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danhelmstadter

[TR] Mt. Shuksan - skiers left - curtis glacier 2/15/2012

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Trip: Mt. Shuksan - skiers left - curtis glacier

 

Date: 2/15/2012

 

Trip Report:

The other day I climbed Mt. Shuksan via the Northwest Couloir. The summit pyramid gully was in fantastic condition, as were conditions in general on the upper mountain. I was able to ski off the exact summit without any rime ice shenanigans. My plan for descent was open ended, I just wanted to climb high and ski.

Thinking over options on the summit, I decided to take a look at a line on Curtis glacier that I've had my eye on for a while but has always seemed out of condition. The route cliffs out two thirds of the way down but there's a snow traverse out to the right that connects slopes. The traverse is really scary because it's fully exposed to active seracs above. I had climbed the route a couple years ago only to find the upper portion scoured down to glacial ice. This time it was stable sunny powder. Low clouds obscured the lower glacier and beyond, but I was confident enough I could find my way out. The line skied like a dream - The way out up and over the arm was surreal in the sunset and sea of clouds.

 

Sky named the far skiers right line "Kurtis Blow" after the pioneer rapper, so it seems fitting that the skiers left line be called "Curtis Lowe" after the Skynyrd song>>> Youtube "Curtis Lowe" (if someone hasn't alread skied/named it)

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summit

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looking down the line

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into the clouds

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Edited by danhelmstadter

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Nice line. I was wondering since I am not really familiar with the area, whats to prevent you from taking a more direct line from the beginning of your traverse skiers left underneath the icefall? Looks from the picture like the chute fall line from the beginning of the traverse might be doable and allow you to avoid some of the objective hazard due to the serac? Maybe cliffs at the top of the chute but hard to tell from the pic.

 

On another note. I am pretty new to the forum but have enjoyed reading some of your other TR's and great pics. Keep up the stoke!

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Thanks! It's hard to tell from the picture but that chute is a vertical frozen waterfall - there's a lot of it that is blocked from view by the hidden cleft feature below.

Edited by danhelmstadter

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wow, nice! When you say the summit pyamid gulley, are you talking about the south side? How did get to the Curits, Hell's Hiway? Beautiful pics.

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Whoah. Strong work! And, like Ryan, I think the name is fitting and clever. Lowell is going to have to work to keep up with your new descents!

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Yo Dan, not to bust your bubble my man but I think that line was skied in Feb `08 by John Wells and Pete Durr. Glad you're getting it ! I'm hoping for a window to tick some Cascade Classics at some point this spring myself.

 

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Sky, thanks man, it looks like those guys skied the central line, the one I skied is to the far lookers right.

 

http://www.alpenglow.org/ski-history/topos/mt-shuksan.html

 

Birddog, yeah the gully I climbed/skied was the standard southside one, then I skied down hells highway to the Curtis.

 

 

Edited by danhelmstadter

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Maybe I was mistaken and you get your banana split! For some reason I thought Monika and Oyvind skied that one and the other fellas skied where you did, but I must have had it twisted. I'll return to inhaling solder smoke and VOCs from outgassing epoxy now.

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who is this Skykilo guy anyway?

 

Oyvind and Monika skied the Wells and Durr route, and then climbed the hour glass.

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Oyvind and Monika skied the Wells and Durr route, and then climbed the hour glass.

 

Right. I had a pretty extensive email correspondence with John Wells about it a few months ago. He and his partner skied the lookers' right line (I guess we should now refer to it as the central line) a year before Oyvind and Monika.

 

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