TR: Fairy Meadows Day 3 (2.5.2018)
HUT TREES 1 & 2
Our group of 17 people was a loose coalition consisting of 12 from Washington, 4 from Colorado, and 1 from Big Sky. Nobody knew everyone so it was a bit of a leap of faith for us to jump into close quarters for a week with no escape. Fortunately everyone got along well and there was minimal drama throughout the week. That said, we had pretty quickly split into about 4 or 5 different ski groups and save for a couple people bouncing between groups, everyone pretty much skied with the same people.
The Colorado Boyz were no exception and Rick, Chris, Zach, and I, having skied together a ton back home and having our decision making and communication protocols pretty well dialed, were perfectly happy to keep the groups mostly consistent.
Although we expected cloudy conditions for the first half of our week, our second ski day dawned bluebird. For the first time, we were able to take in the expansive terrain around us.
We had the visibility, but coming off such a major storm cycle we weren't quite ready to tickle the dragon in the alpine yet. Plus, it was very cold and there was definitely some wind up high. So we took in the scenery just below the hut before skinning back up Hut Trees 1.
One of our favorite runs from the previous day dropped northeast off the ridge, and would put us right at the bottom of the skintrack leading towards the next ridge over (Hut Trees 2), which one of the Washington groups kindly put in. Our run down started with some great pillow lines.
And fed into a beautiful, wide open, 30° apron.
The skin up Hut Trees 2 was longer, but very scenic. We got a great view of the TGR line we had stood atop the day before.
As we gained elevation, more of the valley and surrounding glaciers revealed themselves to us.
The Washington crew whose track we were following (Team Raw Dog Pillowtalk) had climbed pretty high, getting up above treeline on top of a short, but tasty looking pitch. More importantly, it was in the sun and it was still really cold, so we elected to go up and check it out.
We spotted another group across the way, on top of Hut Trees 1, close to where we had stood the previous day.
The low angle pitch off the top back to treeline had some great light and good snow.
From there we traversed into a curling chute that we had spied on our way up. As we dropped in, the WA guys were skinning back up. Turned out that we had just poached their line, bigly. It was a fun poach.
A short skin brought us to the top of another fun zone we scouted on the way up, this one consisting of spines and pillows, which we navigated with varying degrees of success and grace. We didn't get any worthy action shots, but Chris enjoyed admiring the area after we were done.
One final skin brought us to a long, mellow tree run back to the base, where we skinned back to the hut and began our now nightly ritual of drinking and playing cards.
After having our fill of booze and euchre, we retired while our gear worshiped the fire.