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keenwesh

[TR] Greywolf Peak - West Face Couloir 4/28/2015

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Trip: Greywolf Peak - West Face Couloir

 

Date: 4/25/2015

 

Trip Report:

The season in the rockies has not been as deep as last year, but the side benefit it that stability has been phenomenal all year long. I've lucked out getting to ski lines in mid winter that are usually far too dangerous until the springtime stabilizes things.

 

Some of the things I've managed to do this season

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North Couloir of Abiathar, Outside Cooke City (not my photo)

 

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Chamonix Couloir, East Rosebud

 

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8 inches of blower pow on The Fin, above Cooke City

 

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Countless days in Hyalite. This one in particular stands out, 5k of vert with 18 inches of fluff, and perfect stability.

 

Last Saturday I made the trek over to Missoula to check out the Mission Range.

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West Face of Greywolf

 

Dane and I left the car at 5.30, after a wonderful breakfast prepared by Dane's mom at 3 am. When you only go home a couple times a year you get non-negotiable extra special treatment. The first 2500 ft (straight up) were on dry trail with no snow in sight.

 

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Dane had his beacon on just in case the snow appeared.

 

Eventually we reached snowline, around 6500 ft, and transitioned to skis. Skinning up below the S face we contoured to a notch in the SE spur, and dropped into the basin below the East Face.

 

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Putting the skis back on our packs, we booted up the East Face Couloir in full sun.

 

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At about 2/3rds height the wet slides started ripping down the runnel. We picked up our pace and made the saddle before anything swept the entire couloir.

 

Transitioning into downhill mode was all smiles for the upcoming descent

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The upper couloir was firm, but edgeable, and smooth. we both savored the turns and great fall line skiing with a backdrop of the St. Mary's peaks.

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The lower couloir was runneled and choppy, but we still were left with huge grins at the bottom. To escape we skinned up to the shoulder of St. Mary's.

 

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Skiing over a rollover on the descent back to the road it was wild to see 4k of vert separating us from the lake.

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Eventually the snow ended and we followed the steep trail straight down for the last 2500 feet. We ran into 4 folks hiking up with overnight packs, so unfortunately we didn't have the range completely to ourselves.

 

Once down a 3 or so mile hike on the road brought us back to our car and cold beer. A great day out in the mountains.

 

Gear Notes:

Did not bring crampons, but they would have been essential if one was booting up the WFC from the St. Mary's side.

 

Approach Notes:

Straight up

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Nice work, it looks like a weird but good season over there. I've always wanted to get on the North Couloir of Abiathar. Didn't you represent yourself as a new skier a year or two ago?

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Cool. Does that North Couloir of Abiathar top out on the ridge? Doesn't look like it from the photo, but hard to tell.

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This is my first season on skis since I was 10 and foolishly took up snowboarding. Fortunately it's coming back quick, and ski lines are so chill when looking down them compared to ice routes.

 

N couloir of Abiathar makes it to maybe 2/3rds height, although it has been skied from the summit by descending the hanging snowfield to lookers right (only "fills" in rarely) and traversing in before the abyss.

The couloir itself is really close to the road, I think when we did it we started booting up the line itself an hour and a half after leaving the car.

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