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  1. #1
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    TR: Down the long slides like free bloody birds

    Down the Long Slides Like Free Bloody Birds





    It starts out Frostean


    With co-opted bourgeois musings about roads less travelled


    And other similarly trite profundities


    But then we turn a corner, and a Gothics horror rises before us


    Or so it was named for it's prominent panes of frozen glass and feldspar buttresses that reminded Frederick Perkins and Old Mountain Phelps of a cathedral


    But it reminds me more of the mouth of a beast with alternating incisors of cracked crags and shattered glass

    (picture stolen from the internet)

    And I wonder if Jonah stood on the lip of his great fish, and stepped calmly onto its tongue to be swallowed. Or was he, like me, apprehensive of a long, rough slide into the beast's gut?


    Of course, even the ancients doubted the veracity of Jonah's tale, while I have no doubt that I'm in a rather serious spot. This is beyond comfort for me.

    The snow begins.


    And the traverse, traverse, traversing above paint-thin sheets of verglas vexes away any will to document. We devolve into a three man exercise in not slipping. We rope up twice. Once to cross a wind loaded gully. Again when a slip would have been long, hard and final.

    After the second and final belay we plow up a sugar-filled gully, hooking our tools on roots and rocks, pulling ourselves again and again out of snow that's more likely to swallow our legs than support a step. We crawl the last few meters to the ridge over krumholtz covered with snow that seems to lack any substance whatsoever.

    The summit ridge, by comparison, is an escalator,


    To views of tomorrow's goal


    And mother Marcy


    All that's left now is to find the top of the slide, which is somewhere North of the Nordwand


    We down-hike through chest deep, breaking branches with faces, ripping roots with front points, pitched forward by the skis on our backs, cursing each step and the sagging sun behind us, until we think back to the sheet of snow on a sheet of ice on a sheet of rock we climbed and feel comforted by the trench our bodies are digging.

    You can't fall off a trench.

    After a few dozen miserable meters, the slide really is there. And the snow is soft:









    After 12 hours and 16 miles D-Roc, Moops and I arrive at the hut just as the others were arranging a search party to rescue us (sort of). I need a cup of coffee to give me enough strength to eat my stew and drink my beer. We share stories of the day (our group was but 3 of 12). I share good times with good men, but I remember nothing. My mind and body are wasted. I won’t be waking up at 4:30 tomorrow. But I will surely follow someone more motivated up a mountain.

    The next day was blurry at the summit.


    But that didn’t stop us from from stopping to dance.


    We picked our way down 40 feet at a time so as to not lose sight of each other, stumbling hopefully through thick brush in the general direction of our slide. Occasionally we link a turn or two together through an open patch.


    But mostly it’s falling leaf while grasping a gnarled tree trunk until we reach the top of the slide. And we smile.


    We make cloud turns


    Ice turns


    Rock turns


    Stick turns


    Stream bed turns


    And one, errr...rather.... ummm…. late turn that involved a face


    Back at the hut the groups re-merge and devour cheese, chili, beer and bourbon over well won stories of exaggerated greatness. ML, Moops and I stay up late finishing the liquor, plotting next year's campaign, when we’ll be older, grayer and greater.

    More to come from other parties in the posse...
    Last edited by I've seen black diamonds!; 03-27-2015 at 09:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    base of the Bush
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    11,193
    Many thanks to ML242 for putting together the trip, lots of time spent planning this adventure. Looking across the lake from my usual haunt for a few decades I always wondered how some of the slides would ski. Found they are quite nice.

    A predawn start up Algonquin yielded some fun skiing









    The next day we decided to float with the Angels. A couple of our crew started earlier and set a nice skin track foe us.





    The clouds dropped low making for some murky skiing for team leader ML





    Last edited by Vt-Freeheel; 03-23-2015 at 06:40 AM.
    www.apriliaforum.com

    "If the road You followed brought you to this,of what use was the road"?

    "I have no idea what I am talking about but would be happy to share my biased opinions as fact on the matter. "
    Ottime

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    19
    Super fun weekend!

