Monday, February 20, 2006

I heard, "Son, do you know why I'm stoppin' you for?"
Cause I'm young and I'm black and my hat's real low?

Do I look like a mind reader, sir, I don't know?
Am I under arrest or should i guess some mo'?

"Well, you was doin' fifty-five in a fifty-fo'"


I decided to hike the ridge up above the Challenger to descend the A-Z chutes there.

The sun broke out in a surreal, hand-of-God, fashion.

These are the chutes I hiked to & "rode" down.

India thought this picture looked both "apocalyptic" and "lunar."

The hike wasn't bad, maybe 10-15 minutes, but you really had to watch your step.

You had to step in stomped-out, boot prints.

As you can see, this ridge is a knife-edge. The boot-cut trail was along the right-hand side, and I would have to climb up and peer over each chute over the left side.

I wanted to hit these chutes to see if I was ready for the Big Couloir.

Once you were up there, though, it was really hard to tell where you were, because the chutes dropped away so steeply, and some were hairier than others.

This was the first one. It wasn't too bad.

This was the second one I went down. It narrowed very quickly.

This was the third one I went down... on my ass.

Once I got around to those rocks on the left, it dropped nearly vertical. My heelside slid out, and I slid for quite a while.

It was scary, because I could not arrest my skid as I flew down on my back. It was just too steep.

I dug my arms and my board in. It took a while to stop.

It was scary.

I didn't think there was room in my throat for both my heart and my balls, but I am pretty sure they were both in there.

When I descended, the patrol and the avalanche dog were practicing rescues.

There was a patroller buried beneath the spot where the dog is digging. Mark, the outdoors pro, has some pretty cool pictures and descriptions of actually being buried and dug out by the avalanche dogss at Mt. Bachelor.

This was the fourth one I went down. It was the easiest one, and not coincidentally, the chute I was looking for when I went down the first two.

It was a good day, but definitely challenging. I will surely be sore. And to be honest, I am not sure if I am ready for the Big Couloir. 3 out of 4 seems encouraging, but that one I missed was a doozy.

I just need to ask how these chutes compare to the Big Couloir. They look like they are much tighter, but the steepness of the pitch is probably a toss-up.

I need some more days on the new equipment before I tackle that project, though.

Get... that... dirt off your shoulder

The cold spell has passed.

No more - 15.

For now.

I am going snowboarding.

Have a nice Monday.