July 9, 2010

Getting busted like that is a story in its own right.  But here’s what happens when you go back to pick up the pieces.  A schwack through a summer thicket like I haven’t seen in many years of heavy thicketeering, to retrieve one Black Diamond Verdict with a Dynafit FT 12 attached to it.

I probably should have taken more pictures of the thicket itself, but when it’s double your height, and all you can see for 2,000 vertical feet is canvas of green jungle and the trail breakers butt in front of you.  That just isn’t inspiring enough for me to whip out the camera.  He’s one little jungle gem though, even found some aspens to spice it up with.

The snow patch in the upper left is the location we were eyeballing to find the ski lost ski, and to take a summer boot schuss.  We knew the stump that had done the deed, and started looking beneath it, around it, and below it.  We also realized why the slope point released around me when I fell.  This particular part of the slide path was nearly 42 degrees steep.

After 2 miles and thousands of vertical feet of bush wacking, Colby stood up victoriously with a July prize in his hands.

(exercising his 2nd amendment rights)

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Read about the author:   Porter Haney
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: Le Massive “Big Flake” Run


  1. angryswede
    wrote on July 9th, 2010 at 11:30 am  

    the champagne sound like a good recovery drink. Sticker?

    • Porter Haney
      wrote on July 9th, 2010 at 12:57 pm  

      Dang that was fast. E-mail me your address and I’ll send out a sticker.

    • Greg
      wrote on July 9th, 2010 at 1:08 pm  

      WRONG…. everyone knows we FISers only drink the manliest beverage in town: Mikes Hard Lemondade

    • angry swede
      wrote on July 12th, 2010 at 10:01 pm  

      You guys drink mikes???? I guess i’ll have to find a new ski blahhg.

      Porter – sent you a PM with contact info via your profile page.

    • Greg
      wrote on July 13th, 2010 at 12:19 am  

      nah… i was just kidding

  2. Bretterick Briggums
    wrote on July 9th, 2010 at 12:45 pm  

    Are those gashes on the stump yours? …Both of em?

    • Porter Haney
      wrote on July 9th, 2010 at 12:57 pm  

      Damn straight they are. Going to take a few more thwacks at that stump to take it down.

    • powhounddd
      wrote on July 9th, 2010 at 3:22 pm  

      thought you already had, given the axe handle pictured!!

    • Porter Haney
      wrote on July 9th, 2010 at 3:27 pm  

      By thwacks I meant skiers hitting it with ‘der edges. A big old and, that’s in fact a walking stick pictured.

      There was much conjecture about removing the stump. At the end of the day though, we decided the stump had to stay the way nature intended it!

  3. TEO
    wrote on July 9th, 2010 at 4:42 pm  

    Do I understand correctly that you were skiing in avy terrain with your Dynafits locked in tour mode? (In which case, I would assume that your broken ankle was likely the result of locking out the release function, no?)

    • Porter Haney
      wrote on July 9th, 2010 at 5:17 pm  

      Good question. I’ve had a lot of time to think about the dynamics of this crash/terrain.

      I was not in an area that would avalanche. I was in an area that could have isolated point releases. Which happened, and eventually how I lost the ski. The entire area that point released was not more than 20 square yards.

      We were wearing beacons, as always, but were generally not concerned with large scale avalanche potential on this slope.

      I can say I occasionally lock my bindings when I don’t want to lose a ski… really it is no different then what telemarkers do everyday, and it’s a decision I make very consciously. Plus, I find that I still can come out of the binding when I’m ‘locked in.’

      As for breaking the ankle because I was in lock mode, absolutely not. I hit the stump directly under foot, come down on top of it, with the force travelling up my leg. Any binding, whether I was locked in or not would have done precisely the same thing. When I hit the stump the ski came off immediately.

      If my ski had gone under a submerged limb, or something of that nature I might be singing another tune.

      In my circumstances I can say the binding being locked really had no bearing on my injury. Hope that helps explain the dynamics better.

    • TEO
      wrote on July 15th, 2010 at 12:07 pm  

      Thanks for the clarification, Porter.

      Might I suggest that if you’re worried about losing your ski, use a leash instead of locking out your Dynafits? The Dynafit Slut himself, a.k.a. Sheffy, suggested to me that the only time to lock them out is in true no-fall zones. After all, there’s a reason why alpine bindings have DIN release. It’s also very different from being in a non-releasable telebinding. Unlike an alpine binding, tele bindings have a lot of give, both in the binding and the boot, though that has decreased some with the advent of big, plastic boots.

      Glad to hear that you’re mending well and you got the ski back.

  4. icelanticskier
    wrote on July 9th, 2010 at 8:45 pm  

    nice find! slide paths avalanche on occasion even though 42 degrees is barely steep enough for s**t to move ;)

    oh, lets get one thing straight here. when it’s nuking it’s blowing and when it’s puking it’s snowing :)

    it’s true!

    glad yer back moving about and gaining strength.


    • Porter Haney
      wrote on July 11th, 2010 at 12:12 pm  

      Thanks Rog. You’ve skied argenta, the majority of the lower slide path is right around 30 degrees steep. Happen to be a few steeper sections.

      We’ll have to go skiing when you come out to Utah. I might even figure out how to turn as much as you and Craig.

  5. icelanticskier
    wrote on July 11th, 2010 at 8:17 pm  

    i’ve actually never skied argenta or anywhere on or near kessler. drove by it a gagillion times while heading to other spots.

    if/when i come back to utah, i’ll def look you up. i make quite a few turns. i turn once for every 3 or 4 of craigs :0

    maybe, just maybe we can ski some truly exotic lines. lines where athey, mclean, the powder whores, or even margy of the wasatch haven’t hit. i can assure you that we were some of the only skiers not waiting for u-dot to open the canyon roads for control work. we were gettin it, and gettin it in sub inversion land. wasatch blvd-le grand target basin and cirque-ette city west bowl: this is why i ski the wasatch…..1st descents e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!

    check it, craig gordon spots from below, lesley from above. never can be too careful :)



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