- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SkiVt-L is brought to you by the University of Vermont.Rather than risk dealing with a frozen padlock late at night in the cold, I headed up on a Saturday morning and skinned to Hermit Lake. There, Hutmistress Sarah showed me where the blowtorch is stored so I could remedy any frozen lock issue and not have to repeat sleeping on the floor. At our morning meeting I got to meet our newest Snow Ranger, young hot shot climber Alexa, a local rock and ice guide with AMGA coursework.In the afternoon, I led an NSP Avalanche group to a safe spot at the Bowl near the bottom of R Cubed. Things went well and I enjoyed lecturing and doing downhill guiding afterwards through Connection and Little Headwall finding nice skiing for all.Then at a little after 5pm, we got the word for: http://www.
mountwashingtonavalanchecenter .org/2017/03/20/stranded- climbers-march-18-2017/Whaddya' know, Alexa flexed her technical climbing skills and led up Damnation Buttress at twilight and into the dark and up Damnation Gully. She totally crushed it! Another patroller was at the top of the gully while I and another patroller were on standby in the cabin doing communications, logistics and scribing which was praised. The next morning, I enjoyed a Sherburne run and then we had an extensive debriefing about the prior night rescue which was especially valuable - sorry, lotsa' top secret stuff that I can't discuss.This weekend, it was all snow down to the notch as I skinned up under a headlamp which was very worth it as I had nice untracked at sunrise the following morning down the Sherburne. Later, we had a snow geek day as 5 of us gathered with no less than 4 of us having AMGA coursework - it was wonderful being with such a professional crew in many ways. With a new Head Snow Ranger comes changes and I am excited about them and buying into the new demands. We poked around Left Gully and the Bowl and had some fun turns with the punchy knee wrenching wind slab, death crust and some powder. The descent down the steep super fun Test Slope was a highlight for sure. Today was just a nice day but with the sun blasting the cold wind slabs, we kept things conservative. I did see a small wet loose slide in Sluice and per a pic I saw on FB there might have been something ripping loose In Right Gully. I made a second and final run down of the day down the Sherburne and conditions and coverage was outstanding.Mark P. Renson
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