February 16, 2012

Skiing Narao Peak

Big Tele S turns on day one. Gery U Photo

Conditions are pretty good this year - even in the Rockies - and after a few months of heli-skiing with large groups, I've been looking forward to re-connecting with good friends and getting out for some soulful turns. The stars aligned this past week and a bunch of buddies who I hadn't seen in a while all showed up with a big stoke for ski.  Danny U drove from Idaho, Welsted took a break from the hectic Golden lifestyle, Andrea E popped in from Calgary, Briggs took a day off from wedding planning and Gery U even bribed his wife with new skis if she'd let him get out for two days straight! 

So with a big group, we headed in to the hills in search of good snow and a little excitement. We found the former on day one and the latter on day two. We started with a cool loop around the Emerald Slide Path on Tuesday followed by some big cooly skiing on Mt. Narao on Wednesday. By far the most impressive part of either day was that no one in the group went AWOL.

The two couloirs gracing the North Face of Narao Peak. We skied half of the looker's right line (bailed because of a sketchy snow pack) and then booted to the summit via the left line.

Some of the day's only sun.

Booting up the first line (climbers right couloir). Gery U Photo.

The coolest feature I have ever seen on a ski mission.

Gery exiting the birth canal.

Ian W booting above the birth canal - a terrible place to slip! We bailed about 70 meters above this point.          

Nearing the top of the climbers left hand line. The snowpack was significantly more confidence inspiring on this one.

Gery shot this of me wallowing in a facet hole just below the top. It took me about ten minutes to move three feet. Gery U Photo.

The boys were already leaving by the time I topped out.

Alone on the summit of Narao - just me and the cairn.

Austrian Alex starting down.

No big S Tele turns on Narao. Gery U Photo.

Picking our way down. Gery U Photo.

Austrian Alex and his Trab racing sticks.

Lots to ski around Emerald Lake!

A tired Andrea.

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