Thursday, July 7, 2016

8th and 9th annual Warren Wallow

The 8th Warren wallow went undocumented last year, so this post will encompass two outings, both of which were splendid.

8th Wallow - Tamarack version
After a relaxed day of spectating the Double Dip and biking in Pattee canyon, Jeff and I drove out to the Carpp lake trailhead.  I have always wanted to camp at the trailhead to ease the morning start, and doing so was every bit as pleasant as I had hoped.  Temperatures never dipped below freezing, so we set off at first light in order to do most of our skiing before noon.  Instead of using the normal Carpp lake approach, we hiked out to Tamarack lake and skied the best looking of the couloirs in the cirque.  Aside from a little scree sneek at the top of the fan, the run was enjoyable.  From the lake, we made a long bootpack to the upper reaches of Porter ridge, then slogged up the Southwest face of Warren to the summit.  It was a long climb, and we may have donated a running shoe to the mountain gods (a story in itself), but neither of us were in a hurry and it was kind of fun to grind up well over a thousand vertical feet of loose scree in ski boots.  The normal North face route skied well, and we tacked on the exit couloir to Upper Carpp lake.  In keeping with recent tradition, these were my last turns of the year, and they were great. Much to my chagrin, I started feeling quite terrible on the hike out.  Little did I know that I would spend the next 12 hours on the couch sleeping off some ungodly stomach bug.  It was good to explore some new ski terrain while keeping the Warren streak alive, and thanks to Jeff for a great day, and for the tasty breakfast burritos.

In keeping with the lazy nature of summer skiing, neither of us had a camera or tracked our vertical, but rest assured we skied enough, and the day was beautiful.

9th Wallow - Maloney solo version
I made a solo push out to Warren on a drop dead gorgeous Sunday in mid June.  With a respectable start from town, I was jogging out of the trailhead before 8:30 am.  Aside from a couple of silly and painful 10 minute lactate threshold efforts, the approach was casual and delightful, and I was on the summit of Warren well under 3 hours from leaving the car.
Warren from Upper Carpp lake.
The North face skied as well as I have ever seen it, with consistent snow top to bottom, and a convenient sneek around the choke that was in the sun and not icy.  To my surprise, as I was snacking at the pothole lake, a lone runner popped up on the horizon, and within just a few minutes joined me at my snack spot.  Turns out it was Mike Wolfe, who was out for a few hours during a family backpack trip.  Always fun to see great people in the mountains.
Ready to ski Warren's classic North face run.
A Wolfe in its natural environment.
For my second run, I climbed a snow strip looker's left of the standard North face, which ties in to the lower couloir system on the Wiggler run.  It is more exposed to rock and ice fall than ideal, but I moved quickly through the exposed bits, and was soon on top of the Wiggler exit couloir.  The couloir was great fun.  With a few extra hours to burn, I kept working deeper into Malloney basin, skiing two shorter runs between Warren and the next peak east before calling it a day.   I may have missed the trail on the way out, but eventually found it and ran out to the car with a big grin on my face, tired and content from another great last ski day in the mountains.
Second run in the lower Wiggler couloir.
Excited to check out some new terrain in Maloney basin.
Maloney basin skiing.

More Maloney basin skiing.
Hmmm. That looks fun. Always something to come back for.

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