Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hairpin Gully

I got up and out at the crack of dawn to ski the Hairpin Gully off of the Whitney Portal Road.

FYI the road is driveable to the usual midwinter spot at the bottom of the switchbacks. There is good coverage above there.

I always enjoy the early morning views across the valley.
A similar shot taken from in the gully itself.
As you can see, the main gully is broad and moderate, but several more interesting north facing chutes spill into it from the south. I chose this one, which resulted in some tedious skinning.
The ski down was a disappointing mix of wind crust (none breakable), sun crust, old avalanche bed, and powder. Seemed like no two turns were the same. Not a ton of fun, but challenging.

As a side note, I saw this huge flock of white geese, (Ross ?) near the west shore of Owens Lake. Really nice!

They're on the left side of the meadow. Click to enlarge.
Fully zoomed, so lousy quality.

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