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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Thumbs up TR: The Badfinger Couloir.... (Possible first descent!?) 6/1/08

    Well this year things have really come together for me a bit, I got oppertunity's to get on alot of things I hadn't been on in the past... This was no exception.

    Ever since I first saw it last june when we hit goldfinger it had mesmorised me. I had looked around and asked a few people about it and yielded no results other then that it is a well known snow climb and as far as anyone knew it had not been skiied. I asked dave b about it and he said he thought it was possible and it hadn't been skiied much if ever. This was all after I had pondered the concept for months and stared the pictures down guaging size and planning routes and safe points to escape slough. I wondered if it was even possible at first and asked how it could be done safely, how would you rope up to go down it? how inset is it? is it possible with out roping up? I scanned the net for pics and luckily dave had one that represented how inset it really was.

    That confirmed it for me, the only forseable problem would be the entrance I figured. I thought I saw a traverse line around the cornice guarding the couloir and was pretty sure it was the way in, although I figured just in case I could bring some stuff to rig an anchor and a 60 M and rap over the cornice if possible.

    a shot of the top of the line to see the possible traverse in from lookers left around and under the cornice around the sketch convex spine above a 500+ ft drop.....



    anyone scared yet? I sure was just thinking about it.
    So my room mate says to me saturday night "hey we should hit the badfinger tomorrow...." I'm like really? and I start to shake a bit from the jittery adrenaline rush that follows. Well I guess I better start planning....
    so the next morning rolls around and after much planning (I went up and shot beta photos earlier before dusk) we decided to hit this nice little warm up above lincolin lake.

    Some shots of me comming out the bottom...





    So after that we went up to summit lake to meet up with some friends and hopefully shoot some video. We wait and drive around looking for cell service and call out a couple times but no one is responsive so we had to call it at a certian point for safteys sake. We started hiking at about 11:30 and things went pretty smooth on the hike, next thing I knew I was at the bad finger and feeling increadibly scared. I walked over to check out the entrance and all I could see was blind roll over to steepness to HUGE cliff. That option in my mind at that point in time was pure suicide. I was gripped at this point and my room mate shows up. Why don't you take a look for your self I tell him. He comes back like "if that's the way in fuck this". We decided to look at the opposite side, and that just looked even scarier.

    My room mate is like "what now?" He dropped goldfinger last year with me and I could tell he wanted to again, I wanted to walk back initially as the roll on goldfinger was pretty bad this year but 3 people snuck in (to goldfinger)already before us.

    I was feeling optimistic and atleast wanted to look in to the line head on from the cornice. This was really sketch though as the cornice showed some minor cracks and it was about 1:30 and pretty warm. I rigged up a dead man with some webbing and rigged up another with a stretch of rope and equalized and centralized the anchor point with a biner and a clove hitch to make it solid if either dead man blew which was a pretty damn slim chance. I rigged a harness out of some 8 or 9 mill cordelette and a munter hitch with 2 biners and I walked the plank. I started to sink in a bit near 1-2 feet from the edge, but I managed to get a look (from the direct rap in point at a smaller section of the cornice away from the cracks). I saw a horrifying runnel when I looked over and there was a super exposed face/spine which was mandatory to enter the gut. I walk back to saftey and I tell Nathan there is a nasty runnel but I think it's managable.

    Nathan has never seen a runnel and I have only experienced them 1 or 2 times in the past. I told him to check it out for himself, and rigged the harness and munter up for him with the second cordelet I had and 2 more locking biners.

    He thought he could handle it if he could get over the cornice and get his board on...

    I wanted nothing to do with that, I strapped in about 7 feet from the cornice and backed up with my board on. Once near the edge at the soft spot in the cornice I proceded to jump up and down trying to get the fucker to drop as I would rather it drop out below me and leave me hanging on the rope then above me crushing my ass. Supprisingly nothing was moving and I worked out further doing the same untill it busted right near the edge in a small chunk. I touched down soon enough and I still had maybe 30 feet of rope to keep me off edge above the exposed spine and face. I must admit I didn't want to get off the ropes at all, the snow however was supprisingly good some was wet but not too bad. There was some solid sections but you could get an edge the whole time and it was really prime overall.

