Sacajawea Peak Shredit

Bridger Range,  Sacajawea Peak              May 13, 2014

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A short video from an unreal day of shredding with Matt Shortland and Pete Lazar.
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Iceberg Peak and a Random 12er

Beartooths Montana       June 2-3, 2014

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This was the kind of trip that when I ask people if they are interested they just laugh
and say “I’d love to hear how it goes.”  But not Matt Shortland, he was more concerned
with scheduling it to fit in with his other ski days and a good weather window.  The forecast
called for a clear day and then mixed weather, so we decided on two big days. 
faraway
Iceberg Peak, Mount Villard, Granite Peak, The Spires.  Our first glimpse at the goods.
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Clear morning to set out.  We figured we had all day to get out and set up camp.  If we
had energy or time left after, skiing would be in order.
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greendan
Dan happy to be out of the forest.    Photo:  Matt Shortland
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I should note that we saw an otter around 9,000ft elevation in Broadwater River,
possibly the highlight of the entire trip for Matt.  I thought it was neat too.
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mattweather
Camp set, a little weather moving through.
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We decided to set up camp at Upper Aero Lake.  The weather was way to nice to sit around,
so we set out for an evening ski on Mount Villard.  From camp it didn’t look that far away.
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glacier2
Matt setting the skintrack.  Think we can skin the whole way up?
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glacierskin
Matt making his way up to the saddle between Mount Villard and Iceberg Peak.
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It seemed we may have to bootpack up high but we pushed through and were able
to skin to the top of Iceberg Peak.  At the time we thought it was Villard but Matt
pulled out a map and confirmed it wasn’t.  We thought about going over to Villard’s true
summit but decided against it.  Iceberg Peak as I know it is an unofficial name for a peak
connected to Mount Villard and is almost as tall (hence the confusion).  I really thought
it would be cool to ski off Mount Villard.  It is one of those peaks that you here whispers
of cool lines being skied on.  
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cview
Camp is on the far side of the lake near a rock island.
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On top we enjoyed the view and some homemade cookies.  Said cookies helped
fuel/motivate the entire trip.  The skiing was top notch corn as we caught the
evening refreeze perfectly.  If we didn’t ski anything else this trip it would still
be a success.
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IMG_4988
Headed back to camp.
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Day 2
waves
Some sweet natural features.  Matt motivating from afar was a common theme.
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Our plan was to do a tour around some of Granite Peak, maybe ski a line on it.
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texting
Matt found cell service.
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smallmatt
A different side of Mount Villard on the left and Matt off in the distance.
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We toured around Granite Peak, checking out some of the lines it has to offer on the South
side area.  We could not agree on a line to ski on it.  Also the weather was unsettled and
afternoon showers were forecast.  So we headed back towards the way we came and
decided to ski a smooth face that would lend itself well to retreat back to camp if weather
came in.  (Face on lookers right peak in above pic.)
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nglacier
Villard, Iceberg, some rad peak past the saddle, and Glacier Peaks magnificent North Face.
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A little squall rolled through as we booted up the face, which kept us cool.  Matt laughed a
little bit when we got near the top.  It had taken us so little time to get up the face.  We
totally could have skied a line off Granite today.  The combination of scale and weather
got to us.  Oh well, our consolation line was mighty fine.  Awesome views, smoothest
snow around, and over 2,000 vert.
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dangranite
Dan skiing with Granite Peak in the background.     Photo:  Matt Shortland
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Fun in the sun did not last long.  As we skied down valley to the one saddle we had to cross
the weather came in.  Snow, wind, and thunder put the hustle in our step.  Since there was
no shelter we headed up the saddle as fast as we could. All the while gusts of wind blew us
around and thunder echoed off the surrounding rock walls.  
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stormleaving
The storm blowing away as we crossed the lake to camp.
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The storm proceeded to pass us as we reached the saddle.  We had a large blue hole in
front of us now.  Our goal was to get to camp, tear down, pack up, and try to make it
into the forest before the next storm hit.
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creekshot
Neat creek melt out to skin next to.
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intothestorm
Matt looking for the last of the cookies?
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We made into the forest before the storm came in, barely.  Rained most of the way out.
Got soaked and a little lost.  At that point of the day it didn’t really matter.
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The Giggler

Red Mountain, Gallatin Range               May 18, 2014

giggler
The Giggler (a few days later)
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This one was Ben VandenBos and Ned Gall’s idea.  I was at a loss of where to go ski
because of poor freezes at night for quite awhile.  I talked to Ned the night before
and he said they were planning on skiing a line up Hyalite that would more than
likely go with a bit of monkeying to get through.  Not exactly sure where he was
talking about but it sounded like fun.
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benrock
Ben opted for some scrambling action.
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Ben was gracious to ask if he could lead.  Haha, I have no clue where we’re going,
and Ned didn’t care.  So off we went with Ben leading the way.
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entrance
Ben leading the way off the top.
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benleading
Exposure and funky snow.
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The snow was punchy, grabby, inconsistent, but good enough.  The snow encouraged
conservative skiing style.  Most of our turns where fairly ugly, but style points would
only be awarded with finishing the descent unscathed.
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nedstretch
Ned working his way through a techy bit.
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nedsteep
Ned on a steep traverse.  No camera tricks here, it was spicy.
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nogo
Ben checking to see if it goes, not so much.
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Plan A was to go down and left of the gully to exit.  Ben went to take a look, but what he
saw was not going to work today.  So it was on to Plan B of traversing some gullys to the
North to exit.
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sidestep
The uphill portion of the descent.
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At the top of the side step up we found a cliff ban blocking our way.  There were two
options, an 8ft drop into the funk or a chunk of rock to monkey down.  Ben and Ned
started downclimbing and since I was last I had more time to think about it.  My head
swiveled back and forth between unappealing options.  Eventually I decided to air it
and get it over with.  It went smoothly and put me in position to get a pic some fine
skiing skills by Ned and Ben.
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downclimb
Mixed skiing
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We could almost breathe easy.  One more obstacle is all that was left now, we hoped.
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rockstep
Ned smiles while getting in position for an acid drop off the last of the Gigglers obstacles.
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We couldn’t help but laugh the whole way down because of the ridiculous nature of this run.
A lot of it was nervous excitement from going into the unknown and hoping for the best.  Ben
and Ned had an idea of the obstacles from a picture but you can’t be sure till your right there.
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