Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Grunge Couloir

Mount Timpanogos
The Grunge Couloir is one of those lines that I seem to think about a lot and I am not sure why. It might be because every time I have tried to do it, things haven't worked out. Schedule conflicts, snow conditions, weather, and timing never seem to fall into place.

Josh and I ran into a few snags so our 3:45 a.m. start didn't quite happen. We started up the closed road on our bikes in the dark. We were both in a sleep deprived fog and it took a little bit for us to get into a rhythm. Arriving at the base of the ascent into Wooly Hole, I decided to follow the snow thinking it would save us some time. Turns out I was wrong. We ended up in some pretty fun terrain, but we lost a lot of time.

After climbing our way through a chute we named "Death Cookie Couloir" we popped out in Wooly Hole. The sun was already out and heating the cornices that hung over the Grunge. It was only 7:30 a.m. but I knew we weren't going to make it. It was getting hot fast and by 8:30 the snow was already starting to corn up. We hit the base of the couloir around 9:30 a.m. and watched as rocks began to tumble off of the face. We were too late.

The Grunge turned me away again. The entire month of April was filled with days that would have been perfect. The only problem was that they were weekdays. Someday soon I will tick this line off of my list. Just turns out that it wasn't this season.
Photo Credit: Josh Snow
Photo Credit: Josh Snow
Mount Timpanogos
Josh Snow
This is right after I swallowed a bug... I wasn't happy. It was a big bug.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Little Cottonwood

As I begin to let go of winter objectives I am beginning to remember what I love about longer days and warmer temperatures. Eric Montandon and I got out for our first Little Cottonwood route of the season. We decided to hop on Perhaps, a pretty mellow 5.7. I have done the route before, but I forgot that the entire second pitch requires almost constant underclinging. A move that is extremely difficult for me because of a motorcycle accident which broke both of my arms when I was 14. 

Regardless of my handicap it is a spectacular route. I even found myself enjoying the uncomfortable underclings. Eric lead both pitches and did really well. He unfortunately had to fight an excessive amount of rope drag as he finished the route, but he handled it like a champ. We rappelled down over the top of another LCC classic called the "Green Adjective". We each took a lap on that before calling it a night. 

Back in the saddle again

I officially am back on the bike. The other night I pulled the spandex out of storage and headed up to Tibble Fork for an evening ride. Last year I tried to get in racing shape a little too fast and injured my IT band. I finished the Lotoja and haven't touched the bike since. My ride definitely showed me that all those donuts, pancakes, slices of french toast, cake, candy, and lack of riding were a bad idea. 

As I came to the mouth of American Fork Canyon I was greeted by a few goats. I am trying to take the time to stop and enjoy the moments I have in the mountains more often so I stopped and watched them for a few minutes. They skittishly crossed the road and made their way up the mountain. They looked pretty haggard. Winter wasn't very good to either of us. I am glad to be out on the bike again and a ride up this canyon always reminds me why I love it.