January 19, 2015

Broads Fork Twins- East

I forgot my camera. It was Saturday morning (January 17, 2015) 7 AM as we arrived in the upper meadows, surrounded by the waking giants of the Broads Fork cirque. Dromedary, Sunrise and Twin, each with gazes that pierced our souls,  hesitantly welcomed us as we were the first group in after the storm earlier this week. 

Headlamps began to die one by one, in reverence towards the crescent moon peering between Dromedary and Sunrise. Ours was a large group. Each of us entered the cathedral, laying down our own stresses of life before the great summits that now surrounded us. Some of us have spent decades in this part of the Wasatch and for at least one it was their first time. Regardless, each entrance is sacred.
Crescent Moon- Courtesy Jason Dorais
We worked, one by one to efficiently set the skinner up the southeastern shoulder of Broads Fork Twin. The snow was a mixed bag between thin wind slab, graupel and some great quality in between. Reaching the south ridge, segments looked more like an Autumn ridge than dead of winter. The wind had done its work. Lucky for us, it had ended and there was hardly a breeze. Fingers, faces and toes were still freezing as temps were low. Fortunately, the sun was quietly exploding over Dromedary as Teague, with ski off, swung is leg back and forth to warm toes. 

South Ridge and a beautiful skin track- Courtesy Jason Dorais
Ridge and the Slab- A most stunning picture, courtesy Jason Dorais
The standard route to the summit was enjoyable, with the slab section helping some fill their appetites for exposure. 

Part of the group planned a single descent down the eastern face of East Twin, while others were doing multiple lines. Jared, Justin and I, skiing off the top worked our way into the upper East Face, while dodging rocks which regularly presented themselves.  Me, the fool-hearted one, having already skied the East Face chute in years past and thinking it was too rock laden, decided to ski just north of the main East Chute. Thinking folks were following, I was alone, skiing what I guess I'll call the Terraced East Face route. It was neat line, with great, stable snow while skiing above the horizontal cliff bands. Glide avalanches in warmer conditions on this slope are a dramatic reality. My chosen route required one small down climb. I know folks have jumped this section in prior years. I should have communicated better. Jared, Justin, and then the others skied the main chute in very enjoyable conditions.  Reuniting at the foot, Justin, Jared and I headed for home. It was an amazing morning.

The rest of the crew then went on to link an impressive line down the Northwest aspect off of Twin East.

A note- Jason Dorais is not only one of the region's greatest alpinists, his photography work nearly keeps up with his fitness too.

The magic of the morning- Lars soaking it in. Courtesy Jason Dorais
 Upper East Face- Courtesy J Wilson

Jared always hard charging. Upper East Face- Courtesy J Wilson
Tom Goth- Courtesy J Wilson
Jared- Courtesy Jason Dorais

1 comment:

  1. Wish I was there with you guys! Your trip report and photos almost make me feel like I was there....minus the lung hacking "I'm gonna die" that inevitably accompanies activities with you.