Monday, March 21, 2011

Mt. Axtell & EMGT Recon Weekend

With the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse on 3/26/11 and a Spring snow pack starting to take shape in our mountains we went for some fun lines on Saturday and skied the course up to the Friends Hut on Sunday.

Two of the boys bottn' up above the "Blarney Stone" Col.

Smithy skiing off the top of Mt Axtell

Supportable Winter Pow!

Looking back up at Axtell summit and back down the N facing ridge...skied nearly all of it

looking across at the 'Blarney Col"

Saturday's mission was above Green Lake on Mt Axtell (12,050ft) as we skied of one of its summits and then hit some aesthetic coliours and found some descent North facing Winter pow! ...expectations were low as we have been having some really mild temps during the day so this was a treat for sure!

On Sunday, with the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse looming on our minds....Jon Brown & I set out for a Friends Hut recon.  We've done this tour over 40 times each in the last 14 years so nothing to surprise us right??  Wrong!....with four avalanches crossing the regular route and several more threatening the path (all wet slides).  Death Pass had three slides rip across the 'goat path' and made it a "techie" ski...add a few degrees of difficulty during the actual race, when you factor in darkness and the "gitters" of racing.

The first two lower stream crossings were in tacked yet but are loosing "girth"....so long story short...its always a surprise to see what kind of condition the snowpack is in come Spring time....no matter how many times you've done the exact tour!

See ya on the start line!

First stream crossing (West Brush Cr.)..firm & fast snow all the way til about 10.600ft+

Death Pass..."techie" three west slides have ripped the trail apart!

Death Pass...made extra techie with folks punching threw in mid day warmth

Middle Brush (2nd water crossing) Cr. looking firm and techie as well.......

Climb above the Friends Hut

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