Argonaut - NE couloirDate:
Argonaut and NE couloir
Once again my watch alarm failed to rouse me from slumber, and I woke around 8. I pretty much knew the snow or rather ice in the gully was going to SUCK for skiing, but since I was in the area, it deserved a closer look -- which confirmed the predictable results -- ice, frozen death cookies, runnels - YUCK. I decided to climb it and determine whether or not I would want to ski it once on top. Easy climbing conditions and I climbed continous snow to it's end just below the rocky summit.
The upper snow field held the best snow, but it was still pretty Icy.
I skiied down -- side stepping through an icy crux - to the couloir, where I proceeded to make some scary icy/crusty turns. A little sidestepping in spots to get past an ice runnel or particularly nasty ice crust, then conditions improved somewhat in the constriction -- as the heat of the day softened the ice crusts ever so slightly.
Smooth firm neve led to soft corn on the lower slopes. Started raining/snowing on my deproach -- good! let the nasty ice crusts get burried in powder!