Master of our Dreams: The direction we face is our destination!
Double Black EX Scores for North Pole Second and First Notchs
CLICK! Tele makes Dicy Moves into 2nd Notch btw Rocks 700ft to go!
North Pole chutes were open on April 26th and 27th. This opening is subject to change based on conditions. Last week was the back country slab avalanche warning week, and now with rapid warming this is the watch your ass, and if mash potatoes hit steep areas there is a possibility for wet slide avys. There is always fun going on in the parking lot or even other sports now that weather makes the Front Range climbable. No harm in switching gear bikes or running, and finding safer terrain, it has bee a stelar ski season overall. Once conditions stablize after melt, should be fun sprin splashing too.
Signing out till next year.
Most notch descents were Garrick Steele, an incredible photographer as well as a great EX snow boarder.
Here's an intersting notch report, Matt Steffen, Breckenridge, CO and Jeremy Thompson informed SteepChutes they encountered a mountain goat just after the entrance to 2nd Notch. So skiiers beware of mountain goats in Notches!
View West from inside 2nd Notch
This view is of adjacent terrain inside the 2nd Notch Double Black run at the North Pole Chutes at the Legend, A-basin.
Here's my shameless initial scoring of this line, which will be adjusted by consensus, accordingly.
2nd Notch, North Pole, Upper East Wall, The Legend
Using the wonderful Wildsnow D list for grading, I'd rate the 2nd Notch an 'in bounds' Double BlackEX,D10 or D11 plus an R3. I've skiied portions of Dead Dog Couloir, Torreys Peak, Colorado, a Wildsnow D13, and felt less intimidated. This could have been due to conditions present at the time on Torrey's Peak, versus when I skiied the 2nd Notch in somewhat reduced visibility on windblown crust. Both 'in bounds' and 'out of bounds' EX terrain had my full attention, and the hike and length for runs down Torrey's are an order of magnitude more difficult than the somewhat brief 30 minute hike up the North Pole to the 2nd Notch at The Legend. I felt this preliminary Double Black, EX D10-11/R3 score is justified by the narrow hike-in entry way, and several choke points in the 2nd Notch, as well as the main 45 degree degree line available to ski within this chute. Also note, if you ski any number of adjacent vertically descending half pipe like wind contoured walls in this notch, you can easily hit short exhillerating 60 degree lines.
The blog page following this initial scoring page is where you get to hit back! If you disagree, log your comments, justifications, and criticisms. All honest comments are fare game in arriving at a realistic concensus. Please note, the blog page is under construction. Check back in a week.
Upper East Wall EX Runs (click to enlarge)
Negotating an Approach into the Chute can be Tricky.
As can be seen by the adjacent picture (and picture in slide show below), the entryway to the Second Notch is third class climbing over snow and ice covered rock. A fall from this position on hard crust could result in serious body harm. Although a guy told me he did take a whipper over the edge into this chute, but managed to stop himself in deep snow before gaining too much momentum. He did tell me, however, that one of his skis mad a nice 700ft plunge.
Fortunately, people often kick in good foot holds when the snow is soft and make a third class staircase into this chute. I've found the brief hike into the chute relatively nice. When in new snow, this entry way is a a bit of a safer approach. The Second Notch has a similar exposure factor to droppin in over the big cornice on the Breckenridge Lake Chute, but the 2nd Notch has more serious consequences for failure.
1st Notch, North Pole, Upper East Wall, The Legend
Using the wonderful Wildsnow D list for grading, I'd rate the 1st Notch an 'in bounds' Double BlackEX,D10 or D11 plus an R2+. The First Notch is not open as often due to a lack of snow depth. I did this chute on April 12th, 2008. The snow was stupendous, the hugh confining rock walls on both sides make for only one reasonable descent path, and there were some rocks to manuver carefully around about a third a way from the top. This is one heck of a stupendous chute to hit with great exposure. Two notes, I wouldn't want to be in this deal on blue ice, it could be lethal. Next, we hit massive wind exceeding 55 to 60mph on the top of the mountain, but were shielded from this gail once in the chute, and the snow was covered in soft spin drift. See Slide Show below for pictures inside the First Notch.
Below is a Satellite Image (TOP DOWN VIEW) based Route Guide of the more common EX Chute lines at A basin and Breckenridge.These Google Earth image photos are summertime terrain features.
First Notch and other North Pole Legend Slide Show
Upper East Wall Very Extreme North Pole Chutes
Enhanced satellite Image of chutes
The first and last rule, when visiting this site, or skiing or riding double black diamond extreme chutes, 'in bounds' or otherwise, is you do so at your own risk. ;) No discussion on this site implies that any 'in or out of bounds' EX areas are safe. Just like avalanche control is an in exact science, so is skiing extreme terrain for a variety of reasons. With that said, shread up the terrain!!