    Fresh off the rope contemplating if it's too solid to turn or if it's gonna be glop



    I was worried I would skip instead of holding an edge and get caught up in the runnel at high speeds but finally I mustered a jump turn:



    then a few more turns:









    My favorite shot:



    More shots:





    The exposure:


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    I must say it was really steep up top and through the choke, and the runnel made the choke even more technical as if you werent careful you would run out of room to turn and jump the runnel to the other side. The runnel was probly atleast 1 and upto 3 feet at it's deepest, and atleast wide enough to eat you alive. I kept thinking if I fuck up and go in that runnel it's over and I just stratigicaly worked each side where I could squeeze some turns in and line up to jump across and squeeze some on the other side and repeat. If you did it right the runnel really helped manage the slough. I got lucky and did really well I only got marooned once (ran out of room to safely turn and jump across) and jumped the runnel switch to the other side to make one more turn and jump again. Eventually I got to a point where I could pull off so I took the oppertunity. It wasn't easy but eventually I pulled off with aid of my axe and got to a nice ledge where I took my gear off and got the camera out and started looking for good places to shoot from out of harms way but close enough to get a good view.

    Nathan still had to rap, strap in and get the rope in his pack, which proved to be an rough task.

    Looking up at nathan:



    While waiting I was getting really worried, he took a while for sure. The thing that wigged me out the most was the enormous boom like thinder right near me. Im looking at the clouds then the valley below the black wall when I notice a mist/ debree cloud at the base of the black wall where a enormous car or larger sized block just fell over 500 feet to the apron of snow below! While continuing to wait I watched a number of ice chunks come flying down and into the runnel. Luckily I was out of the way and had room to go back further if needed.
    Eventually nathan dropped and his slough went wizzing by first:



    Filled up the friggin runnel!

    Here goes nathan!





    I tried to warn him about the runnel and stratigizing his turns so he could easily cross it.

    But he messed up and his tail got sucked in by the raging slough!



    He took a 50-100 foot slide down the runnel and I thought he was going to die as I yelled get out, get out!



    he tried hard to get out but it had him sucked in deep and eventually he decided to try to just stop by using the axe and diging any edge possible on the board and he stopped a bit below were that shot was taken. even stopped all the slough above him!

    He got out somehow after that and proceded to rip the bottom up:

    (gettin back on the horse and crossing the runnel)

















    Unfortunately the battery died on nathans camera so he got no shots of me comming out the bottom but I ripped the shit out of it that's for sure!

    Victory!:





    Well I'm not 100 % sure but if no one can prove me wrong I'm claiming that nathan and I were the first descentionists.
    Enjoy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Park City UT and Marble CO
    Posts
    157



    Thats some scary shit. Looks like he could use some arrest practice- gotta flip that around!

    Way to get it done and glad you both made it down safe!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    MiZZZZoula
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    Runnell rider!














    wtf is going on with the board?......looks weird.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Vancouver/Langley
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    1,691
    pretty gripping, nice TR
    ‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Where the Butte is Crested
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    Classic. One giant runnel exactly down the center of the thing! That kind of snow can really mess folks up. Glad your friend was alright!

    I liked your story- good write-up! Isn't it great when one line leads to another? !!!
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    CB
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    Well, I'm terrified sitting in my living room. Props to you both for keeping your wits about you during that and congrats if you're the first!

  8. #8
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    Apr 2007
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    Tahoe
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    sweet TR.
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Summit County, Co.
    Posts
    6
    Dude,

    I'm a Big Fan of yours !! I give you much respect for getting out there and riding bad ass lines.

    Don't put so much emphasis on first descents though, especially in the State of Colorado where nearly every line that is skiable or rideable has been skiied or ridden already.

    You should be proud of your accomplishments regardless of whether or not they are first descents !!

    Peace Off-Piste,
    Share The Snow !!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    far out
    Posts
    306
    No, you have balls. Period.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Juxtaposition
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    5,785
    It should be called Bad Pencil. Its too wide for a finger.

