Big Skiing!

The past two days have been beautiful up on the mountain but even more than that they have included first times for Sam and I.  If you look at this picture of Lone Peak you can see the Big Couloir off to the right, that’s the gully that winds down, a stream of snow surrounded by rocks on both sides.  It’s about half way to the right of the peak.In order to ski this you have to be decked out with full avalanche gear, check in and out with the ski patrol, and have nerves of steel to be able to make the drop into the couloir.  Sam lived out here for 4 years and never got to do it but on Tuesday the stars aligned with great snow, good visibility and short lines at the Tram and to do the Couloir. He and Brian dropped in at 1pm for an epic run. Here’s a closer view of the actual couloir, you can see 2 small dots at the top, that would be Sam and Brian.  Awesome!Yesterday we skied Moonlight Basin, great snow on some of my favorite runs. I had never taken the lift up to the Headwaters at the top of the ridge but when Sam and Brian invited me to come with them I had to say yes.  You start by hiking up hill to the chairlift, this discourages the not so good skiers from trying it. At the top you have to side step up to the high traverse, a thin ribbon of snow that wraps around the hut and runs along the top between bands of rocks.  Once there you are committed!  I followed Sam, not daring to look down or around me, focused on the snow under my skis and his voice reassuring me it was fine. The truth is that I’m not good at heights and my heart was pounding!At the end of the traverse was Fire Hole. It’s a “medium” wide gully and the snow was soft and deep!  I followed Sam down to meet Brian (he couldn’t do the high traverse on his snowboard)  and then we took turns going the rest of the way down.  The first turn is the hardest, but once into the rhythm I was able to just keep doing one turn after another and made my way down in fine style.  Laura’s voice was in my head to keep “touching” my pole and keep turning even tho she wasn’t there with us.  The best advice to have when on the steep and deep.It felt really good to challenge myself, and I was proud of what I could do.  The best part was my “support team” of Sam and Brian, it was their encouragement that gave me the extra confidence to go for it!  Thanks guys!!!!

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