3.27.2010

'Twas An Adventure

Andy Earl and I have been discussing the prospects of doing an overnighter just to iron out any kinks we had in our gear/packing habits/oral hygiene, etc. We plan to do quite a bit of multi-day touring next season, so we wanted to get a feel for how things would go; a trial run, if you will. We opted to go up to Wolverine Cirque because the forecast was predicting that steep, north facing terrain would be the best for early saturday morning skiing and riding, and Twin Lakes pass is fairly sheltered from the wind, and totally sheltered from avalanche danger if you camp just near the pass.
Click on the photo to view a larger version, it looks neat. Taken about 1:30 am

Technically it's illegal to camp anywhere in Little Cottonwood Canyon because of Watershed restrictions, and you're also not allowed to do any overnight parking in the town of Alta without a permit (I'm not sure why. I would assume because of a lack of space). We pulled into the Grizzly Gulch trailhead parking lot and I thought we were sunk when an Alta police officer came over and rolled down his window. He asked us if we were going touring, and when we replied in the affirmative, he just reminded us that there was a scheduled UDOT canyon closure for avalanche control in the morning, and didn't harass us at all about parking in the "No Overnight Parking" zone. 
My snowshoes and Andy's splitboard on the way up.

Both my pack and Andy's pack together must've weighed in at about seven million kilograms, and by the time we reached the pass I was totally beat, but it was super cool to be able to get some rad photos along the way, and the just have the experience. 
My buddy David Kaplan met us up near the pass early the next morning and we went up and over Patsey Marley and did one drop on Mt. Wolverine. The snow was pretty variable, and lots of wind loading. Andy popped a decent size wind pocket that sluffed out pretty dramatically (albeit it wasn't very big or dangerous), but it was just an indicator that our chosen location wasn't the safest zone to be shredding in, so we called it a day. Epic knee deep turns down through the north facing slope of Grizzly Gulch ended the day with a bang. I definitely can't complain, and I also learned quite a bit about camping overnight in the backcountry, and expecting to shred the next day. I'll be doing it again very soon.
Twin Lakes Pass, with the BCC cabins and Guardsman Pass glaring in the background
The infamous Wolverine Cirque. Andy and David atop Mt. Wolverine at left.
Getting to the zone is certainly not for the faint at heart.

4 comments:

Bonny Earl said...

I want a print of that one at night with Andy looking up and the stars in the background! Awesome shot!!!

parker said...

Tell you what, Bonny, buy me a pizza and a 1 litre Dr. Pepper and it's yours. The best option for cheap, good prints is to go to Costco. They even do printing on canvas. If you want something nicer, Snelson's is the best bet out in Springville, but with increased quality you also get an increase in price. Those guys are probably the best printing house in Utah though, so I think it's worth it.

Westcorner Studios said...

The night shot was awesome! How long was your exposure? Did you have any available light say a Full Moon to help light the exposure?

parker said...

Hey Tim, I left the shutter open for 15 seconds on that picture, f/5.6, ISO 2500 @ 24mm. I love this pic. I got a 20x30" print made and it looks really really good.