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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Main Baldy redux


With ski buddies travelling or recovering from injury or whatever else, I had no choice but to do yet another solo tour today. As long as I have no choice I can’t be doing anything wrong, right? Now, I am sure that some narrow minds out there will argue that one could just decide to NOT ski that day, but then again, I submit that only non-skiers could see that as a reasonable option. Being a skier, that choice is just not available to me. As you can see, I am pretty flexible on the rationalizations I need to come up with to break this cardinal rule of avy safety. Having said that, I do get extra aware and cagey when I go out alone especially in avalanche terrain that slid just a few days ago… I was a lot more worried about the shoulder than the line itself as Main Baldy has lately been subject to a whole lot of skier compaction. On Wednesday however, the Baldy shoulder saw the largest slide so far this season. It was due to some wind loading and that buried weak faceted snow near the ground. The avalanche was 2 to 4 feet deep, 200 feet wide, and ran about 900 vertical feet, for details click here.

Here are the pictures (click to enlarge):
View of Mt Baldy with the entry to Main Baldy apparent and
Wednesday's avalanche crown visible to climber's right.

In red; highlights of Wednesdays avalanche, in green the skin track as
previously cut and in orange the general direction of the track I cut today
sneaking back up to Main Baldy entrance "from behind". The blue line
is the ski line (eerily parallel to the avy line)

On the ridgline, leaving Wildcat behind.

The Pfeiff, one of my absolute favorites in the Wasatch

View down Main Baldy.

Main Baldy exit.

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