Join the Coastal Crest Snow Patrol
Many of you are probably thinking, "Coastal crest? Skiing? Yeah right!" Well its true. We drove up from Lake Pilsbury until we were halted by the snow. There wasnt much sign of life, other than a few tire tracks that dissapate faster than I can say dissapate. We popped up camp for the night near a intersection of 3 dirt roads that were well tracked up and still had the 3 foot deep mud trenches to show it. We had several hours before beddy-bye and spent most of them talking and enjoying the clearing clouds. We were able to find a nice flat spot to lay our heads for the night. The plan called for a 4:00 a.m. rooster crow.
Well it was 4:00 a.m. and the rooster crowed. I unzipped my bivy to the pleasant surprise of 3 inches of fresh. I guess the coastal range is known for corn snow all winter long. We seemed to catch it on a powder day. We had a quick breakfast and a small cup of coffee. I had the bivy rolled up and was on the skiis by 5:00 a.m. They call it dawn patrol for a reason, I guess. We headed out, following the south ridge. I'm always amazed at how peaceful skinning is. It is one of very few activities that permits me to think or not think. I planned out the rest of my life within two hours. The remaining time was spent on just placing one ski in front of the last. I could have died that day and been the happiest person in the world. It took us just under 4 hours to reach the summit, some 3500 feet higher than camp. Visibility wasnt great but, good enough to ski. We charged down cable couloir, an east facing couloir on the southern side of Hull. Naturally, the snow was great on the leeward side. We were able to catch a high traverse back up to the south ridge. We skinned back up to ski the west facing terrain of southern Hull. The west chutes had great coverage and happened to be leeward, which is not usually the case. We dropped a couple hunderd feet of vertical and were intrigued by some short, tight lines leading into one of the couloirs. We booted up to gain enough elevation to traverse into our dream lines. We dropped in and negotiated ourselves around the rocks. Sugar. Arriving back at camp was harder than I imagined. The road had melted throught the morning, leaving us with big sections of mud and dirt. Trying to salvage my boards proved to be quite dificult. I did make it to the bottom without hiking. I exhaled and embraced the day, the experience and the world. Jibmaster turned out to be the best guide money could buy, except for the fact that he's not a guide, nor does he charge.
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