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I'd have to agree with Dana's inclinometer about Airplane Gully's
steepness... didn't feel like 45+ anywhere, though last year on
June 1 the top of the snow did extend higher than this year.
Those first few turns were certainly above 45 deg.  In fact that
last 30-40 feet of the climb up last year was much more
nerve-racking than last Saturday.

I was disappointed that Turkey Chute was not continuous this year.
This is (I believe) the left side of the second major snow porch you
encounter on the way out the Gulfside Trail.  The first snow patch is a
sucker line that may connect down lower in a big snow year.  If it has a
name I don't know it.  Turkey Chute is quite steep for a
sustained length.  Last year June 1 some teenagers were doing nice
hop turns down it for about 200 verts. then hiking back up.  Looked
fun but awfully short.  That one's got to be in the 50 deg. range.

JT's Line, what Jerm and Ben K did last year, and I attempted this year,
was ssa-pucker steep at the top, even with the start being a bit lower
down than it must have been last year.  When I walked over there and met a
young man about to ski it, he gently warned me about it's steepness, and
then when it became apparent I was determined to go ahead with it, he asked
me to video him from the top, then hand off the camera to him below the
crux.  It took my mind off the turns I would have to make, and strangely
made the whole mind game easier. Not sure if the footage I took of him was
any good, but my mental footage of that run from the first person
perspective is still pretty vivid.

On the second hike up Airplane we watched a guy rip JT's down to the dogleg
left where it enters Airplane, launch the small jumble of rocks there,
and execute a huge left hand "airplane" turn once in Airplane in perfect
Egan/Deslauriers style and continue on to the bottom.  Twas quite
impressive, but a misstep on JT's would probably have meant rather serious
injury.  My method of skiing it was 5 feet of sideslip at the top, then
cautious hop turns, not unlike Duchess on 4/27.

Gotta love pedal hops.  Backflips off cornices are overrated.  Give me
Schmidt dancing down a nasty chute in perfect control any day.  Much
more realistic an aspiration.

-Jim B.

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