Monday, December 13, 2010

Terminal Cancer Couloir, 12-13-10

TC isn't really a go-to destination to me, for a lot of reasons. One, I'm fairly picky about conditions when I head up there. It's a classic terrain trap and if conditions aren't bombproof then I'm not interested. Two, it's a far better climb up, most days, than it is a ski down. So if I'm in the mood for sweet turns I'm not really in the mood for TC. And, three, because all of the out-of-towners hit it, I really don't see the need. I'll head for the sweet stuff, thank you very much.

All that said, TC is an amazingly beautiful and aesthetic place, and when Mike texted this AM with thoughts of hitting it, I figured I'd take the opportunity to head up.

It was a pretty good climb, once you got above the apron. Because it's so early in the season, the apron hasn't filled in and so was a horrific bushwhack - both ways. At the bottom of the couloir, there is some ice formed up as well as some open, running water - all stuff that's filled in and good skiing later in the season.

Once we were up in the couloir, the aesthetics of the place took center stage. I never fail to be blown away by its unique beauty. This year, unlike my previous trips up there, there was a tremendous collection of frozen waterfalls along the route. Magical.

It's just about 2000 feet of climbing to get to the top.

Me at the top.

Mike at the top.

The conditions weren't bad - better than other times I've been up there. It was pretty turnable at the top, with chalky powder once you got past the early-season rocks.

Farther down it was quite icy and I wasn't turning so much as picking my way down.

Overall, I was quite pleased with the day. TC is gorgeous, even if it isn't usually stellar skiing.

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