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| | |-+  May 13-14 Alta Circumnavigation
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Author Topic: May 13-14 Alta Circumnavigation  (Read 5495 times)
Jake the Brit
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May 13-14 Alta Circumnavigation
« on: 05/15/14, 09:28 PM »

Originally it was Chimney Rock, but then I remembered that the gad-awful Middle Fork road was closed midweek for repairs. That left Cameron Meatface and I spinning, so we returned to my default destination, the Rampart Ridge.
Thanks to a guy called Snoholic, who I think I remember crawing out from under a tree canopy at Crystal on my 2nd-ever tour and leading us on a wicked little educational experience, we now have a name for our chosen ascent; the Toilet bowl. We were in the U-Bend of the bowl at 7AM Tuesday AM, cramponing up hard, fully refrozen, dreamy snice. The plan being to romp along Rampart Ridge with 3 days of food see how well we could deal with the gross warm temperature. It was cool in the bowl.
The lake plateau behind Rampart Ridge is fairly fat and flat and would accommodate our low-vert inclinations and despite being a bit too late on the south slope above Lake Lillian we managed to rip some north facing slopes releasing small wet slides in a predictable, slow manner.
Alta is the final destination, but it’s packing near continuous cornices, the light shines through them from underneath and we left the summit alone, content to groove along the plateau. There are sparse trees and surely some lakes lurking under the snow. It was hot, ‘trudgery’ Cameron dubbed it, beautiful.
The snow itself was mush, about 12-18” of mush, north aspects notably were better, but anything that had had the sun was mush and would slide if given the opportunity, and had slid if there was rock above it. There was no difference between the shaded east aspects which the sun had left, to bright, lit-up sunny aspects, they were all wet & heavy. So we called a halt at the end of our long flat plateau.
Looking for a bivi spot rendered up some comedy, and a couple of dead trees, so we slept there, under a tree near the entry to the Alta north bowl, watched for the alpenglow on the HiBox ridge, drank brandy, made stupid jokes about limp appendages. ‘What to do tommorrow’, the debate. Well, if the snow froze overnight, we’d go for it, hump up to the ribbon-in-the-sky that GoogleEarth says connects into the Park Lakes. If there was no freeze, we’d drop the North Alta bowl & thrash out in as safe a way as possible.
At 4.30 the snow had not frozen, so we got up, ate oats, like the asses we are, and I laid siege to Cameron’s mind. He wouldn’t do it though, because he’s smarter than I. The most I could persuade young Meatface to do was hump up to where I thought the ramp, was, & take a look, but we’d leave the overnight gear below. He’s smart that guy, he knew that if the ramp-ribbon-runway was there it would look irresistible and we’d be off again; the trudgery. The ramp was not there, which is best, that it stays illusory, for the meantime.
Alta North Bowl, faces north and we got to it about six thirty, as the thin crust was thinking about melting as the sun menaced and as the turns flowed smooth across the valley head in the Chikamin shadow. We did a hard right. A guy could do all sorts of other things, there are some evil couloirs, but I’m not French despite the wine & cheese & the humanity of socialism.
We were let off Alta in a given set of creek beds after we deferred left. The turns in the trees were the icing on the cake, the sort of honest butchery that’s really only easy to do on a snowboard. I have seen a guy ski out of that kind of crap but he’s left, gone back to the ice on the East coast. River, giant slides, five creek crossings for me, Goldcreekin I reckon so. Mother earth.


* Alta_circunmav-500.jpg (162.49 KB, 534x800 - viewed 914 times.)

* Alta_circunmav-501.jpg (157.12 KB, 1000x668 - viewed 879 times.)

* Alta_circunmav-502.jpg (170.98 KB, 534x800 - viewed 858 times.)
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snoholic
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Re: May 13-14 Alta Circumnavigation
« Reply #1 on: 05/15/14, 11:51 PM »

How much do I have to pay for you to write TR's for me?
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Jake the Brit
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Posts: 339


Re: May 13-14 Alta Circumnavigation
« Reply #2 on: 05/16/14, 10:00 AM »

..that's a damned nice thing to say. I reckon we could go a-touring together & that would get the job done. a pm coming your way.
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mtneer ordinaire
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WWW
Re: May 13-14 Alta Circumnavigation
« Reply #3 on: 05/17/14, 10:41 PM »

How much do I have to pay for you to write TR's for me?

Last July, through happenstance on the Russell Glacier, he charged me and my two ski partners zero for fresh hot coffee.   Smiley
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dahu
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Posts: 53


Re: May 13-14 Alta Circumnavigation
« Reply #4 on: 05/19/14, 11:28 AM »

Great report and Nice exploration Jake!  Cannot wait to go and check those evil couloirs  Smiley   
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