Post subject: Team Father-Son hit the S-Couloir with WarpWave
Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:24 pm
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm Posts: 4965 Location: California
Back in 2002, a couple years after I got my first splitboard, a friend of mine (Steeleman) turned me on to what would become one of my favorite splitboard zones in California, The Eastside. Ever since then I’ve made the annual pilgrimage each spring creating many great memories with friends along the way.
During that first trip I couldn’t help keep my eyes off a sweet looking couloir we passed on our way to the summit. On the way back down I climbed up the line and enjoyed some great spring-turns down the beauty. I later named her the S-Couloir and a tradition was born.
The inaugural trip in June 2002
Discovering the S-Couloir
Now that you know the backstory, fast forward 12 years and 14 trips later. When the calendar says April and May (sometimes June too) it’s time to start planning for the Eastside and this year was no different. Along with me came my 18 year old son Skyler who’s been snowboarding since age 4 and splitboarding since age 13. As usual, we’d utilize and afternoon approach to have fresh legs for the next day. Our friends Eric Messier and Gray Thompson from Warp Wave would meet us later that night. Usually the access road to the area doesn’t open until Memorial Day requiring a 2-mile slog up a dirt road so we were pleasantly surprised to find it had literally just opened a couple hours before we got there. Our timing was perfect!
Skyler skinning to camp
Sunset at Camp
Later that night, (a couple hours later than expected) I saw two tiny headlamps moving our way. It was the Warp Wave boys as planned and the crew was excited about the next day’s mission.
Starry sky over North Peak
After a windy night’s sleep we rallied up the mountain. It’s always fun hanging with the Warp Wave crew and having my son along was the icing on the cake. He’s been journeying with me into the mountains since he could walk and seeing those years of hiking, snowboarding, and splitboarding come together on this trip was awesome. He made me proud.
Skyler making the way to the most challenging line of his life
In the early days of hitting this line we used to climb up the couloir to the crux and hit it from there. Sometime around the mid 2000′s with the help of Jimw we starting dropping in from the top which has now become the new norm. Depending on the snow year and time of year the pucker factor varies.
Before we knew it we were on top of the line and ready to drop. Gray was across the valley shooting video and Eric dropped first. It was his first time in the line but made himself right at home, ollie’n the rocks in the choke and ripping it to the bottom.
At this point, as a father, I started getting a little worried about what I was getting my son into. I knew it was safe and I knew he had the skills to ride it but I wasn’t expecting to be overcome with that worried and uneasy feeling that only a parent knows. After a couple minutes and trying to talk Skyler out of it (he wasn’t having it) I collected myself and dropped in stopping at the crux so I could talk him through it. We wiggled through the crux with more emphasis on safety than style and I finished out the line. At the bottom I gave Skyler the go-ahead and he rode it like a champ! The emotions running through my body where euphoric and I knew we’d remember this moment forever.
The choke pic by Skyler
Skyler ripped it making sweet turns
It just so happened that Jimw and Buffy were in the same area getting their spring turns as well
It was really great to see you guys!
With the sun still high and some fuel left in our tanks the crew set out to session a nearby hip Gray spotted. He guinea-ed it and Eric and Skyler took turns hitting it while I took stills.
Gray Thompson aka Snowshoe Thompson
Skyler showing he can ride coolies with Dad and shred hips too!
Eric Messier is a method man
Gray with another keeper
Back for more
Eric with a nice grasser and sweet backdrop
Todays Marlboro Man smokes American Spirits
Heading back to camp
That next day was our exit-day so we didn’t have much time to ride but we did manage to sneak in a few pondskims in preparation for our next trip, The Fountain of Youth. Stay tuned for the mega-report coming soon!
Gray getting the shot
Team Father-Son Couloir and Pondskim mission complete!
Supper cool TR Bcrider! I love seeing the father son trip. Very inspiring to us dad's. That place looks amazing and the hip jump looks so much fun. Rad pics, makes me want to go there someday. I have never riden Cali terrain like that. It's definetly on my bucket list
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Post subject: Re: Team Father-Son hit the S-Couloir with WarpWave
Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:56 pm
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:29 am Posts: 584 Location: Oregon
Awesome trip report Chris! Can't wait to get my boys out in the backcountry in a few years. Stoked Skyler shredded the couloir so well - I can only imagine the butterfllies you were feeling and then the sense of pride afterwards. I'd love to get down to the Sierra sometime - that zone looks sweet
_________________ "There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty." - Theodore Roosevelt