Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mt Taylor

As this ski season is taking awhile to get going, I thought I would post a few shots from some of the better days last year.

We had a great crew to head up Mt  Taylor early March last year. It had rained pretty high a few days earlier so were not sure what type of skiing we would get. The way up through the clear-cut and the lower trees was pretty tough going with a thin layer of snow on a firm and slippery unbreakable crust. Once we got a little higher however, the conditions started to take shape. Its a bit of a slog up through the trees to get the open bowl and boulder field - I had done it once before a few years ago, we ended up going higher than we needed to that time and skiing down to the opening - bear right to avoid this.
Great Goats Bearded Forest on the way up

Some extraordinary gentlemen just reaching the alpine
Once we were up in the alpine the snow formed a gorgeous crystal blanket and the sun was a warm treat and it was difficult not to get excited about the rest of the day ahead. We had lunch in the sunshine on a knoll about 150m higher from where we popped out of the trees. At this point we split into two groups with two people electing to head down before the summit push.

and he wasn't posing..
That's artistic folks

What a day
We were not happy with our route selection on the second last and steepest pitch, electing to go up the steepest section to avoid avalanche hazard from above under some cliffs. In hindsight the hazard from above was not as bad as we had thought and the steep bit was a lot steeper. As we reached the ridge another couple came from the other direction - they had used the Joffre Lakes approach - which starts a few hundred meters higher but generally has more people. The final summit ridge is not a difficult or exposed approach, the only concern on this sunny day was the traverse of a sun baked slope which proved to be just fine. Two hours from lunch to the summit with lots of phaffing about.
Looking south from near the summit
Taking a picture of the photographer who takes pictures of people taking pictures
Two splitboarders looking up and thinking about how much better those turns would have been had they been on skis

Got back to the car and panicked that the two who turned around earlier were not there waiting. Made a plan to drive down the hill to somewhere with cell reception and to call Search and Rescue after a bit. It turns out they were just down the road drinking beer in the sunshine.

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