Monday, April 5, 2010

Coke Chute

After finding good snow at high elevation on Friday, I figured we might find similar conditions further north out of Lee Vining on Saturday.

Anne, Steve and I skinned up the V-Chute in Lee Vining Canyon to find these views of the Dana Crest. The Third Pillar is the pointy crag just left of center.
And just around the corner, out objective for the day, the Coke Chute appeared.
We quickly realized our hopes for powder were blown away by the strong winds that occurred Friday night. The troops forged on regardless.
The upper slopes were smooth & supportable wind board which made for reasonable travel.
Big scenery!
We booted up the chute until we hit patches of icy old snow, we dropped the skis and made a short lived attempt to climb to the top. About a hundred feet up we found nothing but the icy old snow and without crampons the footing was poor. Here we are near the turnaround point.
The sky held a strange haze all day, and then the clouds and winds rolled in. Mono Lake out in the distance.
The skiing on the firm wind board was tolerable, even kinda fun once the angle backed off a bit, but the best skiing was down in the V-Chute where the new snow had settled in the protected trees and gullies.

Here's Anne finding a little goodness.
Despite the dashed expectations for powder in the high chute, we managed to have a good time thanks to the grand scenery and a sense of humor.

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