After a windy day on 10,696, the weather broke for a bit on Sunday and I was on my own. I got a slow start out of the condo, but was on the trail a little before 9am, following a skin track up towards Albright. I was kind of bummed to be following a trail instead of breaking one and I hoped that I would either catch-up to or pass the party ahead of me, giving me a better chance at having first tracks down the gut-line.
As I crested a ridge near the top, I could see a track heading towards Albright, which pissed me off, but as I topped out on Wimpys, I saw two figures standing above the north face of the mountain and one of the two couloirs that cut through the face. I know many of those that have climbed and skied Albright have also stared at these (sort of little) lines, but its rare when someone actually skis them. Back in the day, I carved tracks down both of the couloirs that drop you into Stewarts Draw and I was psyched to watch whoever was up there do the same.
Before I could get out my camera, the first person dropped in. It was a snowboarder and they ripped it pretty nicely, and a rad waterfall of slough cascaded over the cliffs. I was bummed I missed the shot, because it looked sick. Soon after, the skier went for it and skied an exposed section on the skiers left, then perched himself on an out-cropping to check out what might be a sneak into the other north facing couloir further to the west. After a bit, they backed off and skied the main shot.
At this point, I was hoping they were going to drop into Static Draw, allowing me the opportunity to still get first tracks down the gut, but they stayed high and traversed east, back to the saddle just north of the summit. I motored over to the saddle, thinking maybe they would have sympathy on me and allow me to hit the gut first, since they just scored the north couloir. I was also kind of wondering who it was and it didn’t really surprise me when it turned out to be Jason Tattersall and Jesse Thompson.
After a quick bro-down, they skied down and east from the saddle, but a bit further north than the main gut so I was stoked since the gut would still be all mine. I spent some alone time on the summit, staring at peaks, day dreaming and thinking about what I want to focus on for the remaining part of the winter. With my bigger touring set up on my feet (Quadrants/185cm Justices) though, it was hard to resist the high speed powder run I was about to take. I gave in after a few minutes and ripped it all the way to the bottom (about 3500 feet) without stopping. It would have been some good POV footage, but my helmet cam has finally died and I am now on the hunt for a new one. Oh well, less to carry I guess?