Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Goat Tour Part 1

Last week I went down to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington to finish up my winter season. Blair Habenicht had corralled a crew of WA bros for a spring splitboard tour into the mountains near Port Angeles for a Snowboarder Magazine story. Travis at Standard Films figured I'd be the guy to send to try and video the whole thing. Always up for a challenge, I signed on. The twist was we were going to use goats to help pack our gear into and out of our camp. Lester West had the goats, Mervin had the splits, Mike Yoshida & I had the cameras and Blair, Temple, Forrest B & Sammy had the time. We watched the roller coaster weather forecasts until a little window opened up last week. After a day in P.A. getting last minute supplies we were off to the trail head. It was a 3 mile walk to the camp site mostly on dirt and patches of snow. After setting up camp in the dark, we all hit the sack. The next morning we awoke to Lester's alarm of gunshots. Nothing like getting your point across! Time to get up and check out our surroundings. After a not so quick breakfast we were off. The valley we were camped in was steep. Steep enough that it was easier to bootpack up the snow and dirt/rocky patches than to try and skin up. Finally we were able to put the skins on and tour up the last 3rd of the climb. We reached the top of the ridge and looked across the valley to see the terrain we were after. The side we had climbed had a few interesting riding opportunities, but better things were on offer across the valley. The access looked a little more splitboard friendly too. We milked it until the sun started disappearing and headed down to camp. A quick dinner of freeze dried goodness and it was straight into the evening's most important activity - trying to dry boots. 
Night Goat.
Going up on Day 1.
View north to the San Juans...
... with Mt. Baker in the background.
Looking across to Day 2 possibilities.
Blair & Sammy.
Boot Camp.
The hazards of drying by fire.
More to come...

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