Jimmy after breaking a cornice with a poll tap

So, as mentioned earlier Graham, Jimmy, Charlie and I skied the south face of Wolverine yesterday.  It was a first for each of us, and a line I’d wanted to do for as long as I’ve lived here.  To top the whole thing off we did it in typical Dongshow style with a late start, minimal food or water (I went all day on 20oz of coffee,  a bite of Grahams chocolate and some Jubelale!), forgotten equipment and wet boots.  We hadn’t really planned to ski Wolverine either, and I was sure we were going to be forced to turn around until we reached the top.

Gendarme along the way up Eddis

Our late start was due to our lack of a clue as to what the weather was going to do.  After a round of 7:30 phone calls we decided to meet at Carrs around 9; once there we resolved to decide what to ski on the drive down south, and at Tesoro we made the call to give Wolverine a try.  We parked at the Eddies lot and went up half way before taking off our skins and skiing off the north side to towards the Sharks fin and across the ravine. (Charlie realized he’d forgotten his beacon and pushed on anyway)  We had our skins back on around 12:30 and skinned up the valley, past the south face of Wolverine and up the back towards the east ridge.  Going around the back made gaining the ridge surprisingly painless, with a short skin through a small flattish chute and up through a mellow bowl with some amazing mini golf.  But we didn’t have time to look around too much, as the good light is obviously fleeting this time of year.

lookers right, the line we skiedAt the time the ridge walk to the summit had me freaked; I was thirsty, tired and I hardly took any pictures as I was genuinely scared.  Both the potential long tumble over sharp rocks to my right and large cornices above a steep exposed face to left were hard to ignore.  At one point as I made my way up a steep section (second photo from the top) Jimmy broke off a large cornice with a light tap from his pole.  I saw nothing as I was climbing, all I heard was the sound of it releasing and a Charley scream.  Luckily Jimmy was standing on rocks and the incident passed as a stern warning.  The route required a couple down climbs which made me nervous, (descending steps kicked in rime above corniced ridge lines never thrills me), but in the end I can’t complain as it left us at the exact point from which we were hoping to ski from.(the top right in the picture above.)

skiing in turnagain passThe line skied fantastic, very steep with soft snow and minimal sluffing.  The snow was a little harder in the lower chute, but by the time I got there (I went last) it was covered in enough sluff to be easy smooth skiing.  I was shocked to see hardly any snow rumble down hill when Jimmy put in his initial turn / ski cut, but it was just that kind of day where things continued to turn for the best.  Also worth mentioning is that the apron on Wolverine was deceptively large, I came out of the lower chute with a huge smile thinking it was over but it seemed to go on forever.  After a couple of beers at the base we skied back to the Eddies lot, which passed without any surprises and we arrived just before dark.  Charlie has to be thanked for documenting everything, he took a pile of pictures and got a little video as well.  I’ve attached that to the video of Graham’s run.  The attentive viewer will get an excellent view of the pole flask he’s constructed.

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