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Is it difficult to ski these lines? - Page 2

post #31 of 44
The top two pics appear to be the steepest. And they are probably quite steep. The biggest problem you would face, if you could handle the steeps, would be slough management. Even pros mess this one up sometimes.

I like the lines in the pic that ripthepow posted, those look taaaaasty...
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
The hard part would be getting there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
heh...it's pretty hard to leave too.
If I ever get there, I'll figure that part out.
post #33 of 44
Earlier in this post somebody mentioned that to go there you'd be skiing heli with a guide. That's true but it would be a private chartered trip. This is not the terrain that you get when your heli-skiing.

Now, to the original question, there have been quite a few good observations. It's hard to tell how steep that is but there are many more factors. Slough mangement (well covered), the length of the chute, the difficulty to stop and catch your breath, the knowledge that if you fall you'll be hiking a long way back up to get your skis.

Skiing the big steep stuff is a whole series of challenges that build upon each other. There are really steep places at lots of resorts, there are lots of great snow at resorts, but this type of terrain is a series of challenges. There are no warming huts, there are no ski patrollers, there are few ways out once you commit. All of those factors make the big mountains fantastic
post #34 of 44
^^^ that's what makes these lines so precious... they're only doable a few days a year.

I have a big/steep face next to my resort that has been screaming at me for 4 years- SKI ME! But, it's south facing and it collects wind-blown. It's only doable a few hours a year. (Not nearly that vert though...)
post #35 of 44
The worst part would be the first look over the edge. SHYTE!

2nd worst: the first turn. Turn or die.

If you get past the first turn, maybe you'd find a rhythm.

Me? I wouldn't get out of the chopper.

Scratch that - I wouldn't get into the damn thing.
post #36 of 44
Can I get you to buy me a beer??

LOL.
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
^^^ that's what makes these lines so precious... they're only doable a few days a year.

I have a big/steep face next to my resort that has been screaming at me for 4 years- SKI ME! But, it's south facing and it collects wind-blown. It's only doable a few hours a year. (Not nearly that vert though...)
Samurai:

That's the beauty of spring bc skiing, you can do south slopes that would be unskiable or too dangerous any other time. You boot up early when it is still frozen and then ski it during that one perfect hour when it has 4" of corn on the top of the run and 2" on the bottom, but an hour later it could be rotten, collaspe under you, and move in heavy wet slides. The same spot can literally go from heaven to hell in an hour. I love the logistics of planning the climbing and timing to make it work right. The best is to find a bowl so that you have the option of different aspects and can choose the corn consistency by just traversing one way or the other.

Some of my favorite ski times are sitting in the sun on top of a new slope after an early moring climb and enjoying the view and anticipation while waiting for it to corn up to perfection. The flip side is when the weather suddenly changes and all you get for your efforts is a hard scratchy slide to the bottom. This thread is making me wish it were spring already. Doubt if I'll be getting any powder action like in the pictures, but once the snowpack goes isothermal in the spring it's open season on the steeps around here. The key is to watch the night time lows and make sure it is solid and safe for the climb, then enjoy the sweet corn.

Hope you get to hit your slope during a magic hour at the end of the season. I've got a few that have been "screaming at me" for much longer than 4 years. There is nothing like the feeling of knowing you are skiing the right place at exactly the right time. The best part of a slope like that is the memory of your run every time you look at it from the resort, forever. I hope you go for it.
post #38 of 44
First of all, drool. I'm already saving for a return trip to AK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
If you're going to be skiing those lines, chances are you are going to be heli-skiing with a guide, and thus, the safety aspect (avalanche-wise) would mostly be taken out of the question. i.e. If the guides deem the slope stable enough to ski, then you ski,...if not, then you don't.
I do agree that the guide makes the decisions and that he has the green light call. But at the same time I think anyone skiing that terrain should have some knowledge of terrain traps, terrain management, sluff management and safe zones.

I don't like leaving my safety totally in the hands of someone else. When I went to AK I talked with the guide and asked if I could be a part of the decision making process, digging pits, checking the weather, etc. He was more than happy to let me in, and he seemed to take my input (he was probably just working that tip angle), but I liked being informed. If I was guiding I would like informed clients.
post #39 of 44

Slough management?

Could someone please expand on slough management for me? I know what is meant by slough, but how exactly is it managed?

What is the best technique to avoid it? What are the consequences of getting caught up in it - meaning does it knock you right over or does it just inhibit turns that would then cause you to fall?

Im curious and would like to know more about REAL big mountain skiing as my skill level progresses

Thanks!
post #40 of 44
^^ It is managed by scouting your line beforehand, picking where you will make your turns, and then figuring out where that will put your slough. You want to make each progressive turn out of the path of slough. You can do this by making a turn on one side of a spine and then going onto the other side of it. By planning your line before you ski it, you can make sure you will be out of the way of your slough.

And depending on how much of it and how fast it's going it can easily sweep you off your feet and carry you down the mountain.
post #41 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by BJNK View Post
Could someone please expand on slough management for me? I know what is meant by slough, but how exactly is it managed?

What is the best technique to avoid it? What are the consequences of getting caught up in it - meaning does it knock you right over or does it just inhibit turns that would then cause you to fall?

Im curious and would like to know more about REAL big mountain skiing as my skill level progresses

Thanks!
Slough management starts before you even on top of the line. It starts when you're in the heli (or hiking/skinning up) and you start to visualize where the slough is going to funnel into (i.e. it will follow the fall line and then funnel into gullies. It will also pick up speed and gain momentum as the gully it follows narrows).

Once you can visualize that, you can plan your line.

In the first face, it's pretty easy to see where the majority of the slough will go. It's mainly going to funnel into the obvious gully, or gut, in the middle of the run. So obviously a skier is going to want to stay the hell out of there as they'll basically be skiing in a waterfall and would most likely get taken for a ride.

I'd plan my line like this with arrows showing where I *think* the slough will be going. I would work skiers left to skier's right so all of the slough falls into that gully and I am skiing away from it. My turns going to my right would be longer than my turns going back to the left. Assuming there is no exposure below the bottom of the picture off to skier's right, I think *think* this would be a safe and manageable way to ski this slope:

(the first turn on top should be a ski cut to safe spot BTW):
525x525px-LL-vbattach4695.jpg
post #42 of 44
^^ Way to toss the little air in at the end, you're ready for the big screen.

Can I go with you and ski the spine on looker's right?
post #43 of 44
Here's a pretty impressive example of slough management by Sage Cattabriga-Alosa in High Life. From 3:05 to 4:20



Sick line.
post #44 of 44
If you've never been on a 50 degree slope, you'd be in for a surprise skiing that line. It'd probably feel like


Notice what his legs/skis are doing even on the flat, "smooth" runouts...
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