Timing is everything. You’ve all heard that phrase. Well the 4th was the time to get this line done. Me and Nate met at 4am and geared up for the stroll up the bike path. We made decent time to the base of the line and switched gear. Crampons the whole way to the summit. We ended up getting off route and climbing the West Ridge but this was probably just as difficult as going up the chute. It was slow going with burning lungs and sinuses due to the thick haze from the New Mexico fires.
This is such a fun line. Right off the top it’s really steep. You make an exposed traverse over a selection of chutes that lead to the main gully. A fall would be very painful as you would careen through tons of rocky zones. Once you get to the spine you can line it all up. In this chute I found hollow warm snow over a 20 foot down climb. I was a bit worried about getting sluffed over the rocks so, since we had a rope we just decided to rappel around this zone. 2 days later a wet slide ripped out from that very zone and now the line is done for the season as the gully is now filled with over 2000 feet of debris. As I said timing is everything.
This gully is absolutely fantastic. There are towers and fins throughout providing a surreal landscape more reminiscent of Utah or the limestone mountains of Nevada. It’s a special place. Go get some next year.
Oh sorry for the splotchy pics, there was some condensation on the sensor of one of the cameras. Arrrrgh!