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  1. #1
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    Pacific Peak TR:5/12/07

    Well we were all a bit ambitious today with a great goal set. A fairly early start got us to the TH at about 6:30-7:00 am. One member in our group got it right and went up the pacific creek drainage, the other 4 of us followed me blindly up the ridge to the west. We rode the SE aspect of that ridge into the pacific creek drainage wasting time and energy. When we caught up to our other member he was a bit frustrated and rightly so. There was another party closing in on us and for some strange reason we had a feeling they were there to tackle the same line.

    It seemed like a race for a while up the southern flank of the peak to reach the west ridge. Mean while a friend of mine and another member of our crew was trying to document the decent so they raced for the saddle between crystal and pacific. At one point in time we noticed the group that was gaining on us had dropped something and had to go back down so we stopped racing as hard.

    the ridge was somewhat technical about 2/3 or a little further up, as there was a snow covered "step" of rock that had to be passed either directly which was up some steep snow and rock, or by skirting the rock and climbing a steep snow face, or by traversing way out to a scree field. our leader went up the steep snow and rock and advised not following, but to instead skirt the rock to a ramp and climb the ramp to a steep snow face topped by a mini cornice type roll. This for me was the most exposed part of the climb as it was really steep snow climbing on a fairly exposed face (although fairly clean run out)

    After this crux I continued up the ridge line pretty eventlessly topping out the mini summit to find a horrid sight.

    the line:


    What a sick line! I just found it this year and was already pumped to get it done.
    But the snowpack was not exactly cooperating.

    unless you feel like strait lining the crux through a 10 foot long 1 foot wide choke only 5 feet in. I wanted it so bad I was determined to find a way, or atleast that is what I first though. Can I downclimb through the choke and strap in on that 50+ degree madness? fat chance the snow climb on the ridge was scary enough with out a bunch of shallow rocks and rock walls to deal with.

    The first member of out group standing on top:



    you can probly tell it isn't happening from that pic alone.

    Me determined scoping the line instead of bagging the summit like the other members in the group (im in the notch and one of the other members adam is on the summit)
    :



    Just contemplating insanity...... (I will add another post after I finish the story describing what I was thinking might work)

    the trio in the notch right before departing due to bad weather and lack of ideal coverage:



    So as hard as it can be we all decided it was best to bail. The footage would have sucked because of a small hail storm moving in plus the only way to possibly do it would look bad (gaping sideslip not clean style through the crux) and be catastrophic if even a minor problem were to arise.

    I promptly skied the chute exiting the notch to the south (due to thunder getting closer) which was pretty good in hindsight but at the time in no way was cool. It sucked mostly because of thin coverage and peppery conditions. The snow was like glue comming down pacific creek drainage and it was post hole a riffic even with snowshoes on the way out.

    I guess not this year.......
    now I know how ISKIBC felt the first 2 times he attempted it.

    I will just keep it on the list untill a good snow year I guess.

  2. #2
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    Basically the line in the red is where our only other option might have existed.



    The blue dots represent a thin snowpack with all kinds of hidden mysteries.

    However it looked possible to work your way through a maybe 1 foot wide slightly angling traverse into the wider slot and carefully sideslip/ self arrest into the slot possibly being able to do turns from there but not likely (the yellow is mostly sideslipping/ self arrest territory.

    Besides the weather the other reason to bail was this looked grim. if there was a hidden rock in the traverse that snagged someone they would flip over the rock rib directly bellow and then tomohawk down into the walls and down to the bottom resulting in certain death.

    The other group was on top as we left the pacific creek drainage, I am almost certain they would have bailed too if they had no rope and harnesses.
    maybe they will chime in as well as some of the other members involved.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Bummer the top of that line is thin! I thought with all the April/May snow it would be in for sure. Guess not! iskibc and I had to sideslip through that crux as well last year, about a week after this date right now. Our skis straddled from rock to rock, not touching the snow when we sidestepped down.

    On my first try w/ iski we went up the west ridge too which took forever. We took a couloir down on the NW face I think on that attempt that you took this time. It's a fun couloir, but certainly not as satisfactory as the North line! But during that attempt we found a snowfield that came up from the south and took that up to the top the next time.

    Better luck next time! It certainly is a fun line! So aesthetic!
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  4. #4
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    What about that diaganal strip of snow that meets up with the bottom of the cooler? That looks like a fun, slightly easier option.
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  5. #5
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    Too bad it did not work out.
    Another time!

  6. #6
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    you mean the wide ramp entering the cooley lookers right? didn't even think about it let alone know it was there. Besides that skips the best part, the steep tight section.

    So has this line ever been skiied with clean turns top to bottom?
    I get the impression that it doesn't really get skiied very much at all.
    ISKIBC and MBSC are the only 2 that I have ever heard of skiing it.

  7. #7
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    Hmmm, thanks for the beta. I was wanting to ski that line pretty soon. But I think I'll hold off this year.

    The weather came in pretty early yesterday. I was on top of Marjory when a storm came fast.
    Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
    Henry David Thoreau

  8. #8
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    glad I could help you not waste your time shera! Unfortunately I did not have the same convinence. If we had known better we would have skiied the NW face on crystal as it was looking prime. Also there were tracks on drift so that's looking nice too. I guess I haven't had the best luck this spring. Oh well, there is still a couple of good days left I hope.

    I still am looking forward to shit for brains, james peak and with any luck radiobeacon or the princess leigha on S Arapaho.

    but we'll see, it's alot easier to just give up and start climbing with the luck I have had lately.

  9. #9
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    OK cross that off my list

    Quote Originally Posted by forum8fox View Post
    If we had known better we would have skiied the NW face on crystal as it was looking prime.
    Still on my list... and cant wait for Indy and Rollins to open...

    Also there were tracks on drift so that's looking nice too.
    Hehe... check
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    there were a bunch of maggots in that area yesterday. A bunch of us were staying at Francies Hut up there and ended up hitting Crystal Peak. We were going to try and hit Pacific too, but we were not so sure on the snow conditions. We saw a couple of people skiing off the top of crystal on the Northeast face, and another group that came back down towards the lake. We douched the face.... it looks like a nice line though.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Great TR Fox. This is Adam here. Those pics of us at the top your buddy took look great! We were all pretty bummed about not hitting the line, but I still had a great time. Let me know when round 2 is vs. Pacific and I'll be there!

    I wrote a TR on Splitboard.com, check it out: http://www.splitboard.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=3676

  12. #12
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    Welcome luca_brasi.
    I see the account activation worked out.

  13. #13
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    nope...I had to create a new account. 'luca brasi', without the underscore. oh well, no big deal.

  14. #14
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    good to see some insanity being pondered in that area. you'll get it next season.

  15. #15
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    Nice! I am glad you got a shot of me climbing that steep snow face. Also it's cool to use all the pics of mine you want on your tr. Got another sick objective for this weekend, although I am affraid to say too much and ginx myself like I have done in the past 2 weeks. I am a little concerned about the weather...... will probly suck for pictures, might get lightninged out........
    Atleast the cooley should be fat!

    I will deffinately let the whole crew know when it's time for round 2 on pacific, I will go in a week early just to scout it out (probly a great excuse to ski crystal ).

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