Oh man, things were looking soo good. Temperatures below freezing all week and massive snow fall. Strong winds, admittedly, and high avalanche hazard earlier on, but wow! All that snow!
It was really a nightmare getting up at 5 am this morning. I had been sleeping kind of crappy all week (of course due to my addiction to stare at the internet trying to figure out the meaning of life, and of course finding none), but I managed to be on time at Safeway to meet up with Maciej, Seth and Nathaniel. Off to Cameron Pass and some blowing pow, wohoo! The sun was rising, as was the snow piles on the side of the road. As we approached CP, the piles approached 1.5 meter, and they were looking SOFT. The first descent on skiis towards the non-existing trailhead was epic. Nice, deep powder. As we skinned up, the stoke increased exponentially. The snow looked totally awesome (it actually did, because the strong wind had blown in some red sand from the desert, so everything was slightly pink! Not good for the skiis, but really cool for someone from a country without desert). I snapped a ton of photos, of our deep skin tracks, of the beautiful snow in the trees, of our tracks descending from the car. I didnt see what I was shooting, but I thought that something good would come out of it, until I realized that nothing would actually come out, since I had forgotten to insert my memory card into the camera…. Failure #1. Oh well, so I cannot spray the internet with my narcissistic photos. Not a big deal.
As we approached the ridge, the wind picked up, alot. We had seen that the wind up in the alpine terrain was really strong, but since the avalanche danger up there was considerable, we never intended to go up there anyway. However, even just below the ridge, it was blowing HARD, and the wind was increasing. During our transition, we noticed the large sized cornices right above us, and the wind slab forming under our feet, so we decided to go one at a time down the avi path “the longest run”. Good choice. True to my habits, I was slow and ended up a bit after the others, so I only heard someone yell “AVALANCHE!!”. As I was skiing to see what had happened, I noticed cracks all over the place, and a significant amount of debris. No harm was caused, to us, or to any trees, and it didnt run further than 50-100 meters, but the avalanche propagated almost across the entire avalanche path. Totally enough to make your stomach upset. I decided to ski the trees..
When I came down, I expected to have the others waiting for my slow ass. Nope. Failure #3: Windslab-caused-crash-into-tree with the result of one lost ski (not mine), which it took us (well not me, I was of course just standing at looking at the show as usual) 30 minutes to locate. Then, Seth fell down a tree well deep enough to cover him completely, standing. I could only see the tree moving. Of course I heartlessly nearly laughed my self to death. I think it took him about 30 minutes to get up. Then I took a wrong turn, missed the others in the trees and had to skin up to find them again, another 30 minutes waiting for them, and then a had a few fantastic turns.
We ended the day with a great afterski. First at the gas station in Walden, and then with burgers and beer at the Crow Bar in Laramie.
In spite of all the shittyness that happened today, I laughed through out it. I guess that that is what happens if you hang out with great people.