Note: This trip report is part of the TetonAT Trip Report Contest. Sam is now in the running to win a FREE pair of Black Diamond skis based on viewer response and the TetonAT panel of judges! Good luck Sam!!
Allen preps to jump the ice bulge
in the Diagonal of Huntington Ravine.
My friend Allen and I went over to Huntington Ravine yesterday to try and knock a few things off the list. From Marc Chauvin’s website (April 7th entry) we knew that Yale had been skied. Due to its south facing aspect we figured that we wouldn’t have much time left (if any) if we wanted to ski it this year. So, Yale became priority number one for the day.
Guess which line is the Diagonal.
Initially we thought that the main problem would be the uppermost ice bulge, but as we climbed up we found a lot more ice than we expected, the lower section would probably have been skiable, but transitioning would have been seriously sketchy over that exposure, so we down-climbed from about half way up. As a consolation we decided to go up Diagonal. Allen wasn’t initially super excited about it, he had Odell’s higher on his list, and Odell’s was fast running out of snow, but we stuck with Diagonal because we were closer to it. We thought we’d be up and down really quickly and have time to go look at Odell’s but Diagonal had other plans.
Ski tracks heading into the Central Gully.
Allen and I were both bonking pretty hard as we started up the gully. The early start combined with all the sun and dehydration was wearing us out. Once we finally reached the top we were dead tired, but began to feel restored after watching a few other skiers drop into Central via the steep start that was too icy for us to ski on our trip last Monday.
Sam skiing great snow in the Diagonal.
Allen and I decided that we wanted to huck the ice cliff at the bottom as a two stager to lookers right. He was having the better day and decided to give it a shot first. He inched closer and closer and finally went over the lip………and didn’t pop out on the apron. I called his name a few times and got no response. Then I waited a few more minutes and called his name again, still no response. I started to assume the worst and moved over to the left to begin down climbing and presumably rescuing Allen. Pretty much as soon as I got my skis off though, I heard a cheerful call from below. Allen had fallen, but was fine and would meet me at the bottom. I was pretty psyched out on the idea of hucking by now, so I decided to continue with my down climbing plan and skied down to meet Allen after skipping the ice.
Sam skiing below the ice bulge.
In retrospect this was a very strange, but eye opening day. I have the bad habit of being rigidly goal oriented and normally wouldn’t have given a second thought to a line I hadn’t considered at the beginning of the day. Perhaps because of a lazy desire to avoid the short skin across the bowl, or because of how tired we already were, Central began to look very appealing by mid morning when we got off Yale. Regardless of the reason, I’m glad we ended up on Diagonal, it was a great climb and a perfect ski on a three inch thick layer of peel away corn. The vertical rock walls on either side of the chute, combined with the cliff at the bottom, create a fantastic feeling of exposure and really up the already aesthetic nature of this rarely skied EC line.
Looking up the Diagonal.