Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ptarmigan S-Couloir

All of my normal partners bailed on me as they were in search of warm weather, and had already applied their "summer wax." I linked up with a guy from Telemark Tips - Todd, and headed out to the Ptarmigan Peak S-Couloir (also known as the North Couloir).

We walked about 4 miles in ski boots to the base of the coulie. (Note: this is not comfortable)

The "S" Couloir about midscreen. Named for the turn you make about half way down. As Todd says, "Its a shooting gallery."

We were able to skin about 300 feet before having to put on crampons.

Making my way up the steep chute. I didn't measure, but would guess the slope angle is 45-50 degrees.
Todd kickstepping with some clouds blowing over to keep the temps cool. We were a little worried about pinwheels and the snow heating up with direct sunlight.

Almost to the top. The powerline trail and Anchorage in the backdrop.

Eastern Chugach peaks. The chute in the middle looked pretty inviting.

Dropping in. I'll admit, the first 5 or so turns were pretty exhilarating.

Todd slayin' it midslope.
Quick jump turns kept my speed in check, and my quads burning...

More burning quads...

Todd skiing with the Wedge Couloir in the background.

Stopping to watch from a safe spot (and resting my legs).

Todd making his way down to the lower angle slopes and nice soft corn snow.

More corn please.
The S-Couloir after being skied.

One of the most memorable lines of the year. Oh yeah, I would run out of water just after finishing these turns. I had to walk the 4 miles back to the truck with no aqua. Luckily I had ice cold beers in the cooler.

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