Nisqually Ice Cliff

By:  Sam
May 28, 2011

The next morning, we awoke to a sea of clouds lapping at the cliffs below us. Perhaps it was because “undercast” was so rare on the east coast, I find views like these some of the most spectacular.

Joel ascends towards Gib(ralter) rocks, our direct route to the line.

As we broke for a snack, both Josh and I realized that we were feeling the altitude much earlier than we would have wanted. Aaron, a friend of Josh, had joined us in the morning and is pictured in the back. It was beginning to look like our late start might cost us the summit and possibly even the line. Rockfall above the ice-cliff was beginning.

Josh, like myself, trying to keep his lunch down.

Josh led the way under Gib rocks.

Joel and Aaron making their way towards the line.

Josh seemed to settle into a good grove as he set the boot-pack upwards through the top section of Gib chute.

As I reached him during a break, altitude induced nausea hit me worse than it had since India. More interested in staying strong for the technical parts of the line, I sat down and rested while the rest of the group headed towards the true top of the line. We’d decided that we favored the chance of skiing such a rare line over the prospects of a successful summit attempt. As we’d gotten a late start and the entire group except Joel was feeling quite slow, it seemed like a good call.

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Read about the author:   Sam
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: Meat Week Part I


  1. Peter
    wrote on May 28th, 2011 at 4:31 pm  
  2. chris
    wrote on May 28th, 2011 at 8:35 pm  

    Sweet trip report, looked fun! Scary about your binding though..

  3. powhounddd
    wrote on May 28th, 2011 at 8:44 pm  

    wow Sam, another outstanding TR from the Land Where Winter Doesn’t (seem to want to) End!

    I have to stop reading these! Makes me jones pretty hard for some gnar.

  4. icelanticskier
    wrote on May 28th, 2011 at 10:17 pm  

    time for markers? ;)

    awesome report and day well spent!



  5. MadPatSki
    wrote on May 28th, 2011 at 11:00 pm  


    Nicely played and scary about the ski.

    Again, wow. Congrats.

  6. justin
    wrote on May 28th, 2011 at 11:57 pm  
  7. Lionel Hutz
    wrote on May 29th, 2011 at 6:17 am  

    Excellent, Excellent work Sam.
    Question re Dynafits…no brakes on them right? Well would it behoove the BC skier to throw a pair of leases on the ski akin to the telemarker steeze?

  8. Anonymous
    wrote on May 29th, 2011 at 10:03 am  

    The skis do have brakes but they wouldn’t have done much good on a slope that steep. Leashes might be in my future on steep lines

  9. the powder jew
    wrote on May 29th, 2011 at 7:35 pm  

    fucking gnarly guys…..I am always always so stoked when I see a new trip report from your crew. It makes my low end slack-fest up the auto road tomorrow seem so mediocre. Way to get after it.

  10. B. Melvin
    wrote on May 30th, 2011 at 2:30 pm  

    Great write up Sam. The bent plate is definitely something to think about for all of us that ski on the swap plates.

  11. Ben
    wrote on May 30th, 2011 at 10:11 pm  

    awesome report sam!

    I had a similar dynafit issue earlier this year… I cracked the metal toe piece in a similar way to the one that Lou Dawson posted about earlier this year, and it was basically unskiable. Dynafit was great about getting me a new one quickly though, their warrantee dept is top notch!

  12. icelanticskier
    wrote on May 31st, 2011 at 9:26 pm  

    fritschi, no fuss, no discussion, no fiddle :)


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