Western Whites Wrestling Federation '14-'15

TRs rescued from TelemarkEast before its demise
Bob T
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:07 pm

Western Whites Wrestling Federation '14-'15

Post by Bob T » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:32 pm

TR - Missing Veg Formation
Our buddy Veg is no longer with us. Died in emergency surgery on Monday. Sepsis of unknown origin. No answers. Went out with Coops for the first time this season. Bittersweet.
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Bob T
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:07 pm

From "drop"

Post by Bob T » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:34 pm

Cold for taking pictures today, but got one decent picture with the cell phone of today's hike to ski outing.
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Bob T
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:07 pm

coops

Post by Bob T » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:35 pm

Telehubby's snow dance worked! Skied TB this morning. Had a busy afternoon and evening or would have suggested a meet-up.
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Out in the wimnif with the vortex this evening. No skiing in the local haunts yet. Soon?
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Bob T
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:07 pm

TR - Blue Square in the Sky

Post by Bob T » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:36 pm

The young vortex and I skied TB this morning.
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Base layer change with frozen dog.
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Pow pow pow.
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Pow pow pow.
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Homeward bound.
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Dogsickle.
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Out.
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Bob T
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:07 pm

ears

Post by Bob T » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:29 pm

Cooper-cam. Ears a flyin during yesterday evening's ski.
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Out again this evening, very fresh moose tracks. Notice dew claws.
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The nightstalkers.
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Coops.
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Saw two river otters, bounding side by side, crossing the frozen CT yesterday. That was cool.

Wore a Pattagucci Nano Air top this evening for the first time. The whole Nano Air thing being a jacket you put on and keep on because although it insulates, it breathes like heck due to the novel fabric it uses. Wore it over a wool base layer. Single digits temps. Was pretty impressed. Comfortable. Not totally convinced about keeping it on during an extended ascent. A bit too exothermic. Would probably get wet. All in all, the super breathability thing worked well. Froze a bit on the downhill which is to be expected. It's not a shell. Breeze goes through it. But it did well while skinning and then stopping to cut deadfall. Kept the cold at bay.

Bob T
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:07 pm

northern town

Post by Bob T » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:29 pm

Life in a northern town.
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Bob T
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:07 pm

TR - Xanadu Love Song

Post by Bob T » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:31 pm

Xanadu is an awesome bc project consisting of three parts. Upper: an 800' vert chute with a difficult-to-get-to entrance that won't be in until a few more storms. Middle: what the chute dumps you into, a mountain watercourse/fall that descends 1300' vert. Lower: beautiful hardwood forest kick and guide approach that drops another 500' vert.

The TNR (tiny night rocket, aka Cooper) and I set out to ski the middle and lower sections. The upper section has to be approached from the top and is a major hike with a challenging schwack tacked onto it that I'd like to take a stab at later this season. I had seen the middle section during an autumn recon a couple years ago and it looked promising and beautiful.

The approach fell into place nicely; linking a bunch of logging paths and finally one of the shoulders of the peak where Xanadu lives. Quite a lot of that shoulder is covered by a mature yellow birch forest. I had a hard time convincing myself to put a hooded shell on and start schwacking through the snow-laden Spruce guard of the watercourse when I could have just turned around and skied a gorgeous birch glade!

On the way up, I noticed the snowpack was upside down. There was cracking and whoomphing. This wasn't a concern in the woods, but it could be a problem on a frozen waterfall.
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The schwack dropped me right into the watercourse. I proceeded up a ways, but thought better of it given the looming Super Bowl so stopped and stripped skins.
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Given the cold temps the TNR hunkered down under a fir during the transition, trying to stay warm.
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I stopped before pushing off and offered a part of a Kind bar to the local deities - tossing it into the nearby open water. I know this is irrational and superstitious, but especially when skiing on ice covered waterfalls, there is so much that can go wrong. It surely can't hurt.
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I set off not knowing what I would find. Would this be a deadfall clogged mess that I would have to eject out of into the woods? Open water? Unnavigable steeps?
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A part of the answer came back within the first 100 yards. A 50' waterfall! A stopped and peeked over the edge. It had "I have a bad feeling about this" written all over it.
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There was a bold line that was pretty direct, but I had no idea if the cracks I saw early would translate into all of the snow detaching as soon as dropped onto it. I skirted it and descended a flanking line shown here with the TNR gamely following me.
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There was surprisingly little deadfall. However, there was some. I will return with the trusty saw and take care of that. This one was particularly problematic. It was just low enough that I couldn't do a tele crawl under it.
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I ended up doing a sort of limbo move that put me on my ass. I could clearly hear running water under me. Not exactly where you want to be. When I pushed hard on my poles to get up one of them went though the ice. It was the only piece of equipment, human, or dog that got wet all day. Thank goodness.
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The TNR navigates more deadfall.
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Yee haw!
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This one was fun.
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Dropped the ice bulge and the TNR reprised what happened to me last season when Veg wouldn't budge in a similar situation. Notice the way the snow sheared, confirming my adhesion fears.
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I ended up dismounting, which is not exactly recommended with an incompletely frozen waterfall. I climbed up using a handy hole in the ice and snagged her.
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Random progress pics.
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The TNR dropped this one on her own.
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I then came to the top of a lovely sloping shelf that begged to be drawn on.
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Eventually a combination of shallower low-elevation snowpack and a rockier streambed forced me into the woods.
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I enjoyed a different schuss back to the car than I had come up on.
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Post-tour team foto.
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This tour started with vague objectives and low expectations; I basically sleep-walked into it, just trying to get out of the house and get a workout in before the Super Bowl. I ended falling ecstatically in love with this place! The complete tour including the upper section is going to kick serious ass.

