We settled on making a push for The Horn. We’d head due west for a few miles, make our way into the alpine and try our luck at the couloirs descending from Horn. We made breakfast, melted some snow to top off our Nalgenes, plotted a few waypoints on our GPS devices and hit the skin track.
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The plan was to rally in Portland and embark on a shred-quest, the scale of which had been witnessed by none of us before… The team consisted of myself, Rob, his brother Brad, Brad’s best friend Ryan, and fellow ski team alum Karl. We’d rally in Portland, drive 6.5 east to Halfway, OR. From there we’d meet up with the Wallowa Alpine Hut guides at the Carson House and spend one last night in civilization before plunging into the wilderness. The following morning, the guides would tow us into the woods behind a snowmobile for roughly 6 miles, at which time, we’d skin an additional 2.5 miles and 2000 vertical feet to the Norway Basin yurt. The yurt would serve as our back-country skiing base-camp for the next 5 nights.
Having temporarily slaked our big-mountain-line-slaying thirst with the previous day’s activities, we got off to a decidedly non-alpine start for the second full day. We had heard that the forecast was for snow and poor visibility, and sure enough it was pretty socked in when we lumbered out of the yurt that morning. To make matters, it came in wet and heavy, on top of the whatever may have refrozen after the afternoon’s sun. Between the dubious snow-pack and our dubious legs, we decided to stay out of the alpine and stick to low consequence pistes for the day.