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03-21-2010, 08:56 PM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
Plinko! (new line on the Pfiefferhorn?)
We were filming in the are of the Pfiefferhorn last week when I spotted what appeared to be a 'skiable' line. I couldn't stop my mind from piecing together this stout, steep and committing connection of ramps on the north face. It was one of those seeds that once planted keeps growing and wouldn't go away even once I was back down in the valley. The trick would be connecting the correct ramps together and not tumbling to the death. However, it looked as if it would all 'fall' into place if you got started in the correct spot. Kinda like a big game of PLINKO!
All I needed was a willing and able partner. Courtney was game, he even knew the right direction to go.
Busy Saturday in the wasatch backcountry, but we weren't too worried anybody would be poaching this particular line.
Started off the summit with sticks on. Nice turns right off top.
I brought along a photo to aid in our inverse navigation. We kept referring to it as a 'map' and it turned out to be a really nice tool with the inverse navigation. Mountains look very different from above where everything just rolls off into space.
It's ski mountaineering not ski ballet. It isn't always pretty, but we made some turns and sidestepped through a narrow chute to reach the first rappel. Ok, it was mostly sidestepping. Mentally it's very difficult to relinquish the safety of your edge and throw yourself into a turn with that kind pitch and exposure.
We brought along two 60m ropes, but we managed the first cliff by doubling a single line doubled over a prominent rock horn.
The first rappel landed us on the angling ramp we were hoping for, which was much steeper than we had hoped for. Committed to gravity and the downward pursuit at this point!
I've been exclusively on telemark gear for the past 12 years and this was my 3rd day on Dynafit gear. I had some serious issues clicking in here and came close to full on freaking out. I didn't have firm enough snow underfoot and the ski kept flexing (I think that was the issue). Luckily I hadn't pulled the rope yet so I could hang onto it while I fiddled around.
So you are probably asking "is this even skiing"? The answer is yes, because we have skis on.
I checked out the slope angle, but it's tough to get an exact reading with this beacon. There was no doubt everything on that line was in the mid to upper 50's.
You can see Courtney down below working towards the rocks looking for rocks to anchor off.
Looking back at the sunny ramp where I took the slope angle reading. That's right more sidestepping, we contemplated but didn't make any turns and sitting here safely in the comfort of my office I'm happy with that decision.
Looking down with 2 raps still to go.
Court has a long history of rock climbing, so the pro placed the pro. We had to pound in a few pitons here for anchors after we dug around for cracks.
This was a long rap that took the full length of both 60m ropes.
We were both all smiles when we hit the final hanging snowfield and knew we had plenty of gear and only one more rappel.
All the skiing sections were much shorter than they had appeared from below. The lower snowfield was very short, but had some nice snow so we decided to actually make some turns.
We made some high concentration and consequence kick turns.
The final rap!
The sweet relief of the mellow apron, which felt flat.
The transition from the vertical world was covered in classic Wasatch powder.
It was late and we had forgotten to eat or drink much so we had a quick picnic down in the flats beneath the mighty Pfieff. It was tough to ski away, we don't have many mountains that contain possibilities like this.
(Insert cheesy team photo with project in the background here)
We didn't see any signs of a previous attempts on this route (rappel anchors) and haven't heard of prior success on this route, but this is the Wasatch and pretty much everything has been skied. So, i'm not sure if we can call it a first descent, but it was new to us and a full on adventure. Having skied most of the graded routes in the Wasatch this is the most serious and committing line I'm aware of. We're rating it at II S6+ A. We skied out Hogum to the road in less than friendly conditions. Then like a cherry on top of an freshly baked cake, we got to enjoy the sunset on the drive down the canyon.
Last edited by nohow; 11-24-2010 at 11:37 AM.
03-21-2010, 09:01 PM #2
03-21-2010, 09:03 PM #3
Wow dude! You should rename it "puckerd butthole"
03-21-2010, 09:04 PM #4
03-21-2010, 09:04 PM #5
Nice work and super burly line! Glad you got it done safely.
03-21-2010, 09:11 PM #6
can't think of anything but, wow.......
03-21-2010, 09:16 PM #7User
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
Holy shit, pucker!
03-21-2010, 09:18 PM #8
Christ, is this what you sick fucks do when you don't get 500"?
03-21-2010, 09:28 PM #9
Ugh, do not want.
!damn!Move upside and let the man go through...
03-21-2010, 09:38 PM #10
I'm pretty sure you guys are fucked up in the head.
03-21-2010, 09:46 PM #11
That was fucking intense."Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God."
My Flickr Photostream
03-21-2010, 10:15 PM #12
Way to seek the pucker!!
Last edited by the Mad; 03-22-2010 at 12:24 PM.
03-21-2010, 10:46 PM #13
definitely not enough props for this one yet....stomach raw thinking bout it, back to the top
03-21-2010, 10:58 PM #14
03-21-2010, 11:02 PM #15
03-21-2010, 11:17 PM #16
that is out of control craziness. How do you not shit yourself?
03-21-2010, 11:26 PM #17Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
now try hucking that?
03-21-2010, 11:35 PM #18Cham-wow!
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
When I saw the first photo I thought you were going to triple-stage (or is it quad) the sucker at speed.
* This is a lie.
03-22-2010, 01:34 AM #19
you guys did this high???
03-22-2010, 01:46 AM #20
Balls on - High and switch to the road, that's how they roll in the UT.# # #
"...You must be a big skier then." I said "no, I'm a petite size 2." Awkward silence.... - Parvo
Heard Hugh lost a testy in the tram line at Kitzbühel via altercation with the local monoboard team circa '93. Has been bitter about game theory since.- Klauss
03-22-2010, 02:20 AM #21
Damn, I don't have that sort of risk threshold. Nice workLicense to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations
03-22-2010, 02:30 AM #22
03-22-2010, 02:40 AM #23
My palms were sweating just reading. Amazing."Laughter is the best medicine."-stizzmt
03-22-2010, 07:04 AM #24Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
I wanted to throw up looking at more than a few of those photos.
03-22-2010, 07:43 AM #25
TR of the year right here"Whenever I get a massage, I ALWAYS request a dude." -lionelhutz
"You can't shave off stupid." -lionelhutz
"I was hoping for ice." -lionelhutz
"It's simple science." -lionelhutz