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danhelmstadter

best of cc.com [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012

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Trip: Black Peak - NW face

 

Date: 5/19/2012

 

Trip Report:

In a collaborative effort, Eric Wehrly and I climbed and skied the NW face of Black Mountain. There are ski lines that when viewed from a deceptive perspective, or through some camera trickery appear to be truly steep when in fact they are only moderate in slope angle. The Northwest face of Black mountain is not one of those lines. Steep, sustained, exposed, are words that come to mind when contemplating a description. Snow conditions were scary in places, but good enough for a complete descent in proud style. Rocks and holes shallowly buried with sugar snow, slick ice crusts lurking under variably meager depths, these conditions added spice to both the climbing and skiing. Little in the way of progress came easy, the ground we gained was fought hard for in places, and entailed many white knuckled / no mistakes hours of fun. As I write this days later, I am still in a daze of emotions and memories that will be long to fade.

 

We got some good pictures, this is my favorite one, Eric shreds the knar

2042878330103935217rtHaPE_ph.jpg.fd6dff2dd26cfb0189841e43b36e5126.jpg

 

John Scurlock photo Black peak NW face (left), and Black peak western summit (right).

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This was our first view of the NW side of Black, we had to make a long steep downslopeing traverse on variable snow to get to the beginning of the NW face (far right). Eric Wehrly photo

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On the traverse, Eric Wehrly photo

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E$ climbing lower face

2373015330103935217RrdNOh_ph.thumb.jpg.6eab83bfa872443f84f26403f30c71b7.jpg

 

Eric Climbing steep sugar over rock and ice high on the face.

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cruxin

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Looking down on our route from the summit. Eric Wehrly photo

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$

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$

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$

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Eric Wehrly photo

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Eric Wehrly photo

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Eric Wehrly photo

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$

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$

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$

2864409120103935217yaABtg_ph.jpg.00f6ae9c134f66f67c9a6c9bce44c459.jpg

 

Eric Wehrly photo

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E-Money crossing a runnell mid-face

2039289840103935217XUSZub_ph.thumb.jpg.c369a67dd1581b99ecc6b42b4462167f.jpg

 

E-Money

2146769780103935217oQChbX_ph.thumb.jpg.88b407d727fb3c8589068d1f90f9aed1.jpg

 

Eric Wehrly photo

2994626390103935217JxIVDl_ph.jpg.272e4378bc4ddd0e3cb75af3ef7a9570.jpg

 

Eric Wehrly photo

2490954660103935217zzQdrM_ph.jpg.2c3d670b8a8e2239b11eafd8f160f272.jpg

 

Eric Wehrly photo

2121973710103935217ciFnOA_ph.jpg.119a46ae8efde429ab16ff40e9093eca.jpg

 

Eric Wehrly photo

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Looking back on the traverse

2003085570103935217QrEkUq_ph.thumb.jpg.a1722889efcbc5faad40c0a1592afbb0.jpg

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I thought you were probably being overly dramatic with the opening description... after looking at the pics, that's definitely not the case. Holy shit dude.. hats off.

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When we skied Black last May, right after we saw you, I took a look down the NW face. While potentially skiable, I thought, it was improbable. It's a proud face; really steep, sustained, committing, and by the looks of it technical.

 

Good work. This is a significant line.

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Had this face even ever been climbed before?

The first ascent was made by my brothers Gordy and Carl in August 1978. Gary Brill and I did the second ascent in May 1979 under snowy conditions similar to the ski descent.

 

When Gary and I climbed the face, we were climber's left of the central rib. Our route had a step that I don't think would be skiable. I'm guessing that you guys were skier's left of the rib. Correct?

 

Glad you had a safe trip...

 

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Hours of white nuckled fun,

 

For Dan to say that, shit must have been real.

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Eric and Dan. The Lebron James and Duane Wade of the skiing world. I'm just fascinated you guys were able to take one hand off a pole and maintain an edge to take photos!

Edited by telemarker

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Thanks for the history Lowell. I saw the original summer line on the rib, but didn't know if it had been ascended in spring conditions. I should have known!

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I usually don't read trip reports. But when I do, they are usually of pretty cool routes. Good work folks.

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