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| | |-+  March 26, 2010, Mt Monroe (5,384') New Hampshire
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Author Topic: March 26, 2010, Mt Monroe (5,384') New Hampshire  (Read 539 times)
MW88888888
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March 26, 2010, Mt Monroe (5,384') New Hampshire
« on: 04/05/10, 06:06 PM »

Day 31
Mt Monroe (5,384)
Vertical skied: approx 4,200 VF

I focused my full attention to Wayne’s stationary form a couple hundred feet ahead of me.  This I focused on – he was safe – now, the question was could I get there?  And the follow up question, once there, were we safe from the danger? 

All morning and afternoon Wayne, Osler and I had enjoyed powder along the East and South faces near Mt Monroe, blown in on the usual fierce above tree line winds that are the scourge of the Whites.  Powder was unexpected, delightful.  The crowds: unseen.  Now it was payback time as we traversed back across the ice fields separating the summits of the Presidential Range, seeking a similarly bountiful exposure on the ski out to our car.  We had high hopes, but this was the Whites and nothing was a sure thing.   

I had not skied the descent route before, nor climbed up it, so I had no idea what I was in for, other than scanning the route on the climb up from a distance.  I was hoping Wayne had a good idea what was ahead.  My snowboard sounded like a jet taking off as I ripped across the bullet hard ice.  I was gripped.  I had experienced New Hampshire no-fall skiing many times and was not looking forward to a refresher course.

Before I reached him, Wayne moved on.  Hmm.  This was good news, he obviously found a way.  I followed where he went and could see he followed a shallow gully-like feature that made a softer snow ramp down around a very steep section.  Wise terrain choice, I thought, assuming the ramp didn’t leave us dead-ended.  I followed. 

Sure enough, we wrapped around the rim of the Ravine and found ourselves above our objective.  It looked wicked.  Below, the valley floor was missing, lost beyond the ever-steepening ravine walls.  As we dropped in, however, the snow improved markedly, finally returning to the boot deep powder we found in the morning.  Exquisite!   

Powder, high winds, bullet proof ice, mountaineering adventure – a White Mountain tour for sure.  The only thing lacking was the Pinkham Notch crowds.    (Pics 1 and 3 by Osler)


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