Monday, April 22, 2013

Phat lines and Friends 4/20/13: Duluth Ski history in the making......

Cheers to Ryan Zimny, John Morrison and Casey Krueger for stepping up!
Sometimes all things come together.  Sometimes the moon the sun and the stars all line up for something positive.

The late winter has been that for me.  While I hate the snow right now (I am stoked for dirt!) the amount, the type and the late spring weather have actually been a boon for hard core skiers.

Due to the floods in June 2012, we were witness to both the loss of some amazing terrain and the creation of even more.  However that terrain is only skiable if it has a lot of snow on it and a lot all at the same time.  Not something that usually happens in Minnesota.

As a former, recovering ski addict it has been impossible not for me to see these lines (as well as many I have been watching for nearly a decade) and get the shakes.  It has always been just that though, a fever dream.

In the last decade I have never seen enough snow at the right time to make these lines a reality.

That all changed this week.  Two 20 inch dumps of heavy wet snow covered these lines and then good cold temps at night and solid warm sun in the days has created a paradise I have not experienced in my time in Duluth.  Unfortunately with my arm still busted up I was not able to enjoy it as much as I would have liked to, but I did get to get some great photos of some buddies skiing history....

420 Bowl

Ryan Z throwing hammers 
It was a two crew day.  In the AM Ryan Z came out and skied a couple of great lines and helped me get some killer images of the slides.  It was cool to have him on board as he lives just a few doors away and was able to visualize the opportunity as much as me.  He showed up an hour early for the tour.  I was a bit hung over from the evening out, but I tossed my stuff together and we had an awesome time.

Clear and cold 4/20/13 Morning

Pink Floyd skier on April 20th 2013
Clouds moving out...

Ryan Z getting jiggy and thinking about paddling all at the same time

After a quick trip to town and the Smelt Celebration I ripped back home in time to hook up with John Morrison and Casey Krueger.  I had to brow beat them stupid to get them to show up.  It was a nice warm, sunny 4/20/13 day!

They had their own parties to attend and lets face it, despite being super fun, these are relatively short shots.....

I realized however that this was a once in a decade event and I pestered them until they arrived.  I think they were happy once they did.

Casey Crushing "Ranger"

Naming "Trout Slayer"
The snow conditions had improved since Ryan and I had been there and the extreme west facing chutes even had soft, soft snow.

Every line was a first for all and thus the names started being bestowed.  Who knows if we will remember them once they are going to be skiable again?  Shit I might be 60 before it happens again, if ever...although they are saying 11 inches tonight!!!


J-Mo in the pixy sticks


Another round please...


samh said...

This warms my heart, Hansi. Not sure if you ever looked over the little "backcountry" video I shot in Duluth some years ago but it's in the same vein as your photos shared here. It takes a special kind of love to seek out these little sub-100 vert runs but the rooster tails are just as good on these as they are on a 2500 foot run. Duluth Backcountry on Youtube.

Vito said...

That is so amazingly cool. Very sorry that you were unable to actively participate. Wonderful photos as always.