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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Smith Rock OR

Took the 12+ hour drive to Terrebonne, OR, endured a cold rain and snow open bivy on the way and spent 4ish days climbing amazing trad and sport climbs on the unique volcanic tuff.  here are some photos!  
Toby leading pitch 1 of Spiderman 5.7

There are two "monkey faces" in this photo... can ya spot em?

Katie cruising pitch 1 of Spiderman 5.7... Pitch two is looming in the background. 

JB on pitch 2 of Spiderman

JB leading Cosmos 5.10a, in the afternoon light

JB Low on Cosmos 5.10a

Stick Clip!

Katie climbing Temptation 5.10a

Katie high on Temptation 5.10a

"The real deal Neil"

Toby loving life on 5 Gallon bucket 5.8

Super fun climb... Steep with HUGE holds.
Toby above the Crooked River in Smith Rock

Toby leading Calamity Jam 5.10c

Toby scoping Pack Animal Direct 5.10b

JB leading the beautiful Moonshine Dihedral 5.9

JB following the classic Karate Crack 5.10a

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blacktail Butte

JB on Muy Macho 5.10c/d

Its been close to 9 years since I've climbed at nearby limestone crag but I decided to check it out this past weekend.  

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Skiing in the Sawtooth Wilderness

Day 1 -  02.01.10-  Stanley, Idaho to Williams Peak Yurt

Woke up at the Stanley Mountain Village feeling sick as hell.  My head was congested and pounding.  I swallowed a few eggs and bacon and chased it with a cup of coffee hoping it would lighten the feeling in my head.  It didn't seem to help.

Here is our crew fueling up before.... 

After the breakfast I took a full dose of cold medicine, knowing the ski in would destroy me other wise.  At the trailhead our team of 13 loaded flimsy plastic sleds with beer, food, and clothing and others crammed as much gear into their ski bags as possible.  It was quite a scene.  

It was a beautifully clear day, and off to the west we saw our destination.    

The yurt is located off of the highest peak in the photo... Williams Peak. 

The ski in was somewhere between 6 and 7 miles with nearly 2,000 vertical feet of elevation rise.  Normally this would be a fairly easy mellow ski but with the weight of the sleds and backpacks everyone was suffering a bit more.  

After four hours skinning we finally reached the Williams Peak Yurt.

Williams Peak Yurt... Actually 2 yurts. 

Wood stove in the southern Yurt
Wood burning Sauna

Bunk Beds!  

Yurt Life...

Once we got to the Yurt I literally passed out in all of my down gear and twitched in and out of consciousness for about 5 hours.  At this point I thought my trip was over.  I hardly had enough energy to move.... But along with lots of rest, H20, and tea I pulled together enough energy to eat as much food as possible in hopes it would revitalize me. 

Day 2- 02.02.10-  Skier's Summit of Williams Peak, and Marshall Lakes

Slept till nearly 9am.  Feeling better but still not great.  Ate breakfast and slowly packed for a mellow day of skiing.  Wasn't sure how much energy I would have but felt like I needed to go test it out a bit.  

Everyone in the group made their way to the skiers summit an hour or so skin up from the yurt.  The views were incredible and the warm sunny weather was pleasant.

Looking at Williams Peak from the Skiers Summit

Leif, Nicole, and Katie on top of Skiers Summit

Lots of the skiing off the summit looked extreme and I was a bit hesitant due to avalanche conditions.  So we opted to ski the less extreme but still untracked "Bowling Alley" then traverse hard towards Lower Marshall Lake.

     Looking back up towards the "Bowling Alley" from Lower Marshall Lake

Heading up towards Upper Marshall Lake towards the Williams Peak Cirque

Amazing ski terrain... 

The snowpack showed little signs of instability as we climbed towards Williams Peak Cirque.  The faceting layer we had been worried about seemed as to metamorphosis and gain strength.  We skinned higher and got a good view of the cirque and the big fatty.  

Digging a snowpit

Big Fatty, Williams Peak 

Southern Wall

Great skiing down from the upper cirque. Untracked powder on a 33-35 degree slope... That combined with the lower avalanche hazard created a good times.  My cold was also starting to feel better but I was pretty tired. 

Skinning across Lower Marshall Lake... back to the yurt.  

Day 3- 02.03.10- Meadow Creek Bowl

Woke up feeling better.. Decided to go further north and check out an area called Meadow Creek.  From the topo map it looke like it would be a big open bowl with terrain for everyone.  It was a great choice!  

Day 4- 02.04.10- Big Fatty and Williams Peak Cirque

Toby, Jason and I went across Marshall Lake to ski the Big Fatty.  It's a steep couloir, around 45 degrees, off Williams Peak in the Williams Peak Cirque. It definitely got your stomach tight when you'd look up at it. 

It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, no wind, nearly black sky, and 8"-10++" of fresh powder fell the during the night.  Beautiful day.  One of the best ski days I've ever had!!

Toby skiing towards the big fatty

The couloir

Gams topping out
Toby and Gams on top... Thompson Peak in background
Thompson Peak.. Choose your line. 

point 'em down.

After skiing that line we were all energized and psyched.  We spent the rest of the day enjoying the sun and powder filled slopes.  We skied all over the cirque!  

Williams Peak Cirque

Toby enjoyed another powder run

Terrain above Lower Marshall Lake... AKA- Pillow Town

Williams peak cirque powder skiing

What a great trip!  Perfect weather, great snow, stable snow conditions, good friends and nobody got hurt or had equipment failures.  These kinds of adventures rarely come true.  This will be a difficult trip to beat but I'm looking forward to challenging it.  Lets make reservations for next year!! Who's coming?!