March 25, 2015

Skiing the Boom Lake Kindergarten Couloir

Gery U getting intimate with the cornice lips.

Every now and again, it is comforting to go skiing in the Rockies without too much mortal concern. It is always possible to go on a nice tour, but the snow conditions this year have not been conducive to low angle touring. So, after two weeks of work and a healthy amount of fear for the lines we really wanted to ski, Gery, Ben and I decided on the mellow line above Boom Lake. 

When we first saw the line, the snow conditions looked even worse than we imagined. Avalanche debris was everywhere and the ski quality looked atrocious even by this years standards. I felt bad because I picked the objective and I tried to justify the decision with the go-to line that makes crappy skiing okay, "Well, we didn't come here for the snow. We get enough good snow at work!" But as we entered the line, we discovered that the debris was soft and there was lots more smooth snow then expected. Wow, one can only imagine how good this thing would be after a fresh dump! The line felt quite mellow compared with other Rockies outings and even Cassie the dog made it up to the last pitch. 

Of course, it couldn't be all mellow and Gery insisted on climbing the vertical snow around the cornice to reach the col. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't duplicate the Austrian's heroics and I had to haul on a piece of cordalette to make the top. The Kindergarten Couloir with the grade 9 finish.

First glimpse of the face. The couloir is just out of sight to the looker's left.

Nothing but good times for Gery.

Gery U Photo.

It was only mildly humiliating to have a 4 year old girl dog break trail for me.

Ben and Gery trying to go right around the cornice.

Cassie kept asking me if I wanted her to break more trail for me.

Climbing the extremely vertical snow on the left side of the cornice lips.

Bender said that this bit was tougher than anything on The Game. Gery U Photo.

If we didn't have Cassie's cordalette leash, I wouldn't have made it up this section. Gery U Photo.

Looking over at the North Face of Mt Whymper and the X Couloir.


Cassie's leash was also handy on the way down. It stayed fixed so feel free to haul on it next time you're there! Gery U Photo.

Surprisingly good skiing.

Gery U Photo.

Cassie's form was highly superior to ours. Gery U Photo.

Gery U Photo.

Gery and Bender drinking pop in the early afternoon. Nothing like spring skiing!

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