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This site was created as a journal about adventure in the mountains, on the bike, in the ocean and enjoying the great outdoors. From time to time I will post these experiences so others may learn more about them and hopefully enjoy them as well.

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2008-02-12

Ostrander '08 Trip Report

D#015

So we are back, and it was a great trip this year, each year proves to be great in its own way. This year, was not by the tremendous amount of fresh snow, it was the amount of snow that was still great, and more or less untracked, and the new adventure. But it was just enough and not enough at the same time to go back one more year....... At least.

Day #1:
As usual, the first day is something you look at the calender for months and long for. But when that moment comes where you pull into the parking lot, your are actually dreading what there is in front of you. You are dreading the thought of carrying this pack, that surely must have shit in it you do not want to be carrying or do not need. Dreading the almost 10 miles of cross country travel. And then you set the foot on the trail and you are off.

The first day was a throw back day to year one, as we did not hit the trail until 12:15. But I made it to the hut by 6:00, still it was a slow year. That night we cooked for Howard, the best hutmeiseter, and Ostrander historian and artist. We made goulash, with prosciutto and chees efor an appetizer. Then off to bed.

Day #2:
We did a few laps on the face in front of the hut on some great snow before heading out to Howard's Ridge as we like to call it for a run on the "Nose" the steepest almost always untracked section to the right that makes people say, "you skied that?". Well Howard's Ridge was a boulder scramble, and rock climbing lesson with packs on you backs. But once at the top, the first part was phenomenal, and the second part not so good with sun crust setting in as the day went down. George and I did a final lap on the face, and off to dinner, a great one by Dan with his classical "Mexican Soufle" or whatever he calls it, still pretty damn good.

Day#3:
Today we did a tour into a region that Howard had "never skied, but always wanted to". That was enough to sucker us into following him, which is all you do when you tour with this man. But it was a great tour and we headed west, up horse ridge and followed the ridge past the heart lake bowl, into the next drainage, and down the face. The not so comforting thing was seeing the evidence of a recent slab avalanche that released about a 6-8' slab near the bottom of the run. The slope was good, snow was spring corn soft, and we high tailed it out of there ito the western side of the Heart Lake drainage for a few runs on great snow, but still signs of avalanche on slopes facing east. Another great meal by Craig, Gumbo with fresh sausage.....

Day #4:
A lazy day, even though Dan wanted to get going earlier, but still a few laps on the face across the hut, followed by Howard blazing a trail up the ridge that was STEEP, and a great run down untracked, Dan even tumbled all the way down instead of turning. The final meal by George was great, even though we wondered why he would cook perfectly dehydrated pasta then dehydrate it again????

Day #5:
After a little wrestling we hit the trail for home at around 9:30, and to my surprise I rolled back into the parking lot at 12:15, or just under 3 hours. This is a testament to how fast you can make it out in just the right conditions!

Looking forward already to next year, year #7 for the crew......

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