While waiting for the bigger lines in the park to stabilize, I got out recently with Reed Finlay to ski a line on the north side of 25 Short that we have both both been eying for many years. Although 25 Short is a rather tame and low angle powder run, the lines on its north side often remain a mystery and are much more technical, steep and require quite a bit of route finding if you are skiing them “top down”, which I think most people do. I know many people probably look at this line when they exit Avalanche Canyon or from on top of Shadow Peak, and it was good to get it done and off the “hit-list”.
Randosteve uses a hand-line to get through the crux of the couloir.
Click all photos for larger image.
Iâ€™ve heard this run called numerous things, like Ulnar Collateral Couloir, Broken Thumb Couloir and/or Docâ€™s Thumb. The thumb reference is because during one of its descents, this local dude whose nickname is â€œDocâ€, aired the crux and broke his thumb in the process. Iâ€™m not totally sure how much the crux of this line ever fills in, but even though we have had such a big snow year this year, it was still rather spicy and we employed a rope to sneak through it. Here are some photos.
Randosteve skis the upper portion of the line.
About 6 turns before this photo, a 10-12″ slab released to my right.
Luckily, it didn’t pull me down, but I will tell you…I am getting
a little bit tired of triggering avalanches.
Reed skis the main ramp section of the descent, with 4-Hour Couloir
in the background. 4-Hour Couloir was the location of this recent event.
Randosteve skis towards the couloir section.
Reed pokes his way further down.
We skied mostly where the slough from above had scoured
the slope, but it was still soft and quite edgeable.
Reed makes his way towards the crux.
Randosteve ropes his way through.
It was cool to be below, in a protected spot, and see all the
snow come whizzing by as Reed side-slipped through.
Reed skis the mellower terrain below the crux.
Randosteve attempts at making a smoke screen.
Reed skis mellow pow on the apron.
The crux section of the couloir. I think it probably fills in a bit more with
snow and ice as the temps warm up and snow begins to melt.
Then again…maybe not.
Steve: What type of rope is that? It looks like a Blue Water 2 like they have at the Village. Generally ropes with a single black marker stripe are static cave ropes.
billy…it’s reed’s rope (mine stayed in the pack since his was long enough) and not a static line. Maybe an 8.1 beal or something…not sure. fwiw…i think the single line you see is actually blue…not black…maybe.
cool TR, i was wondering what you got into after running into you in the parking lot. what did you use as an anchor to get through the crux?
jay…good to be able to put a name with the face now, or face with the name…or what ever. it wasn’t pretty (or maybe it was), but reed jammed a nut cammed with a loose rock in a crack. one piece…did the job though.
Nice Steve! Way to make the best of what we got.
That tan rope with a blue marker stripe that they have at the Village is Blue Water II – a static cave rope. Be careful with it. It’s NOT for climbing / belaying.
thanks billybg…i’ll remember that next time i’m fishing around the ski area looking for a belay line.
again…this isn’t one of those ropes. this is a yellow rope with red speckles and a blue stripe….it’s a half rope.
well for that sort of usage, which dose nt include belaying a cave ropes perfect.. i use 60m of dyneema 5.5 (1800kg!) in the alps.. perfect ski rope.. but static
roger that gilles. i’ve been wondering how that 5.5 dyneema runs through a rappel device or munter hitch? is it stiff?