Monday, March 31, 2014

Mt Emerson Recon

Steve and I toured up to the north face of Mt Emerson to "have a look" at the beautiful couloirs there. The ideas was to figure out the approach and perhaps give one of them a shot if conditions warranted.

The upper Buttermilk road is clear of snow all the way to usual spring skiing parking area. A short hike led to the approach gully and easy skinning the rest of the way. The snow is thin though, and one more warm spell could turn the approach into a long walk.

The winds quickly turned from moderate to strong on the skin in.

Mt Emerson looming up canyon.

By the time we reached the base of the chutes the winds had become stronger than strong!

The amazing Zebra Couloir comes into view first.

Shortly followed by the main Emerson Couloir.

Conditions looked decent, but the fierce winds gave us pause. Gusts were occasionally strong enough to knock us off our feet!

The ski back was fun in a perverse way. A mixed bag of sun/wind crusts plus the wind kept us off balance and very few confident turns were had, but travel was quick and no injuries were suffered.

We'll be back!!!

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