February 25, Cold Smoke Festival, Whitewater

Trash Chutes

Day 3 of the Festival. Steep ski clinic with Andrew McLean. Unfortunately Frank, during his warm-up run on the groomer, collides with one of our roommates and destroys his brand new skis. He ended up taking it easy and checking out the demo skis. The clinic started the morning skiing Trash Chutes - a quick 15 min skin from the main lift. Short but sweet, we made two laps and then it was lunch time.
After lunch, I hurried out to meet the group for the afternoon session. Some how it turned out that our entire group, except for me, didn't come back for the afternoon session. Looks like just Andrew McLean and I for the afternoon. Andrew had spotted a nice couloir on Ymir peak that he thought would be fun. We took the main chair up, then put our skins on and started up the ridgeline towards "first choice couloir". We reset our watches to see how quickly we could make it to the couloir. Took about 54 minutes to skin from the top of the chairlift. That was going at Andrew's all day pace. I don't know if I could go all day at that pace, but it was fine for an hour. At the top, Andrew got out his rope and tied himself to a tree, then proceeded to knock off a good chunk of the cornice protecting our couloir. The entrance was fairly steep, and we could have probably dropped in, but Andrew being somewhat safe, belayed me down the first 30 feet with his rope, giving me a chance to assess the snowpack. Snowpack was solid and we had a great ski down the couloir and back to the ski area lodge, where we could look back and point out our line. First tracks of the weekend on the "first choice couloir". A nice way to finish a great weekend.

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