  4. #4
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    Nov 2014
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    SLC
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    Pretty rad, I always wondered about skiing the north face on Gothics. Good looks getting after it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    In a state of disarray
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    473
    ISBD, you have a gift! Well done! I can't wait until next years adventure!

    moops out
    Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    smog lake shitty
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    274
    strong work

  7. #7
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    Mar 2011
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    North,NorthEast
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    Nice work guys! Right out of my back door. Peggy O? And did we meet a few of you guys at the inn last week?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    9,472
    The plan we hatched sounded amazing at the time, but when morning came all I could remember was finishing off the whisky.

    Thanks for getting the TR up, I'll throw some pics up from my skiing the other peaks soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by t-the-east View Post
    Nice work guys! Right out of my back door. Peggy O? And did we meet a few of you guys at the inn last week?
    negatory, we were at the loj-ish, and if we met at the Econo then I am sorry that the breakfast guy didn't show up as well.
    .....I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Salt Lake Chitty, UT
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    741
    ISBD you are the man... Thx to all for a great weekend
    You took too much man, too much, too much

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    New England
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    Thanks for putting the thread together ISBD and props to ML for organizing the trip. It was a great trip with a solid crew.


    Some more pics from Algonquin, but the day before.

    On the way up, ML and bro:





    At the top... nice to find some shelter from a howling cold wind:






    And nice to find untracked snow when we were expecting wind scoured ice!

    ML starting things off:












    Followed by brother Paul:








    Next day, another six mile hike to Avalanche Lake:





    Trap Dike, the back (or front?) door to Mt Colden:



    And capped off with a cold one:

    Screw the net, Surf the backcountry!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    King Ridge
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    1,476
    Awesome TR! Like these shots of brother Paul.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddy View Post
    Followed by brother Paul:






    Wouldn't it be easier to ride the lift up?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Love it. Thank you.

    I skied one of the Gothics Slides back in '03. So much fun. I wish I was back there.
    They think I do not know a buttload of crap about the Gospel, but I do.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2011
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    boston, ma
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    363
    Awesome work guys. Loved the storyline and pics.

  14. #14
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    Nov 2010
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    mont royal
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    killer!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    694
    Really really nice, well-played and looks like you guys scored peak conditions. Great prose too, ISBD, can't overlook the wordsmithing

  16. #16
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    Jan 2011
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    E >>> W
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    Nice work!
    Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Natures peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. - John Muir

    "How long can it last? For fuck sake this isn't heroin -
    suck it up princess" - XXX on getting off mj

    “This is infinity here,” he said. “It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something — but it could be infinity, right?” - Trump, on the vastness of space, man

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Middle of the NEK
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    Nice work guys. Fun read and great pics.
    Aim for the chopping block. If you aim for the wood, you will have nothing. Aim past the wood, aim through the wood.
    http://tim-kirchoff.pixels.com/

  18. #18
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    Dec 2011
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    Timbers of Fennario
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    Fantastic indeed all! Look forward to more write-ups/pics from everyone.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    really? You can't guess it?
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    703
    Great stuff!
    Quote Originally Posted by iceman View Post
    This is kinda like the goose that laid the golden egg, but shittier.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    SLC
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    Algonquin in the wintertime is one of the windier things I've experienced. And a trap dike ascent after that! You guys are making me miss the ADKs!! Badass stuff.

  21. #21
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    Oct 2013
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    Damn - Team Hardcore on the creep! That is some aggressive EC adventuring... well done!
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

  22. #22
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    Oct 2011
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    Inside the Circle
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    Nice work all. ML, that looked a lot better than the slide on the south side of Dorset.

  23. #23
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    Jun 2005
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    Driving2VT
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    3,227
    Impressive work. Thanks for posting.
    Uno mas

  24. #24
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    Dec 2006
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    Your Mom's House
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    I always wanted to ski some of the slides when I lived in NY, but didn't have the knowledge or experience at the time. Nicely done!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Southern NH
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    4,222
    Looks like a good time was had. Wish I was there. Hope to see the crew soon.
    The Passion is in the Risk

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