April 24, 2008

alpine start

Yesterday my good friends Rick and Scott headed over to 11,308 in the Lost River Range for some alpine fun on the White Line Couloir. The weather was terrible but the boys still went for it, making good time (1 1/2hrs) to the base of the route despite some minor wallowing. They climbed the lower half of the route; soloing the two minor 5th class steps along the way and arrived at the crux pitch after swimming in near waist deep powdery snow. Although enthusiastic, they chose to descend and return when the snow conditions are better which is a good call based on the semi dangerous avalanche terrain above the technical climbing. I was excited to hear the crux chimney was already ice choked and with the amount of snow and the lack of warming up high yet, the White Line will likely get fat this year! Fat could likely mean it will take 17cm ice screws instead of 10cm!

With little effort, 11,308 offers a great alpine fix. You can be on the route in under two hours from the car. The terrain isn't difficult but it will get your attention in a few places while the rest of the time you're cruising up a classic alpine couloir!

Go get it while the gettin' is good!

photos from Rick and Scott