It's 6am on Saturday and I'm slowly wakingup and getting ready to do the spearhead traverse for my first time (and I'm going solo), when i see a msg from a friend saying something about 'Angel line'. hmm, sounds interesting. A quick call to Ture and he says they're leaving right now and I should come. 'OK, I'll be 20 minutes behind you'
Quickly packing my lunch and grabbing my gear I head out the door and drive up to the trailhead. Upon meeting the rest of the crew, I'm informed that not many people ski this line, so we need to keep it mysterious a little. Hence my messing with the photo below to remove the peak.
'angel line' is that nice looking spine down between the trees.
To not give away too many details, 5 hours of climbing later we're on top and greeted by an awesome spine and 3000+ feet of epic powder. The video is down below.
Anyways, after a great run I suggested we do a chute nearby that I knew of but everyone claimed 'responsibilities' and had to leave. So I left to rest up for Sunday's mission.
ture climbing to angel line.
Sunday greeted us with another beautiful day as my friend Kyle and I drove up to the Duffy Lake. Our plan was to climb and ride Mount Matier, Slalok and finish off with Heart Strings. A few groups would end up doing the first 2 mountains as well, but to tag a third line into that makes for a pretty long day.
Kyle had plans to ski fly off the top of slalok so opted for his ski setup and carrying his wing. He knew this would slow him down some, and it quickly became apparent to me that I needed to run ahead and get Matier on my own. Leaving Kyle behind at keith's hut, I wandered my way up the anniversary glacier. Along the way I ran into another Kyle who had come up by himself hoping to run into a crew of people to ride with. "You can come to matier and slalok with us if you'd like.."
our lines off matier and slalok
He was keen to come check it out so up the glacier we went. After having lunch and waiting for Kyle #2 to catch up on top of the anniversary glacier I led the way up Matier. My climbing may have been in quick mode, becasue i ended up leaving this kyle as well and climbing up to the summit by myself. By this time my friend Kyle had reached the joffre-matier col and was watching from down below.
on top of Matier
I quickly strapped in and started riding down and met up with kyle #2 who was just getting to the more technical (read harder and ice axe required) section of the climb and he was quick happy to call that his climb and drop in from there. A quick high five and I dropped in towards slalok and he went towards the anniversary glacier. I took the most northerly line I could as i figured any aspect with west in it would have had some melt freeze from the previous afternoon's really warm sunshine.
good views from the top of Matier
linking back up with the original kyle we quickly made our way over to Slalok's east ridge. A little bit of steep skinning got us up on the summit. We quickly pondered the wind and the ability to ski fly in the gusts. not really wanting to risk it, Kyle decided to ski the line. he's a snowboarder and only started skiing this season so he could ski fly. So dropping into slalok was easily the biggest line of his skiing life.
looking down while skinning between matier and slalok
kyle and I on top of slalok
kyle's a spec down there somewhere
Everytime I've been to joffre lakes Slalok has called out to be ridden. Nothing really techincal but it's a super fun line with mostly consistent pitch from top to bottom. It's a huge face and has a few good size convex rolls and ends in a few chutes so it's very intimidating. Normally our big lines are in chutes or spines so you have somewhere to run if the snow decides to slide. On slalok, there's nowhere to run really.
We decided for kyle to drop first since he would take the longest, he would stop mid way at a safe spot and I would pretty much ride the whole line in one shot. Man can you open up the turns and let the board run! Super fun high speed turns for most of the way down. Just loved it.
kyle'ss spec from this angle as well. he's somewhere in the upper section of the couloir.
Kyle's biggest ski descent. pretty good for a snowboarder.
slalok from the head on angle
the gear that gets me there. K2 panoramic splitboard, k2 poles, arcteryx quintec pack and my old ice axe.
stoked to get on Slalok!
Upon finishing Slalok, we quickly had another snack, thanked the mountain for letting us ride it (we felt like ants) and made the switch to touring mode to get up our last line of the day, Heart Strings. Heart Strings is another classic line that involves some fun scampering and boot packing about to make your way to the entrance. The first time you go, you really wonder if you're on the right track or not. However Kyle and I had been there a few times before so we felt like we were home free after Slalok.
me slashing in heart strings.
We made our made to the top and dropped in for another long run pretty much right down to the highway.
Super happy, 3 classic lines in an 11 hrs round trip. oh wait, we still need to hitchhike back to the car on a pretty empty highway...