This is a crosspost of something I put on another forum, but figured it would be appreciated here as well (also figured there were maybe not too many people here who frequent the TGR forums either--not too sure on that though). Anyway, here is the story of a ski day on 4.8.2008 with many photographs of the mountain and all of the adventure it has to offer:
As Sam of UVM et. al. had a hankering to knock a big one off their hit list on Monday, so too did us at Dartmouth (backcountryBen and myself) have a few things to take care of on Tuesday. Ever since racing the Toni Matt downhill at Big Mountain a good 6 or 7 years ago, when I finally opened my eyes and learned about all the history people like Mr. Matt and Brooks Dodge put into my backyard, I've had a hankering to do some of the big lines that these guys pioneered. Tuesday April 8th was that day.
Dutchess, Empress, Dodge's and Sluice all finally got hit. My numero uno objective however was (and always has been) to get up and down Dodge's. I have no idea why I haven't done it yet... it usually is in play for a good period of time (unlike Central which is so difficult to get because of, among other things, the small timeframe you have to work with), and isn't the hardest line in the world (again unlike Central), but for some reason this one has always eluded my schedule. So pumped to get that one done, and maybe be able to say to myself that I can appreciate the history of the mountain just a little bit more.
Anyway, enough nostalgia, and on with the TR. After some miscommunication, Ben and I met in Pinkham at 8ish. I even mailed my taxes in from Gorham before the meetup.
I saw this going up the road, and as always, was reminded how true it is:
Heading up the Tux Trail I spied this obligatory shot of the objective:
At HoJo's however we were surprised by the colder-then-expected temps, and so after assessing what was getting the most solar gain, we decided to do a warmup with these two deadly ladies:
We took a moment to enjoy the view from the top of the gals
Myself (note open fly. that's for...um...venting...[?])
Then Ben began the slaystival by having his way with the Dutchess
Then I enjoyed the Empress like a hot knife in warm butter
Now onto the primary objective. Being the more physically fit between us, Ben agreed to lead. Ice pebbles rained down as higher than forecast SE winds whipped over the top
Nevertheless I still found time to stop dodging Dodge's droplets and smile for the camera (came up with that alliteration on the way up ;- )
After topping out, we quickly changed over to alpine gear, and followed Brooks' ski tracks. Me taking The Drop
Ben following up in style
yeah... it was steep... (i honestly tried to keep it level from my perch)
We hit the Sluice too, it was getting pretty late, and whatever had gone into the shade, had also gone into the ice.
Over the edge!
Then from below, Ben comes into the light:
In all honesty, not the perfect Dodge's day with the SE wind at the top to keep things firm. It probably would have been a better day to reenact Sam et. al.'s trip of Monday, because Huntington was surely more protected from the winds. But what we did was surely not bad either. Now I just can't wait to get back up there with the monkey off my back.