Mt Helen 13,164′ South Bowl – Pacific Peak 13,950′ Hawaii Couloirs 5/7/2011

Finally the weather is letting me get some peaks done. After a very snowy April things are starting to turn more spring-like. The snow pack is still transitioning but after a few nice high pressure days we figured we’d give it a go on a bigger line. We assembled our rather large group of 5 at the Spruce Creek trailhead and headed up the East Face of Helen. We made decent time and prepared to drop in. The face was a bit cooked by the time we got it as there were numerous sluffs off our skis. Temps have been a bit high at night lately. Still in transition, but by following good travel procedures we made it down safely. It’s a handsome line. Nice and steep. It’s so sweet to finally get into some burlier terrain.

After refueling at the bottom we headed up into the Mohawk Lakes Basin and our next target. At upper Mohawk Lake Danny headed out after seeing how far Pacific was and he needed to get some work done on his house. Myself and Joe headed for Pacific and Gary and Darrel headed for Hawaii Chutes.Joe and I headed up the basin to a ramp just past the Hawaii Chutes and booted to the ridge and then on to the summit. 5900 vertical for the day, 2 great skis and a ton of fun. Lots of pics so enjoy.

This morning I met up with Jon Turner and we headed up towards Kite Lake but something is going on with my boots causing some serious pressure at my ankle. The pain was insane. We aborted this morning in hopes of taking care of the problem at the bootfitters in Denver this week. Next up 9 days of skiing starting Thursday. Gonna see just how much I can get done. It should be fun, hopefully the ankle is ready.

The Gully on Helen's East Side
Gary Contemplates the line
Then he rips it
Kicking some sluff
But the sluff was slow
And Gary was FAST
At the bottom of the line you can see wet slide debris from previous days
An island of safety
Darrell's turn
Getting into position
Nice line
Nice getting out with you guys
Always fun
Sluff management skills
Then he hits the afterburners
Joe's turn
He likes skiing in the Tenmile Range
Even though it's not a 14er
Quality is just quality
Large and small
Darrell in the gut
Runnells like Bump Skiing
Danny's turn
Getting his line he's longed for since our 1st trip together
Out in the hot zone
Safe Zone


One of Me Weird. Phot by Joe Brannan


At the apron. Photo Joe Brannan
Darrell at the bottom
Where's Danny?
Having fun I bet
You can take that to the bank
A bit of chunder
Heading for higher places


Stairmaster. Photo by Joe Brannan
At the top of Pacific with a summit ski
Heading for the Hawaii Chutes
Piecing it together
Joe on vacation in Hawaii
Decent snow was had


My turn in the Hawaii Couloirs. Photo Joe Brannan
Frozen ocean???
The views in Hawaii are pretty
Cue Ventures song
Crystal in the background


Interesting snow at the bottom. Photo Joe Brannan
A look back at the tracks
A turn in front of Mt Helen
A good day was had


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