Thursday, May 20, 2010

AK - The Backside

Most of our time & energy was focussed on the giant wall our camp stared at. However there was a considerable amount of worthy terrain on the other side of our camp that was out of view. Jones had scoped this terrain pretty well on his flight in and had some decent photos on his camera. The access was through a fairly long couloir that emptied out onto a playground of powder filled ridges and gullies. Jones dubbed it "Cameraman Couloir." Getting 8 riders and cameramen down the couloir safely would prove to be challenging, but we all made it. I was glad to be the second one through while there was still lots of soft snow left in it. After getting some on slope shots beneath the couloir it was time to figure out how to get back up to our camp. Originally we thought we might be able to make our way back the way we came down, but this proved unfeasible. There was the option of touring out to the Brady Glacier and back up to camp on our track from the previous day at the east end of the wall, but this was a long way. There was another option of climbing a chute that would put us just above camp to the north. It would be a slog too, but shorter than going out to the Brady and back. That was the way we ended up taking. We would drop back down this chute one more time (and climb out) to get a shot with Josh, but we left many lines unridden in this zone.

The crew makes their way up to the entrance.

"Cameraman Couloir" from the bottom.

Happy cameraman gets a few turns.

Jones makes his way back up for another pow shot.

What goes down must go up. The bottom of the climb home.

And the top.

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