New England Comeback

After enough false starts to test the faith of even the most die-hard New England snowsports enthusiasts, the Old Man finally pulled through and laid down enough of the white gold to make a second foray into the higher summits of the White Mountains.  Rob and I first skied Lincoln’s Throat two years ago and have been waiting ever since for the conditions to warrant a return trip.  The week of the 6th brought a respectable dosage of snow to the Whites on east winds strong enough to load up the west slopes, and thankfully wound down and warmed up in time for the snow pack to solidify for the weekend.  After singing the praises of ‘The Throat’ to every virtually every backcountry skier I know, I rallied with Kelly and Shane for a 6 AM Boston departure and drove north in search of bluebird, big mountain lines.  We were on the skin track by 9:30.

We found the slide to be bony in a few crux spots, but filled in enough for good skiing for most of the pitch, and the entire runout.  During the approach, we observed isolated sections of pinwheels on the sunny aspects.  We ruled out the variation to climber’s left of the main line since it was situated similarly.  As we got higher on the mountain we kept out eyes open for signs of wind loading on the lee edges of the slide.  May areas simply didn’t have enough snow to slide.  Towards the top of the run, where the snowpack was deeper we encountered a few very small slabby regions and steered clear of them.

With perfect visibility, mild temps, no wind, and confidence in the snow we clicked in and commenced slaying…

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