What a day! I’m not sure I could have fit in anything else.
It started simply enough. I left the house early and Ben, Cecilia and I met at the park n ride just before 9 a.m. Twenty minutes later we were on the trail – sort of.
We were on what we thought might be the trail that would take us to the gully route up the left-hand side of Ecstasy.
We discovered soon enough that this route would take us across several avalanche paths. It was early enough in the day that we weren’t concerned. We did, however, pass several (3?) avis that had occurred perhaps in the past 48 hours.
And so we continued and lost the sort-of trail very quickly. We broke trail – for hours. The going was steep but we stayed in the trees where it was cooler because, let me tell you, the heat coming off the snow on the south-facing slope was impressive.
Even I was down to my T-shirt in pretty short order.
Finally, at about 11.30, we determined that we were coming up to the ridge directly below the Whale’s Back. We had several options, none of them wonderful. The best one, we determined, was to go down and call it a day – or we could go down a bit and across another open area (quickly and in single file) to reach the gully we wanted.
And so we did that – only to find that there was yet another open area, this one wider than the last.
But – what the heck: quickly and leaving space between us. And hey! The gully! And we picked up a super good skin track going right up, always in trees and we reached the saddle at about 12.20 or so. Now the question: go up the right or left-hand peak.
We finally voted democratically for the right-hand peak and ended up on top at 1 p.m. and had lunch with the same glorious view we’d had only a few days earlier.
It was hard work to get there: the snow was not nice. We went in deep several times and Cecilia got into a rock well and was stuck for a few minutes before we figured a way to get her out.
Spring snow – tough one.
Going down: a different experience than the usual. Normally, we would go straight down. But I wanted to mentally map out the up-track and know exactly where it came out.
And we did that. The up-track is wonderful, avoiding all avi hazards. Nice switchbacks – and comes out across the street from the Glory chair lift.
This is good information for next time – after all, we never did get to the top of the left-hand peak. The right-hand peak, of course, is Ecstasy.
So, all being well, I drove home. And that was fine until I got to Cape Horn were a rock attacked my car and did a number on my right rear tire and rim. Luckily, I was a few paces from cell service and was able to pull to the shoulder of the highway. Unfortunately, the tow-truck driver told me he would be 2 hours. Fortunately, a police cruiser stopped, saw the situation and drove me home.
Simon is now with the tow-truck driver, picking up the car and getting it to the shop where the truck is getting fixed – and it should be fixed in time to come home.
Avoided all avis today. Got done by a tiny rock slide.