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 Post subject: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 8:05 am
Posts: 1499
Location: 395
MAY 19th!
Decided to go ahead and write up this TR as jimw is still on the east side and hopefully scruffy and jimw add some pics.

Some days you want to explore new areas. Some days you want to challenge yourself on new lines. Some days you return to what you know well. Today was for the latter. I can't stay away from these lines! I figure if no one else is gonna shred them in perfect conditions then I better :bananas: A rare combination of conditions came together on this day to make for some of the best conditions I have ever ridden on the eastside. A cold May storm dumped fresh snow all over the Sierra over a 4-5 day period, and with some lingering cold air and clouds, conditions aligned producing waist deep, stable blower.

I rode these lines with Ken and Ben last week. This week I hooked up with Tim and Jim :lol:
They told me they had a curse when riding together on the east side which involved always finding crappy conditions. I had a feeling I could break that curse :wink:

The tentative plan was to do either Zebra or N couloir and then have a look at checkered demon, but due to scheduling conflicts with my partners, fatigue, flat light, and personal apprehension we never did end up checking it out. However, the day did not disappoint.

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(I only used my slr on the highway. All the riding/approach pics are my point and shoot. Too lazy to lug it up there today)
Bloody:
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Nevahbe ridge:
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White mtn:
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Tim and Jim (scruffy and jimw) had a long day the day before on Carson Pass and couldn't meet me until later so I brought a radio and planned on riding Zebra solo and try to hook up with them at the bottom. Timing was perfect and they arrived just as I was strapping in at the top.
Emerson looking majestic and intimidating. Does not look like May!:
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There was about 5-10 inches of new snow nearing the lines, but once you got onto the aprons the snow depth doubled...then tripled. The first half of Zebra was a waist deep slog even with verts on! Digging some hand pits revealed good results however and I continued on with confidence.
The top was intimidating as you have to stomp out a platform at the steepest part of the chute next to a vertical wall to strap in. I actually like this couloir for that reason. It's a neat place to hang out and drop in:
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It was perfect snow top to bottom. One of the best backcountry runs I've ever had. I was super stoked when I got to the bottom to meet scruffy and jimw. scruffy was soon chomping at the bit and wanted to start up the N couloir. I had to make a decision to either go with them or go to checkered demon alone. Having never technically ridden with jimw (have done a few approaches with him) and N couloir right there it was hard to pass up. All 3 of us had verts and it would have sucked not to have them. N couloir was deeper than Zebra! You could have easily skinned up 3/4 of it, but that would have been poor style and defeats the purpose that is the beauty of a blank slate below you. If we didn't have verts I'm afraid that would have been the only alternative. We were OVER waist deep at times ascending. Breaking trail would involve pushing down your poles (or axes) and doing a full body tricep press/high step to make any progress. Who needs P90X when you can do this for a core workout?!
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The top 50 vertical feet was the toughest. Over 45 degrees and over 3 feet deep to the very top. Tim and I traded off this section and it took us probably a 1/2 hour to switchback a trench to the top.
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jimw:
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Not much needs to be said for the riding conditions! (sorry again for not having my slr! :nononno: )
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scruffy:
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We were stoked!...but pooped too. We decided to slog up to kindergarten to end the day mainly cuz it was an easier way back to the car and a nice bonus run. As a recent backcountry partner's saying goes: "leave it out here". Meaning ride until you can't ride anymore when it's this good! Checkered Demon was right there too, but jimw and I were bonking at this point and with the entrance shrouded in a cloud bank and it being past 6pm by the time we'd get up there the decision to back off such a heavy line was easy (although it would have been all time!)
(no riding pics here as my card was full)
scruffy skinning up to Kindergarten. We dropped in around 6:30!
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Such a surreal and amazing day. I may never get an east side day like this in a long time. I will definitely cherish it.

I wish I woulda had some rain-x for my lens and some more sun for the footage, but it still gets the point across :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 8:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:21 am
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Location: Truckee
You take some incredible east side photos. Makes me want to scrounge up enough money to buy a nice camera. And an Incredible mid-winter TR for late May. Are you sure that's not POV from March, and you are just messing with our heads??? What a year for the Sierra.


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 Post subject: Re: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 9:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:57 am
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA/Ashland, OR
Very nice work Brooks. I missed you guys by one day, and the next day @ Powerhouse w/ JimW and Scruffy did not look like this :banghead:

Scruffy did describe your climb as "digging a trench" so it's fun to see the evidence of that!

Me, Fullers2oh, Isaac, Ollie and JimW did the Dunder/GC traverse on Sat. It wasn't quite like this, but it was pretty damn good as well! I'm sure somebody will get a TR of that started soon.

I've said it before, but your climbing mojo is sky high this year! Thanks for all the stoke!

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 Post subject: Re: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 11:01 pm
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Location: June lk, CA
That's just wrong.

Nice work.

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 Post subject: Re: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 3:17 pm 
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I want to fuck your pictures of the eastside, they are so hot right now.

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 Post subject: Re: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 7:01 pm 
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STELLAR :rock: What a fine score gentlemen! :headbang: Great shots as always B :thumpsup: :thumpsup:

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 Post subject: Re: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am
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Location: California
Incredible day!

Holy shit!
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If these deer were people, those two would be the snowboarders.
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Steep chutes in pow. hmmm hmmm good.


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 Post subject: Re: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm
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Location: California
A May Miracle indeed!!! So sick :thatrocks: :thatrocks: :thatrocks:


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 Post subject: Re: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 1:33 pm 
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AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! :rock: :rock: :rock:


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 Post subject: Re: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 11:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
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Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
wasatch surf wrote:
I want to fuck your pictures of the eastside, they are so hot right now.



I'm sensing a Circle Jerk here, Gary! :bananas: :bananas: :bananas:

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 Post subject: Re: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:31 am
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damn... my first glance at SB.com since leaving california is making me wish i had not left! after doing the emerson--kindergarten tour the week prior (in much easier climbing conditions), i am thoroughly impressed with the addition of zebra. sounds like a great day!

nice work, guys!!!


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 Post subject: Re: A may miracle (Zebra-N. Couloir Emerson-Kindergarten)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:00 am 
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BG, thanks for helping to break the "Tim + Jim = Crappy Snow" curse... as this most certainly was not crappy snow. :) One of the most memorable days I've ever had. And considering that the day before Tim and I rode Crescent couloir in similar ridiculous bottomless conditions, and I was 2 days into a week and a half trip to the eastside... uh, I was pretty stoked. Still going through my pics, one of these days I'll have some to add!

Oh what the hell, here's a few quickies.

BG with a nice snow beard after riding Zebra. This is a good sign!

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Lots of pics of Emerson above, so here are a few of the second half. Heading over to the top of Kindergarten in practically a whiteout since we were right at the base of the clouds. It was weird being in this cloud but then looking out and seeing blue skies over Bishop.

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"Kindergarten" is a little bit of a misnomer. I guess just because Checkered Demon around the corner is so puckering, this chute seems like child's play. But it's still plenty steep at the top. Here's Tim dropping in... in perfect pow.

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BG sequence:

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We left it out there all right. Tim and I left South Lake Tahoe at 3 AM after getting 3 hours sleep, drove straight out to Bishop and the Buttermilks and started skinning, and here we are getting back to the cars at 7:45 PM. Totally worth it.

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BG/Scruffy - I think I still owe you guys a dinner for busting trail for my seriously bonking ass! I don't think the dinner at the only mexican place open in Bishop after 9:30 PM counts. :)


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