(Last Updated On: April 21, 2013)
This week of unsettled weather has brought storm after storm. Some storms have come with dust, some have not. But, one thing is for sure, the shining sun has been rare. So, when the sky was bluebird on a day that was supposed to have a high probability of snow showers, Frank and I knew we wanted to get out there and enjoy it.
We teamed up with our friends Ben F and Ben M at the Kebler pass trailhead and headed out on our sleds. But, luck would have it’s way with us as Ben F’s sled began acting up and could not be restarted, right around the base of Axtell. So, instead of wasting a rare-blue day on sled shenanigans, we decided Axtell was what we were skiing that day.
At the top of Axtell we took some time to discuss our options to ski that day. Clouds from an approaching storm were looming to our west and we wanted to make the most of the sun’s rays that were left. We decided our best option was to split up into two groups. While Frank and Ben F skied a sub-couloir of the Quill (TR on this coming soon), Ben M and I would ski the Pencil.
As the Pencil progresses, it leads into a fairly long and aesthetic couloir. Unfortunately, recent warming events caused bits of snow in the faces above to shed, creating ice chunks in most of the couloir proper, hidden under freshly fallen snow. Ben before the ice chunks hit.
The turns on the apron were the best as we were finally able to open up, free from chunky debris. A look back at our turns and our line, which is obscured in the obvious notch. Frank and Ben F’s line is just to the right of ours.
At first, I was a bit bummed about not being able to ski our originally intended line for the day and frustrated that we were “wasting” a bluebird day on a mountain that I can ski after work nearly any day in the spring. But, Axtell is always full of amazing nooks and crannies. There are wonderful aesthetic lines on it everywhere. The Pencil is only one of many. I just needed a reminder. We are lucky to have this playground so close to home!
Coming up later this week, we have several different TR’s, including Frank’s from the Quill and our descent of the Terminator 3 chute. So, be sure to check back for some recent stoke 🙂