May 12, 2010

K-Country Lines: Skiing Mt Smuts and Chester

Chief Ali closing in on the summit of Mt. Smuts, Kananaskis Country.

Today was the highlight of my ski season. At 8 am, Chief Ali and I were standing a top the Crown Jewel of K-Country. I'm sure every Rockies skier has their opinion as to what peak might hold this honor, but for me it is undoubtedly Mt. Smuts. Steep. Aesthetic. Accessible. Mt. Smuts is the quintessential road side line. I would not have guessed that it would have happened during this rugged season but I'll take it. Thank you Spring.

Too tired to write much now so hopefully the story comes out in the photos.

Smuts Overview. I have always considered this peak mildly terrifying.

Booting up in first light after leaving Canmore at 3 am. Ali Haeri photo.

Ali on the lower slopes in purrrrrfect conditions.

The Chief dragging my ass up another mountain.

The Chief tried everything to get me to break trail but I adamantly refused.

Not exactly what any man wants to see between his legs. Ali Haeri photo.

The summit ridge of Smuts. Not a bad view if you're in to this sort of thing. Ali Haeri photo.

Stoke Train! Ali Haeri photo.

Any guesses on slope angle? Hint: both numbers are the same. Ali Haeri photo.

The slope (south east aspect) gets first light at about 630 am (May 12). By 815 it was in perfect shape. Ali Haeri photo.


Adios Cabronazo! Following bear tracks on the glide out. We were back at the car by 9:10 am after about 1000 meters and 4 hours 40 minutes of travel. Thanks brother for the day of the year! Ali Haeri photo.

Of course, anyone who is familiar with the south facing ski line down Mt. Smuts is probably also familiar with the beautiful line gracing her North Facing neighbor: Mt. Chester. Two days ago, after spending an entire Sunday trying to track down my Mother to wish her a Happy Mother's Day!! I teamed up with RC Cola and The Shultz Gambit for a near descent of Chester.

The improbable line is hiding in the shadows, smack dab in the middle of the face.

This is a great line for lazy bastards because it does not require a 3 am start. Infact, we had quite a leisurely 6am Bagel Co. session before launching on this one.

RC Cola was a real boot packing machine on this day. Musta been the anti-freeze in the water. No kidding. Unfortunately, we did not top this one out. We ended up bailing about 150 feet below the top due deep snow and a clean sheer down 60 Cm's. If I hadn't gotten rolled on a similar aspect a few days previously, perhaps it would have been easier to ignore this sheer. Stories for the next post...

. Los dos hermanos praying for a Habs win tonight.

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