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> Dana Dorsett <[log in to unmask]> writes:

> ...which made me real happy to have skipped skiing Tuckerman,
avoiding the drunks and a$$holes.

   Whoa whoa whoa waitta minute now!

    Ben Bloom & I were at Tuck's on Saturday. We had a GREAT day! Waited 'til after 9:30, hoping to see Denis & more, but could hold out no longer in hopes of beating the rain. Ben set a blistering pace up the trail, putting us in a fast groove & at Hojo's in 1 hour, 20 minutes.

    We took an aggressive trip to the top of Left Gully, where we sat for a while and took in views of the summit & upper snowfields. We also took in good conversation with some good people, all sharing the same enthusiasm for what we were doing, and where we were doing it. We talked to a friend of Ben's at the top(Brian), and to several others as well. I was happy to meet people who wanted to share their great experience. It was awesome.

    Left Gully was my favorite run. It was very steep at the top - we started from climber's right at the top, where it seemed much steeper than the advertised 40 degrees. Goes without saying that the snow was perfect spring corn. Ben went first while I got inspired, then I went at it soon after. It felt amazing.

     After a short break we headed up the bowl, starting off center to climbers left, safely out of paths of potential falling ice. I love wide steeps and big turns!

     Next, we climbed up as high in Right Gully as the snow allowed, finishing off the day with more big turns in a wide, steep place.

     While breaking at our little rock (opposite lunch rocks), we became audience of a silly snow-tuber who had climbed halfway up the bowl. The masses across the way at lunch rocks cheered & jeered, urging him on with vigor. It was obvious that this gladiator was about to suffer, which is exactly what the bloodthirsty audience in the coliseum wanted to see. They chanted "GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!!" He eventually went, head first on his stomach. He made it pretty far before the inevitable: A wipeout no less dramatic than those you might see in a speedboat accident. The tube started skipping out of control across the surface and our hero got tossed into a cart-wheeling wipeout that looked like it would never end. Eventually, the rag-doll came to a halt in a lifeless heap. But as the crowd screamed in pleasure, he rose to his knees and faced them; embracing their cheers with arms wide open. His snow-tube came rolling down next to him while he appeased the crowd. Ben documented the!
!
 whole thing, snapping off several pictures of it with his digital camera. Can't wait to see those pix...

    After a brief talk with a really cool patroller (from Vermont!), we began our fast decent down the hiking trail. It started to drizzle while we snacked at Hojo's, prompting us to make our hike down a fast one. We ran down the mountain, passing a whole bunch of people on the way down. Picking lines through the rocks, snow, mud and water was really fun and not entirely different than aggressive mogul skiing. About halfway down, rain began falling heavily and distant sounds of thunder got us moving even faster.

     At the bottom, we celebrated with a couple of Ben's homebrews, sat and smiled in recollection of a day well spent.

   I wore a look far different than one that I had less than 6 months ago. If you had seen me at that point, in a big brace & rehab'ing from ACL surgery, you'd never have guessed you were looking at someone who was about to ski 100 days. I still cannot fathom what I have done. I am very happy.

mpd

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