Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Norman Clyde Glacier

Ben and I both have been wanting to ski up the South Fork of Big Pine Creek. Figured today would be as good a day as any! We decided to head up to the Norman Clyde Glacier and have a look at the northwest couloir on Norman Clyde Peak or Scimitar Pass.

Just beyond the summer trail the views of the Sierra crest open up. The snowy fin in back is Middle Palisade and the blocky summit to the right is Norman Clyde Peak.

Pretty soon we realized another party of two was ahead of us. Good luck for us since we did not have to break trail, but where were they headed?

Ben and Olive arrive at Willow Lake. The route up to the Middle Palisade glacier was ahead and left and our route was up the valley far right just in view.

Turns out the other party had the same plan as us. Felt a little funny following them up, but that was our original plan. Ben and Olive approach the toe of the glacier.

The couloir on Norman Clyde looked pretty good, but we didn't feel right following those guys up.

So we headed up the glacier to this other smaller but inviting couloir.

The other guys quickly became tiny dots. They're in the shade near far shade/sunlight line.

Ben did an awesome job booting up the couloir. Looks good in this pic, but for the most part we were wallowing in hip deep unconsolidated snow. Slow going and a ton of work!

Topping out was incredible!

Looking south.

and north.

Skiing was fair on a generally supportable, chalky crust. Olive got some face shots!

Pretty cruiser skiing on way out. Windboard was dependable. Found a little powder in the trees. A little manky in the sunny snow, but a surprisingly easy exit.

Spectacular day!

Topped it off with a beer and a burger at the brewery. Who should walk in but the other guys who were ahead of us! Good guys from the Tahoe area. Small world.

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