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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2018 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  April 2018 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 27, The Brothers
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Author Topic: April 27, The Brothers  (Read 1375 times)

Posts: 9

April 27, The Brothers
« on: 04/30/18, 09:39 AM »

Jake and I set out with the last of the hot streak, before the rains, to get on top of The Brothers and see what there is to ski. We decided on a light and fast approach; No pro, bail when it gets hairball. This decision plus the warmer-than-expected temps kept us off the summit.

We left the Lena lake trailhead at 4 a.m. in worrisomely balmy temps, and by first light we were at the creek crossing to find our high-flow worries assuaged by a manageable log-bridge/rock hop. We came across the first patches of snow about a mile into the Valley of Silent Men. It was obvious that things hadn't frozen up all week and excitement for the slog ahead built further.

We donned skins and skis about 1/4 mile before the last westward log crossing of Lena creek, and fumbled between that and the dirty bootpack from there to the upper basin. Snow was consistent  from there to our high point. Though the direct sun made for deep unsupportive mush, we were able to skin the entire basin up to the base of the cliff that lines the main route. At this point we were suspicious that the route went continuously, but the alternative to gain the south ridge would have put us under a condominium-complex sized cornice that was already showing signs of weakness. We opted to strap on crampons and deploy the axes to boot up a steep snow ramp climbers right.

When we found that the ramp was discontinuous with the upper couloir, we decided against the short rock pitch with heavy exposure that would leave the descent line uncertain. This was our high point, around 800 feet below the summit.

The steep ramp we'd booted made for a pleasant ski even given the mushy conditions, and made for a sustained steep descent of upwards of two bills to the forest-line in the basin. Wet slides entraining more snow and picking up speed in the troughs made for the only hazard (see video). Jake and I agreed that we had cashed in on the best ski offerings the Brothers would give up on this late season shot.

We were able to ski a short bit of the forest to minimize the punchy boot-pack back to soft boots and made quick work of the long slog back to beers and the truck by six. 14 hours car to car.

Life saver on this trip was the abundance of fresh water that kept our sun-scorched asses happy. Perhaps a bit late in this season for the best of the Brothers, but glad to have gone back there. That valley is magic.

Photos: 1-looking down the ascent line from the saddle-transition from skinning to booting
2- looking back up at the cornice to the left and our ramp-of-choice to the right

Link to video on Google Drive:

* Screen_Shot_2018-04-30_at_9.29.11_AM.png (438.15 KB, 645x658 - viewed 863 times.)

* Screen_Shot_2018-04-30_at_9.31.00_AM.png (507.21 KB, 883x451 - viewed 863 times.)
« Last Edit: 04/30/18, 11:23 AM by Leitzspeed » Logged
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