venerable stream that was the Spanish Creek trail, past one fork, and approached another. Years … READ MORE >
Hellmouth Couloir is the thin aesthetic line dead center on Alex Lowe Peak.
In the Spring of 1997 Alex Lowe and Hans Saari made the first descent of an anemic ski line they nicknamed “Hellmouth Couloir” in the Gallatin Mountains of Montana. For years the exact location of this line had been lost and it gained mythical status. On September 15th 2005 a peak in the Gallatin National Forest was named “Alex Lowe Peak” for the memory of Alex who had unfortunately passed October 5, 1999 in an avalanche on the slopes of Shishapangma in Tibet. It was then unveiled to many that the Hellmouth Couloir was located on this peak. Kyle and a partner through research found a Summer photo of the peak and along with a brief description that Saari and Lowe had made they discovered the location of the line. Then in the Winter of 2006 they made the second known descent of Hellmouth Couloir. Over the past 4 years a few others have made the descent. Kyle has visited the area many times since 2006 but has been unable to make another descent of the couloir.
Jump to present day. Kyle just got back from a month long ski … READ MORE >
After four hours of driving through the interior of British Columbia we arrived at our destination: the Ymir Motel, in the forgotten gold mining town of the same name. This place is the staging area for most trips into the Ymir backcountry–and, it’s cheap, $12 per person per night cheap–by sharing rooms. Turns out the owner of the hotel is an art collector and purchased the 18 room hotel for his prized possessions, thousands of painting of all styles, covering every wall. Imagine a museum crossed with a nineteenth century brothel. We slept well under the smug smell of oil paint while dreams of pillow lines ran through our heads.
Back in November a group of us decided to plan a trip to a backcountry cabin or yurt in Canada. The beauty of the Ymir Yurts is its blend of cat skiing and your more standard backcountry self propulsion. The terrain and deep access was hard to beat. Using both snowmobiles and a snowcat, you’re dropped roughly 32 K from the nearest road.
Overnight the area had received much more snow than predicted–about two feet, and the next morning it was still nuking. One of the snowcat guides wore a … READ MORE >
We work the winter trade shows in Salt Lake City and Denver, setting up early, talking shop late, and cram in as many days of skiing as humanly possible, because that’s what we do. With OR finished, we rushed directly towards the Wasatch Mountains. It’d been dumping while we’d slung packs in the SLC convention center, and plowed to a near-standstill, like a boat dragging anchor, in two hours of 8am Sunday stop and go traffic threading its slow way toward LCC. Clearly we weren’t locals, and neither was anybody else in line. As we reached the closed mouth of the avy-controlled canyon, we turned around, like everyone else, and drove to BCC with hundreds, hopefully not thousands, of rippers several steps ahead of us, already parked on the road near Solitude and hiking to the ticket window. A solid three hour approach for out of towners to get some skiing showed us how far 20 or so miles can sometimes be, when one’s trying to flee the city for the mountains. 11 am came early: but our ratpack of 5 worked its way to the summit lift, was in line just after opening, and found that light, blower, luscious Utah powder that clings in your brain. … READ MORE >
Last Friday, five of us met at the Daily Bread parking lot at 5:30 AM for dawn patrol. Kyle had made it up to Frazier Basin on Wednesday, they found stable conditions and the skiing excellent. Once I heard the possibility of going up on Friday, especially since Kyle has access to two snowmobiles slashing the multi-hour skin to Frazier Basin to less than a 30 minute tow- I was in. This was my first time to Frazier and I must say I was blown away. The North Bridgers have so many aesthetic looking couloirs- it is like God himself has carved each mountain vertically with a giant fork.
The red glow of the sunrise hit us just as we made it to the saddle, we then prepared ourselves for our descent into the basin. One at a time we skied down the North facing access bowl making huge GS turns. The snow was soft, fast and predictable, this entrance into the basin was the perfect indication that it was going to be a great day. Because we went in on sleds, and the nature of the lines we intended to ski, we all had brought our “heavy” alpine gear- … READ MORE >
After Outdoor Retailer Dave Downing and I, plus 4 others, one dog and a ridiculous amount of gear strategically stuffed ourselves into a minivan and set off toward Carbondale, CO. Carbondale is where I grew up and I was excited to revisit after about a 10 year hiatus. Dave and I had planned to ski some of the backcountry outside of Marble, which is about an hour drive outside of Carbondale. Unfortunately avalanche conditions turned from bad to worse when a strong Southern storm dropped about 3 feet of fluff in 2-3 days. Our suspicions of instability were vindicated once we had heard reports of large slides being remotely triggered in Marble. We immediately opted for a whole new approach for our days in Colorado.
Low angle slopes and snowmobiling on safe open meadows was the obvious and reliable option- and the best remedy for my cabin fever. One area in particular, a local standby when conditions are questionable near Sunlight Ski Resort called Willie’s proved to have great skiing.
With only around 1200′ of vertical multiple laps are possible and with little traffic and plenty of pow to go around. Even on these slopes we still saw evidence in … READ MORE >