Thursday Afternoon, 4.28.16
We are currently scattered across the ON3P offices in Portland, setting up to record a podcast with ON3P’s Scott Andrus, trying to figure out how to fit twelve pairs of skis, six boots, and two people in a Scion. We’re also still recovering from a late night that included our editor-in-chief getting talked into ordering an asparagus sandwich—random review: don’t do it, and especially don’t keep eating it if Scott Andrus happens to spill his beer all over yours.
(And yes, this does mean that there will be a number of ON3P reviews on the site in the near future, including reviews of the Kartel 108, and the entire “Wren” line—the 88, 98, and 108.)
The path that led us here was not very straightforward. For me, it began exactly one week ago, and included 32 hours of driving, 5 states, and two incredible sunburns ago.
I rolled out of Driggs, Idaho, Thursday night and headed up through Yellowstone National Park. Before our official Blister PNW meet up, I was going to Cooke City, Montana, to rendezvous with my friend, Jackson (who I met on the Jumbo trip earlier this winter) and his friend Eric. Fortuitously, National Parks Week coincided with my trip, so I slipped through West Yellowstone and into the park without a hitch.
While there were a few dicey moments where I worried a buffalo might charge my car (judging purely by size, Freja would definitely lose) I made it through the park and to Cooke City without major event.
In Cooke City, I found Jackson and Eric camped out in an Airstream trailer parked at the dump. Their accommodations were much more plush than I expected, and their cooking was even better.
They’d been out of contact from the rest of the world for a while, so it was my somber duty to deliver the news that Prince had passed.
We rose Friday morning (not as early as we should have) to find solid and supportive snow and clear skies. A quick sled, skin, and bootpack later, and we were at the bottom of Novocain, a line Eric and Jackson had both skied last year. Another, less prominent line was filled in to the looker’s right of Novocain, so we decided to up the ante and have both skiers drop parallel lines simultaneously.
The timing ended up being the biggest challenge we faced, and a short but steep ski later, both guys were safely back at my ledge.
From there, we traversed over to another line which we climbed until it topped out in rotten snow and rocks, so we dropped back in.
Another quick traverse, skin, and sled ride, and we were back at the Airstream.
Saturday broke cloudy, and since we were a little tired from the days before, we hung around camp until past noon. When we finally did resolve to jump back on the sleds and get out, weather was already working its way in. By the time we were eyeing up our first line, a full-on thunderstorm was brewing, and we realized a hasty retreat was going to be our best option.
After a soaked sled ride out through the storm, we were back at the Airstream, searching for snippets of WiFi in Cooke City to check the weather report.
Things looked like they were going to be socked in and dumping for a bit, and I had fish to fry further west, so I bid my farewells and jumped back into Yellowstone.
Many bison and elk later, I found myself parked on the side of the road in Yellowstone finalizing plans for Mount Olympus with Blister reviewer David Steele.
And that’s where this trip report ends, and tomorrow’s begins … but I’ll leave you with one glimpse of what’s to come.