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Clamshell Corn

OK, so no super-gnar lines full of uncertainty and cruxes this time, just a straightforward ski that I’ve done a couple times already. My mom came out from Ontario for the weekend, so I intended to just skip skiing this time and make up for it later but the forecast was just looking too damn good not to ski today. So I went for a dawn patrol up the Clamshell, probably the most obvious and aesthetic line you see from town. Or driving up 95. Or driving to the hill… 1000m of vert straight down to the road, all one big avy path.

Since I’ve skied it a couple times already, I thought ought to think of something to spice it up. So I decided I’d climb it as fast as I could. Not puke your guts out fast, but comfortably fast. When I got to the base of Clamshell, the lower part of the slidepath was not as filled in as I’d thought. So the first 200m or so was just steep alder bash. I had brought my boot and ski crampons, and already applied the skins to my skis, thinking I’d need it at some point. Not so, the freeze was that perfect balance between not supportive enough to walk, and too hard to grip. So I literally just walked up the thing, no postholing at all, no pointy things of any nature required. I made a switchbacking path to keep the ankles happy, and the snow was perfect, usually you feel like you’re about to lose your footing doing that. 300m of gain per hour is about what I expect when things are going right skinning, but I made it up in 1.5h, 600 and change m/h. I guess that’s acceptable haha. I waited about half an hour for things to soften, then got impatient and just went. The upper face was nice, down lower the debris was mostly frozen and crappy skiing. That’s what I expected, I just didn’t have the time.

Winter, spring or summer, I can’t decide
Gorman Lake still looking frozen
A great view of last year’s big trip up Holt Creek. Camped one night under Holt peak

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