Apparently skiers and riders at most Utah resorts suffered delays from high winds yesterday. We also suffered delays on our tour, but I don’t think the high winds were too much of a contributor.
I’m not setting any speed records these days, and anything from the parking lot to 11k’ is a big day for me. We decided if we rode the northwest face of White Baldy we’d not only get to summit something rad, but we’d find some safe snow with a long top-to-bottom sustained pitch that wasn’t crusted from yesterday’s blazing temperatures.
As it turns out, we chose wisely. When we left the trailhead, however, we didn’t take into account the hard, consolidated snow along the ridge lines. You really don’t need crampons or an ice axe to traverse this kind of terrain, but it sure makes it easier and faster, so we slowly but surely made our way along the ridge to the summit, each step painfully slow as we kicked in a boot pack with our soft snowboarding boots.
Greg and Eric dropped into the skiers left chute, while Andy and I slowly pushed to the summit and rode the skier’s right chute. A little bit of down climbing, a slightly spicy rock hop through the entrance, and it was 1200′ of slightly wind–affected but gloriously soft powder.
Next time: crampons. Lesson learned.
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