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JasonG

[TR] A week at Fairy Meadow (Bill Putnam hut) - Pythias, Damon, Enterprise, My Little Pony, Pioneer (ski peak) 04/18/2018

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Trip: A week at Fairy Meadow (Bill Putnam hut) - Pythias, Damon, Enterprise, My Little Pony, Pioneer (ski peak)

Trip Date: 04/18/2018

Trip Report:

 

Last year a bunch of my friends and I won the lottery!  Well, more accurately, Bingen won the lottery and invited us to share in his prize-  a week at the Bill Putnam hut up at Fairy Meadow. Wisely, he convinced to us to spring for a cook for the week, a luxury on top of the helicopter ride for us and our gear to the hut.  And what a week it was.  Storm, sun, wind, and fantastic food- It was my first taste of the more refined side of backcountry skiing.  We had the whole hut for our party (20, including Patti the  Mo's Mountain Cuisine cook).

 

Each day the weather gods were consulted and plans hatched for whatever objectives seemed reasonable give the avy conditions and visibility.  Some days this meant tree skiing below the hut.  Others were spent chasing 10,000'+ summits ringing the valley dominated by the Granite glacier.  Views down the spine of the Adamants are quite impressive, along with far away views of Sir Sanford (highest of the Selkirks) and Sir Donald (Sentinel of Roger's Pass).   The hut is carefully situated at 6,800' meaning that  a huge variety of ski terrain of all complexities is right outside your door. Steep chutes, mellow glaciers, treed glades and everything in between are comfortably within reach in a moderate day.  We were moderately successful with weather, having one bluebird, three OK, and two storm days, managing to ski or boot up Pythias, Damon, Sentinel, Pioneer (ski peak), Enterprise, and My Little Pony (glaciated bump above the Unicol).  All fairly easy, but each with it's own uniquely spectacular view. 

You're only limited by the conditions and your imagination at Fairy Meadow....Just don't be late for appetizers at 4pm!

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View across the Gothics Gl.:

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Skiing late season powder below Friendship col:

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Go big or go home:

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Heckling people on the "practice slope" right above the hut:

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Sauna Fairy, she points the way to cleansing warmth:

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Hut diversions (High Country Christmas is now at the hut for your reading enjoyment):

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Sentinel keeps watch over a trio battling high winds near the hut:

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Cycle Peak across from the hut:

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Granite Gl. Icefall:

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Skinning up to the Granite:

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on the Granite below Unicol:

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Summit of My Little Pony:

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View of storm clearing on Austerity and Ironman:

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Shoulder of Colossal above the Unicol:

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Skiing the very mellow Granite Gl.:

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Skinning over to another part of the Granite under Pioneer Peak and the Stickle:

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The Stickle!

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Heading to Friendship Col on our best day of the week:

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Almost at the col, Gog and Magog above the skinning skiers:

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Friendship col:

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The Black Friars from Pioneer ski peak:

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Ridiculous peaks all around:

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 Mount Columbia (?) in the distance:

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Adamant and Austerity:

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Our tracks on Pioneer:

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Adamant North Face:

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On the summit ridge of Sentinel.  We fixed a line in case the slope slid:

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On the Gothics Gl:

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Skinning over to Enterprise under the watchful eye of Adamant:

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Just below the summit of Enterprise:

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We tried a different way back to the hut, coining the term "Adventure Suck Tour".  It worked to cross the lower Granite this season with a 4m snowpack, but don't count on it every year:

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Bye bye Fairy Meadow, until next time:

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Gear Notes:
Harness, rope, ski crampons, axe, whippet, rando ropes, avy gear. Plenty of beer/whiskey. Hire Mo's Mountain Cuisine for your cooking needs!

Approach Notes:
Alpine Helicopters out of Golden

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A shameless photo nerd reminder:  Click on the first photo then scroll through to get the best image viewing experience.  And not on your phone people!

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Thanks @Off_White!  And, just to keep the party going, here are a few more photos I forgot to include! 

In case you're wondering, Sir Sanford is a beast!

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I really need to climb Sir Donald and Uto this summer:

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So, so many rad mountains in the Selkirks.  Waldorf Towers, Whiteface Tower and Serendipity Spire (I think):

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Not really @Bronco.  It felt weird, and a bit decadent, thanks for reminding me what that nagging feeling was.  No suffering!

Next year we're gonna suffer though,  that's for sure!  The soul crushing slog to Stanley Mitchell is on tap.  You in?

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Great shot @sepultura

I was distracted I guess and didn't take a vertical one.  Here is mine standing next to you.  Is it really worth hauling all that glass around?  You're making me wonder.

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Sweet photos and TR! But don't tell anyone how awesome it is there...

We we were the party arriving when you were leaving. Love that place. You got better snow but we had a little better weather (I assume).

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8 hours ago, Doug_Hutchinson said:

You got better snow but we had a little better weather (I assume).

I was wondering how the heat treated you guys?  For sure you had better weather, but we worried what would happen if it got warm given how the snow pack was still winter like.  We really wanted to try the NF of Adamant but conditions were too unsettled.  Did you get to some of the bigger objectives @Doug_Hutchinson?

Most of those photos above were taking on three days.  We had a solid two days of storm. Only one day was totally bluebird, the rest in and out.  My first time in there and I can see why they need a lottery!

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