Today was the day when I attempted 15,000 feet. I started off with skiing a short run off Elk point then I went to the primrose cirque, I didn’t go higher because there were a lot of wind problems and it didn’t seem very safe.
Afterwards I headed for the UFO’s. I skinned up the ridge on the south side of UFO 1. It was a little bit slippery, but the views were spectacular. When I got to the top of UFO 1 I hit 5,000 feet at about 3 hours. The I went across the ridge. It was a little bit interesting navigating the descents and cornices, but manageable. Then I skied UFO 3. The best run of the day. I did another lap of it, putting me at around 7500 feet. I then exited over Betty’s Bump to meet up with my buddy and get more food and water. I thought it’d maybe be possible that the south facing slopes had softened. I was right. It was really fun. The snow felt like corn and I was ripping fast, easy turns. When I was near the bottom I turned back to look at my tracks and, AVALANCHE!
I had trended left with my turns and so I was out of the path. It ran for 100-150 feet and had some large balls the size of small fridges that may as well have been boulders they were so hard. I feel blessed and grateful that I wasn’t hit by any of it.
The I met up with my friend and got more food and water to begin the second half of the day. For the rest of the time I just hit laps on Bob’s, Low angle Betty’s, and Bob’s bowl. Bob’s was a disaster. Some of the most difficult skiing I’ve ever done. The snow as so inconsistent and firm, but grabby. Not fun. Low angle Betty’s was fun! The sun had softened it up and I did a couple of laps on it. Bob’s bowl was soft, but variable from the wind. I just kept doing laps trying to get as much vert as possible. I had something tonight at 6:30 and so we needed to be leaving the parking lot at 5:30. This put a time crunch for trying to get 15k. I was on track and then when I was at 1370 feet at the top of Bob’s Bowl my binding broke. It was a bummer because I was so close. One of the metal teeth that connects the heel of the boot snapped off. So I had to kind of just send the descent and make sure I kept my heel down. I climbed up a bit further back up to there ridge to get to 14k, and then called it because I knew I would be slower skiing down because. of the broken binding.
Even though I din’t quite get 15k feet, it was still an incredible day in the mountains pursuing a goal with time to myself, and with God’s creations.