Bob T
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:07 pm

exploding grouse

Post by Bob T » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:32 pm

From last night's tour. Coo-bear gets a nose full of critter.
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This was cool and a first for me. I spot it in a drift in the trail and am like...what? A fresh impression in the snow of some sort that has nothing leading up to it or away from it. I think, did a stick fall? No, there's very little wind. Is it a bird strike? No, there would be wing marks. I'm 6 feet away from it when BLAMMO: grouse explosion! The darn thing had dove nose first into the drift for the night. I've encountered many exploding grouse, but never have I actually been looking at the snow divot when one blew up!
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After burners on!
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Bob T
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:07 pm

TR - Night Sharknado

Post by Bob T » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:42 pm

Shark's Teeth aka Crashed Starship slide.

2:24: leave house.
2:48: arrive TH.
3:00: start climbing from 1500'.
3:15: layers off, skins on.
5:00: head off trail into the void at 4100' after a spot of tea. start gp snapping pix every 5 secs.
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5:00-5:45: schwack battle trying to find slide. at one point taking skis off, crawling, and pushing them ahead through mega-thicket.
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5:46: penetrate through to slide but now it is dark. headlamps on. have snack and more tea. slide angle: 35 degrees.
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5:58: first jump turns of the season.
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6:15: begin schwack out of creek drainage that slide dumps into. txt mission control to say I'm going to be late.
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6:45: reach "featureless forest" and begin traverse using altimeter.
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7:00: gp dies. last pic.
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7:05: take out compass due to encountering terrain I'm not familiar with. lock on due south. wish for ski tips with compass and elevation readout.
7:45: find "trident" tree which I trimmed to have three forks. yell out "TRIDENT HO!" big smile. piece o cake from here.
8:00: ski right to car.
8:00+: turn on sub-woofer cuz dog isn't with me and blast tunes power sliding all the way home.

Bob T
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:07 pm

TR - Hidden Gem

Post by Bob T » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:44 pm

Sunday was a perfect day. Near freezing and calm winds after a light snow. Time to make an attempt at skiing a somewhat obscure 800 vert chute. I was hoping that A) it wouldn't be scoured and B) it would have enough snow to cover the jumble of rocks that I'd observed in the off-season.

One problem with this stellar winter is that we haven't had a freeze thaw cycle in over a month now. In years past we may have had 6 feet of snow on the ground, but 5 of it was base. Solo skinning in unbroken is turning into quite a workout. The hardwood forest leading to this shot is mercifully open and persistent beyond the usual spruce line at 3200'. Random beauty along the way.
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I had initially intended to intercept the chute at the bottom and boot it. However, the forest was so accommodating I kept climbing, the altimeter told me I would pop out almost half way up. The first "pop out" was a phantom - my hopes dashed as I tractored out into it and saw it was an isolated companion slide without an exit.
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Motoring across the phantom and through another guard thicket I finally popped out in the objective chute. Whoa. There's a LOT of powder in this thing! Knee+ deep. Blink. Blink. Did not expect this. The chute is so skinny that the adjacent trees must protect the snow. Usually by the time I get to a chute/gully the avy hazard is pretty well spelled out. During the approach I've been swimming in the top layer of the snowpack and have a feel for it. The observable surface of the chute is typically dominated by a wind-hardened bed with pockets of loose. I rarely dig a pit. However, this was different!

I got the heebie jeebies and did an ECT. It popped Q2-ish all the way across at 23 - the third from-shoulder whack on what I believe is the 18-Jan thaw layer. By the way, for me "Q2" translates as "that can't be Q1, can it? Nah." There's always a question mark when a column pops. Q3, I get: sluggish. I don't think I've ever seen Q1. In my mind if you get a Q1 pop, something is wrong. Why am I digging? How did I get that surprised? I hope that never happens.
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I stood there for a while and soaked in that result - my uncertainty jacked up quite a few notches. I looked up and down the natural terrain trap that the chute created. I looked at all that beautiful powder. I thought about battling up another 400' vert. I thought about backing out. The thicket thrash exit tunnel was right there.
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My conclusion was that it was a sleeping dragon that might wake up if it was climbed, but it wasn't so touchy that I should get the hell out of dodge. I skied it from there.
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400 enjoyable plush vert later I ended up base bashing one rock, but otherwise nothing happened.
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Enjoyed plenty of beautiful forest descent from there.
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A few days later having slept on it I'm satisfied with my go/no-go decision. I really want to believe that a "get the hell out of dodge" conclusion would hit me on the head hard: shooting cracks/settling when I stepped into the chute or spider sense going off like a loud bell. However, the fact is I really don't know. I'll mix this result into my neural net and stay heads up.

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