    Life is not lift served.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Golden CO
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    2,342
    i saw those tracks when i was up there today. i couldn't figure out if someone had skied it or not. looks like a burly line. there was no way that we were going to get on anything with that aspect with the temps the way they were today. those rocks heat things up pretty freakin quick. Glad you guys made it out ok.

    as a side note, when there is a 2 foot wide runnel down the middle of a couliour, the chances are that it slides pretty regularly, kind of like a river cutting a hole through rocks.... nice work though.
    smile when you are going down, it looks more graceful
    dobish.blogspot.com Dynafit & O1 Adapter or AXL/2nd Ski Kit Sandwich Blog

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Strong work for sure!
    Have fun or get hurt bad. "MFT" A.K.A. Dr. Doom

    There are but three true sports--bullfighting, mountain climbing, and motor-racing. The rest are merely games. "Ernest Hemingway"

  14. #14
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    Dec 2005
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    Whoa. Nice TR, congrats on making the run and cheating death.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    I live in the wrong place!
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    181
    I think it should be called Dragons Neck as it clearly looks like a dragon. Head at cornice/entrance, long neck, body apron.
    Ski it. It'll make you feel good.

  16. #16
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    That was awesome, although not a first descent. That was skied back in the early 80's by Gilbert Gottfried and Gary Neptune.

  17. #17
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    I live in the wrong place!
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    Ski it. It'll make you feel good.

  18. #18
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    Jun 2004
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    2,967
    Nice job. Great photos too, they really give many different perspectives of the descent.
    "Have you ever seen a monk get wildly fucked by a bunch of teenage girls?" "No" "Then forget the monastery."


    "You ever hear of a little show called branded? Arthur Digby Sellers wrote 156 episodes. Not exactly a lightweight." Walter Sobcheck.

    "I didn't have a grandfather on the board of some fancy college. Key word being was. Did he touch the Filipino exchange student? Did he not touch the Filipino exchange student? I don't know Brooke, I wasn't there."

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by forum8fox View Post
    I must say it was really steep up top and through the choke, and the runnel made the choke even more technical as if you werent careful you would run out of room to turn and jum...

    I thought he was going to die as I yelled get out, get out!.....

    Unfortunately the battery died on nathans camera so he got no shots of me comming out the bottom but I ripped the shit out of it that's for sure!...


    Well I'm not 100 % sure but if no one can prove me wrong I'm claiming that nathan and I were the first descentionists.
    Enjoy!
    "I thought he was gonna die," followed by "he unfortunately didn't get any shots of my shredding," is just one of the many things that makes you sound like a dumbass.

    Stout line for sure, but maybe you should save this TR, take a year to think about how you want to claim it, and rewrite it. I bet you'd sound like way less of a douche.

  20. #20
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Good thing he had an Avalung!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Was UT, AK, now MT
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    I had looked around and asked a few people about it and yielded no results other then that it is a well known snow climb and as far as anyone knew it had not been skiied.
    Ask Lou Dawson, he probably has a good idea about the history of this line.

    My guess is, if it's a "well known snow climb", it's been skied by many.

  22. #22
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    "I thought he was gonna die," followed by "he unfortunately didn't get any shots of my shredding," is just one of the many things that makes you sound like a dumbass.

    Stout line for sure, but maybe you should save this TR, take a year to think about how you want to claim it, and rewrite it. I bet you'd sound like way less of a douche.
    Is this your first time reading a f8fox TR? You should go back and read the other ones he has posted. I'll summarize for you here briefly. He skis sick routes but probably has an IQ of 75.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Pico, VT
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    why does everyone keep saying "skis", "skied", "ski" etc... as far as i can tell he was on a snowboard

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpetrics View Post
    why does everyone keep saying "skis", "skied", "ski" etc... as far as i can tell he was on a snowboard
    To elicit confusion in the reader.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Da burgh
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    good job not dying. My friend took a big slide like that on mt evans last week too. Take him somewhere easy and teach him how to properly self arrest.

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