AKA Tuckerfolk at Gulf of Slides 4/10
It was Friday afternoon (April 8) when I got the call. The Gulf of Slides was calling to me, through the person of Skilas. He and RR were going to GOS Sunday and did bladeguy and I want to join them? Hmmm....let me see.....
YES!!! Another opportunity for top-to-bottom skiing on yet another bluebird day was not to be passed up. I've seriously got the bug, and was looking forward to another dose of medicine.
Saturday night Bladeguy and I hooked up with Skilas, RR, PWDR8S and Harkin at Skilas' ski house near attatash for some libations. I am hoping skilas will post the group photo he took (hint hint) in this thread. BG and I got to hear tales of their gorgeous day in the ravine, whetting our appetites for the tasty treat to come. We also got to examine the plethora of gear skilas has that he was willing to loan us for the next day, and decided I would borrow his alpine trackers to use with my alpine skis (an ingenious device that clicks into one's alpine ski binding and attaches to one's boot, enabling one to make a free heel ascent. It is then removed for an alpine descent).
Sunday morning came, with sunny skies, warm temps, and happy anticipation. We found ourselves on quite a variety of gear: I was skinning up on my K2s and the afforementioned alpine trackers, Bladeguy was hiking up with Yak Trax on his boots, Skilas was on WWII issue army teleskis, and RR was outfitted on Black Diamond skis and AT bindings.
We hit the Gulf of Slides trail at 9:19. The snow was soft, except where it was nonexistant. There were two washouts on the way up (and a new, third washout on the way down). We kept our skis on crossing the log bridge on the first crossing, but took 'em off for the second one. Here's me:
Aside from that, we kept our skis on and had a lovely skin up. BGX2:
Found a lovely resting place on the way up:
This is my first season skinning up trails, and I really enjoy it, but find it takes more energy than hiking up. Before this I'd done my skinning on short (150) telemark skis and boots, which, I found, were MUCH lighter than using my alpine boots, skis bindings PLUS the alpine trackers. It felt like I was doing leg lifts with 15 pound weights strapped to my feet. Many, many leg lifts! Maybe 10 minutes from the base of the slides I felt I'd used up all the energy I had, but RR & skilas helped get me the rest of the way. They helped out Bladeguy too, who was finding himself sinking into undermined snow up to his knees. Thanks, guys!!
At last, we made it to the base of the slides and eyed the morsels set out before us. And had lunch too. Skilas & our destination:
It seemed like everyone there was a teleskier, and most were kick ass skiers at that! We saw some awesome runs as we booted up the trail, in a very civilized boot ladder (well spaced and sized steps), and also saw lots of doggies running up and down the trail (one also using the boot ladder):
Here is where I mea culpa: somehow I lost all the video I took of people's runs, and so only have still photos, and pretty pathetic still photos at that (I only took photos of RR & Bladeguy from afar, and video when they were closer).
Bladeguy's Run (second skier from the top of the trail):
No photos of my run, though there was the afforementioned lost video
There were also lost photos and video of our descent down the GOS trail, so just imagine a zippy narrow, winding, trail covered in soft bumps, and us coming down it grinning from ear to ear. RR took a detour through the woods and beat us all to the final bridge washout. Also imagine a photo of four happy skiers at the bottom of the trail doing something very creative with our skis, which I will leave to your imaginations, dear readers.
Happy trails to you,
(4th trip to Mt Washington this season: woo hoo!!)
Bladeguy is working on recovering the lost data and look what he found: