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Airplane Gully was basically the same today as it was yesterday judging
from Dylanís report, i.e., some of the best ski terrain all season (just
shy of 1100 vert when skiing all the way down on the runout), despite being
early June.  Temps were warm (almost too warm when the sun was hitting hard
early in the morning before some clouds rolled in), and winds were
nonexistent.

Big difference was that being a weekend, after the first couple of runs the
full Tucks circus arrived.  The clowns exhibited all sorts of intriguing
climbing equipment and technique not illustrated in boring texts like
Freedom of the Hills for 40+ degree pitches.

I kept thinking that Great Gulf Skier Death #3 must be coming up soon.

I almost didnít have to wait very long.  Several skiers went off to ski a
neighboring chute (not sure whether JTís/Moonwalk or TurkeyChute/Stinkbug),
and the one of the first guys down augured into an undermined section and
wedged himself in upside down, with massive streams of cold water
inundating his head.  (Yes, it was just like Aspen Extreme, with google
confirming my memory via a Variety review:  "...Attractively lensed
hotdogging footage of skiers doing dangerous stunts as well as exciting
scenes of a fall into a watery crevasse and an avalanche...")  Had three
skiers not been uphill of him and able immediately to wrench him free,
well . . .

After five runs we headed back to the Airforce parking lot, then I went
over to the NE Snowfield for two laps.  A very pleasant surprise: in May I
had measured the max vertical at 620, and now it was still at a very
respectable 585, although everyone else was stopping higher up, which still
gave a decent 460.  (Earlier I had overheard this reported by a snowfield
skier segueing over to Airplane as ďabout 1000.Ē)

I didnít take many pics, but here are a few-

The very bottom, which few people skied:
http://jshefftz2.photosite.com/JunePrimeTime/02_Airplane_Gully_Runout.html

Jim skiing (yes, he rang my doorbell at 5:07 this morning):
http://jshefftz2.photosite.com/JunePrimeTime/03_Jim_at_Bottom_of_Airplane.ht
ml

ďSauronís armies are on the march . . . oh no, wait, itís not a Lord of the
Rings out take, itís just a 19th-century coal-fired train on the highest
mountain in northeastern North America . . . wait, what century is it now?Ē
http://jshefftz2.photosite.com/JunePrimeTime/04bSauron_s_Army_Is_on_the_Marc
h.html

I have no idea who this guy is, but kinda cool:
http://jshefftz2.photosite.com/JunePrimeTime/05aCool_Picture_of_Random_Guy.h
tml
http://jshefftz2.photosite.com/JunePrimeTime/05bCoolPicture_of_Random_Guy.ht
ml

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