Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Splitting with Forrest

Visibility had become minimal as the wind lashed at our faces. The forecast was calling for another few feet piling up within the next 12 hours with 80 mph gusts on the ridge lines. My breathing settled into a hypnotic rhythm as Forrest Shearer and I made our way up to Twin Lakes Pass. We were careful as we selected where to ride. Low angle with trees were the requirements and Forrest decided Silver Fork would fit the ticket.

The avalanche danger grew as the day wore on. As we were traversing the ridge we saw multiple fractures appear. We stood atop a small wind pocket on a fairly flat area that had filled with a mammoth wind drift. It sent fractures out at least 30 ft. As we got to our chosen drop in point we hugged the trees. A few small sluffs broke off and ran a little way in the little meadows in the trees. As we began to put our boards back together thunder crackled overhead. The storm kept getting worse and we decided we would hike up and just ride down to the cars.

Reaching the summit in the deep snow was a little slow going but we pushed our way to the top. Upon regaining the ridge the fog had set in and I was so turned around I didn't know which way it was to the cars. Good thing Forrest was there, he knows this canyon like the back of his hand. As we rode down, once again hugging the trees, Forrest popped out another good sized wind pocket. This one broke deep. It only ran a few feet but it was definitely time to be done.

This was my first time splitting with Forrest. Tagging a long with that guy will always result in adventure.

Forrest on the traverse.

I love this hike.

My beard.... full of snow.

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