A really terrible phone-cam photo of The Great One
It's been on my life-list of goals to snowboard at least once per month for twelve consecutive months. This season I took a splitboarding trip to Pine Creek Lake in July and then went again in August. Having complete those two months I decided I might as well have a go at September as well.
I finished up my work day quickly, left the office, went home, gathered my gear, and drove to the trailhead arriving at 14:45. I set out at a full on speed pace gaining the ridge-top in under thirty minutes and arrived atop the couloir soon after. The couloir, although a permanent snowfield does melt out from the top, bottom, and sides. I had to down-climg a significant distance to reach the snowline.
Looking down The Great One in late September
While holding my board I sliced the edge of it into the snow and found the consistency to be icy and showing little signs of give. At this point in time I was worried I wouldn't get to ride the line at all because I was solo and could not risk an uncontrolled, sliding fall to the rocks below. I opted to down-climb along the skiers-right edge of the snowfield along exposed rocks to a place where some remnants from the two-weeks-previous snowfall remained. From here I was able to strap into my board and make some sketchy heel edge slides through the snow-choked portion of the couloir.
It became obvious that the icy couloir was simply too hard for me to attain any purchase with the edge of my snowboard so I unstrapped and hobbled my way down the steep talus. I had managed to break one of my trekking poles by dropping off a small section of class III rock I needed to down-climb above so I was pretty unbalanced with my snowboard strapped to my pack and the looseness of the rock.
Broken carbon fiber trekking poles
Summer snowboarding means muddy boots and board
Trip Route on EveryTrail.com