Slackfest 2010: A(n[OTHER]) Trifecta

By:  Greg
June 1, 2010

Slackfest has always been a strange ritual for me. Last season it took me 9 pages of rambling to write a trip report about it, and I still don’t personally believe that it gave a nice conclusion to the “primary” ski season. After a season of wandering and walking, schussing and skidding, suffering and celebrating, at the end of it all you get to bypass the “backcountry access” procedures. Touring equipment be darned–it won’t help you here any more–come late May, you can be dropped off right at the top of your line.

I don’t really know if I like Slackfest or not, but I always go for the ride. The rite is about more than just the ease of access for me; from both a practical and a pensive point of view, it represents change. Procedurally speaking, one physically can not have Slackfest if winter retains its grip (and Ullr knows, it sure seemed like it didn’t want to [twice {i mean THRICE}]). The mountain must be changing to get your vehicle above 3000 feet. More abstractly though, your skier id may have been putting things off until summer that can wait through snowflakes. Indeed, somehow Slackfest always seems to empower my super ego (who apparently doesn’t like to ski) and bring these obligations back to the fore. But not before I get back below treeline…
it can wait for treeline

Philosophical warbling aside, this year Slackfest gave us one last chance to schuss, and schuss HARD. In the spirit of our earlier trifecta, when we made three high class schusses in as many days, this time when we hopped out of the car and surveyed the mountainside, we set a goal of tagging the heck out of three lines in the Great Gulf. We met up with getting-to-be-FIS-regulars Ben and Matt Kulas and their schuss-mate Erik Johnson to start off the morning. Erik led the charge in the first cooler.
erik leads the charge

Matt and Ben (respectively) gave hot pursuit
Matt Kulas gives hot pursuit

Ben schusses down the main cabin

Christian survived the top part of our first line, and was psyched to get down to the lower snowfields and open the throttle.
Christian throttles the lower snowfields

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Read about the author:   Greg


  1. arewolfe
    wrote on June 1st, 2010 at 10:07 pm  
    • Greg
      wrote on June 1st, 2010 at 10:40 pm  

      coolers are for schussing and beer (schussing)

  2. icelanticskier
    wrote on June 1st, 2010 at 10:17 pm  

    very nice conclusion………or is it? auto slacking eluded me this year, but was up to other things on foot. solo.

    great pics and story, nice to run into you this season up high. short summer cometh. again.


    • Anonymous
      wrote on June 1st, 2010 at 10:22 pm  

      I’m sure ol’ petrics will get out again… i think he just means the “good” schuss is done for for a while…

  3. Dwyer
    wrote on June 1st, 2010 at 10:36 pm  

    I’m liking the lookin of those lichens. I’d like to include that photo in my newest pending publication, “Lichens Above, Below, and Beside Schwackline” if you wouldn’t mind.

    • Greg
      wrote on June 1st, 2010 at 10:40 pm  

      I mind… I only want to see it in the publication “Lichens in the line of schwack”

  4. powhounddd
    wrote on June 1st, 2010 at 10:48 pm  

    crazy snow maniacs all a-tramplin’ the tundras. Prolly go up high and poke caribou with a stick too, eh?!

    Darn fine, missed the rockpile entirely this season, m’self. Ah well! Thanks for those fine shots and fun read, as usual.

  5. Porter Haney
    wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 11:05 am  

    G. Not only is the Christian lichen-hallway shot amazing, but prose is phenominal too. You’d sooth a baby lichen to sleep with words like that.

  6. robrox
    wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 11:12 am  

    Slacking season is still on!

    Memorial Day w/e was a gas, gas, gas!
    BBQ that is. We had a nice three-day slack, holding the First Annual 10th Mountain Memorial Day Slalom on the East Snowfield. Pix will be up @ T4T during the evening of June 2nd.

  7. ml242
    wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 7:23 pm  

    black and white on the top of page one is a top ten all time classic FIS.

    since the rocks at stowe were good enough and mt wash still has patches!, I’ll still keep an eye out for a postscript just in case.

  8. ml242
    wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 7:34 pm  

    First time caller, long time listener… Does Christian actually bootpack in snowboard boots or does he actually carry ski boots and crampons in his bag to get back up?

    • Greg
      wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 7:36 pm  

      he does all his ascent in snowboard boots. has strap on crampons for the ascent… i’m sure i could get him to make some comments and recommendations about what he’s figured works best after spending a season traipsing around with me

    • christian
      wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 9:25 pm  

      he bootpacks in snowboard boots. sometimes he carry’s a chairlift in his backpack.

      seriously though, i <3 burton drivers! strap cramps are a pain in the bum, so when the going gets icy, i pull out the piolet and let my isometric panic attack guide me to the pow.

    • Porter Haney
      wrote on June 4th, 2010 at 11:52 am  

      isothermia and piolets, the only keys to seeing up Ullr’s skirt

  9. natron
    wrote on June 5th, 2010 at 11:04 am  

    I use 12 pt.ers with my burton sabbath’s 08 or 09. gets me anywhere..
    08 burton drivers I also own but not as comfy as the sabbath..
    can you guys please start drinking quality beer!!
    love the tr’s strong work!!

    • Greg
      wrote on June 8th, 2010 at 6:37 pm  

      natronator… sorry about not replying earlier. just saw this now.

      anyway, that’s good quality advice. we’ll probably be running a few FAQs/tip posts next fall when we get close to the holy time again, and i’ll probably hunt you down for a few tips if you don’t mind.

      anyway, we drink as good a beer as the ads on this site pay for… so you know… the more you pay attention and check… you know… those thingies that have some messages on them that are not messages from us… the better beer shows up.

      although i must say i love MHL

  10. natron
    wrote on June 10th, 2010 at 5:34 pm  

    are they tracking hits or sales??

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