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danhelmstadter

first ski descent [TR] J - burg - CJ couloir ski 4/15/2009

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Trip: J - burg - CJ couloir ski

 

Date: 4/23/2009

 

Trip Report:

CJ from recon last November

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The CJ is one of those lines that has haunted me since I first layed eyes on it - it is an extrodinarily asthetic bueatiful line, however it is gaurded by the deadly hanging seracs of the Sill Glacier, rockfall, and deep moats in late season. When I first saw it, I knew I was going to ski it, it was just a matter of how safely, and at what expense of nerves.

As it turned out, I am happy with how I dealed with the hazards, and climbing and skiing it was a bueatiful experience.

The road was gated at the Eldorado trailhead (~2.5 miles from the base of the CJ couloir, not a difficult distance by any means. I had intended to just scope out the sun exposure and condition of the CJ, but I found it to be in the shade as it came into veiw, as I skiied closer - the shade stayed, and soon I found myself mid couloir content with snow stability and objective hazards, however there were constant avalanches ripping down the massive sun exposed rock walls of Johannesburg.

 

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As I neared the col, the snow deepend to waist deep powder, and I dug several hasty pits, finding mostly stable snow, with isolated pockets here and there of more consolidated but non reactive slabby snow.

 

Orographic clouds rolled lazily on 

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the other side of the col, and across the Cascade River valley. Forbidden, Sahele, an Eldorado emerged and dissappeard into the fair weather clouds.

 

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I was super stoked to be on the col about to ski the CJ in powder conditions!

 

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The CJ which had been shaded for my entire climb was starting to recieve its very breif window of indirect sunlight as the sun shown down from its directly above the col. Time to ski fat powder!

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I had to manage my sluffs on the steep upper part and only make two turns or so and wait for my sluff to drain cause they were getting big. As the angle mellowed a little I was able to open up and ski fast powder.

 

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I found manky snow in the runnels, then some easy debris lower to the fan where it was warm and wet.

 

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Very stoked to have skiied one of those lines which has ocupied my thought for so long.

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Very beautiful indeed! Congrats on checking off a long standing goal--those are the most satisfying objectives.

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