Skiing Between The Lines

By:  Greg
February 9, 2012


For Super Bowl Sunday, myself and a crew of adjunct FIS including Pete, Jake and Jessie, along with two fellas from EasternBackcountry, Austin and Drew, had big plans to ski big(ger) lines (than we’ve skied this season). The mountain had other plans however, and it generally doesn’t like to compromise. I think the experts said it best in a few lines in the middle of that day’s bulletin:

But as for today, expect the usual spatial variability on Mount Washington with hard stable surfaces interjected with new snow instabilities in strong lee locations that were protected from wind scouring. If you’re flexible on where you go today you will have a number of options to remain in stable terrain. However if you insist on traveling through new soft slabs without constant stability evaluations you may possibly avalanche a slope in “Moderate” forecasted terrain and some isolated pockets in areas at “Low”.

Reading between the lines, I think the pros were trying to say: Don’t be surprised if you encounter a line loaded with glorious soft snow that’s begging to be skied, and that wouldn’t hesitate to send you for a ride to visit a snow-starved ravine floor. And such a line was exactly what we found. Of course, everyone knows soft snow is super fun for skiing on, especially in a year when it’s been hard for most folks to get good skiing on the east coast. Who wouldn’t want to schuss a few thousand vert down a mountain on a soft layer of white gold this season? The truth was though, we were obtaining pretty clean sheers on a rime or wind-stiffened bed surface in multiple tests, and no matter how hungry we were, with no room for error, we had to back off; no matter how much of this stuff we owned, a avalanche prone slope is still an avalanche prone slope; and so, after reading between the lines of the bulletin, we’d have to settle for skiing between the lines instead.

Luckily for everyone, there’s lots of skiing between the lines.
Let's go over there

And that skiing is DAMN good.
and so it was

See: It’s fun to make safe decisions.
It's fun to make safe decisions.

it's fun to make safe decision

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Read about the author:   Greg
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: Golden Hour Rock Climbing in the PNW

18 Comments

  1. bushman
    wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 8:24 am  
    1

    Thanks FIS for MW report, photos, notes; yes, heeding the cryptic advice (read “warning”) brings everybody home safe to ski another day; no patrol up there. Great shots of soft fluff between the tracks, well-handled by you. Kudos.

  2. JJ
    wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 8:50 am  
    2

    WTF: An add for a SCUM SUCLING ambulance chasing lawyer on your website???? Come on folks…..you aren’t THAT desparate for $ are you. It’s SO counter to what BC skiing is all about. These guys kill freedom. I’m Diapointed.

    • Greg
      wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 8:57 am  
      3

      JJ,

      Alot of the adverts are auto generated by Google…

      I suspect you saw one of these, because all the ads we choose to appear on FIS are gear related. We never seek out adverts for sleezy stuff like that, and we’d never purposefully put an ad like the one you described up there. I’m going to look into it, and try to kick it out of our ad feed.

      Thanks for pointing it out!! I’m looking into it RIGHT NOW

    • brian
      wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 5:06 pm  
      4

      From what I understand the google ads are generated by a combination of host site content and the user’s personal browsing history. I think there is a blacklist that can be applied so that certain ads won’t appear anymore, but that would be fairly laborious…

      Anyhow, sweet TR…

  3. RobRox
    wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 9:38 am  
    5

    Skiing between the lines…. LOL!

    Great TR!

  4. Harvey44
    wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 11:12 am  
    6

    There is no way to TOTALLY control Adsense (Google) ads. It’s even harder in the off season. Nice pics P+G!

  5. icelanticskier
    wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 1:52 pm  
    7

    nice rog turns!!!:)

    rog

    • Greg
      wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 2:34 pm  
      8

      Thanks dood!! hope you found it humorous :D

  6. ml242
    wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 6:03 pm  
    9

    nice. did you guys dig at all? Curious about average snowdepths up there. Not like it matters much with the big wind both giving and taking.

    • Greg
      wrote on February 10th, 2012 at 7:32 am  
      10

      See what Jake said below. Variability is maximized. You have zero and several feet within inches of each other… classic MTW.

  7. powhounddd
    wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 7:55 pm  
    11

    Awesome TR. Some winter to be had yet, maybe the ski outs will fill in nice too!!!

  8. Jake
    wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 11:10 pm  
    12

    we dug for sure, ml. but in very localized places. And in such places the snow seemed to be in the 3-4 ft range. but that all changes with a day or two of wind and/or rain/snow. So with a grain of salt. Still on the thinner side overall, but not too bad.

  9. Aaron
    wrote on February 10th, 2012 at 9:30 pm  
    13

    I’m really digging the mismatched alpine and touring poles.

    • Greg
      wrote on February 12th, 2012 at 6:37 pm  
      14

      heh… good eye ;)

  10. jumpin jimmy
    wrote on February 13th, 2012 at 11:13 am  
    15

    Hey somebody is using my initals here…and I know that wasn’t me posting about lawyers, because I can spell disappointed,
    JJ

  11. Micky O (ILOVE2SKI)
    wrote on February 23rd, 2012 at 4:55 pm  
  12. Butch Chamberlain
    wrote on February 29th, 2012 at 12:29 pm  
    17

    Skiing between the lines is almost always a good decision. George doesn’t care what your status is in life, you will always look good for a meal. That is something there that no one wants. Yes and I fully agree there are many other lines in that area that can be safely skied. Snow science is something that every BC person should try to understand. Especially this year. Ofcourse in Vt. we are now experiencing what everyone dreams of. But lest we forget, it may all be taken away at anytime. So one must honor Ullr. But more
    importantly, trust your second voice. For pilots like myself, we often run into second voice hearings. You know that little man in the brain bucket that says better take another approach. Most of the time he’s right. Ski safely and do your homework. By doing this you will have much more delight and fun.
    This I guarantee. Great pics as always. You guys and gals do it very fine.
    Very fine, indeed! Have fun while it’s here. BC

  13. slidinejimo klubas
    wrote on March 23rd, 2012 at 9:34 am  
    18

    I am really inspired together with your writing skills and also with the format on your blog. Is that this a paid topic or did you modify it your self? Either way keep up the excellent high quality writing, it is uncommon to see a great blog like this one these days..

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