Thursday, February 14, 2008

Skiing Whitehorse Ledge



Those of you familar with skiing in New England know that occassionally some sweet lines come in when we have a strong winter. I happened to be back in my old stomping grounds over in North Conway, NH for the North Conway Ice Fest and noticed Whitehorse Ledge was looking promising for a ski. I've been eyeing this one for years but the planets and stars never aligned to make it possible...until now.

video


In the summer, Whitehorse is classic slab rock climbing. In the winter, when it comes in, it becomes a challenging, steep ski line. Coming in from the top presents some technical challenges usually involving a rappel. There is zero run-out at the bottom so a tumble will result in pinballing through the rocks and trees at the bottom, and a nice visit to the hospital. And on top of it all is the problem with the snow actually sticking to the rock once turns are in progress.

After slogging my way up the slab through hip-deep snow and with little to no purchase in my tele boots, I was ready to go. Since I was flying solo, I elected to start below the cliff band. My first two turns were promising; soft, deep, smooth snow. But as my slough caught up to and passed me by I realized things were about to get a little more challenging. The 8" of new snow had dried out the night before, and was decidely not sticking to the rock and ice below. Uuugh!

I managed to stay on my skis and overall the turns were pretty sweet, but a little hair-raising I must admit. And I'm glad I got that one out of my system...although I do want to return with a partner and nail it from the top...any takers?

Ian

4 comments:

weak and feeble said...

Ian, that was crazy. We'd heard of some freaks skiing White Horse this winter and seen some still shots as well. Didn't think I'd actually met any of them before. Thanks for the video.

Dennis

Mammut Pro Team said...

Ian,
Thanks for the flashback--I got to ski that line from the top a while back with Jimmy Surrette and we had a hell of a time. I tried to ski the whole thing without a rappel and let's just say, it did not go so well. I was glad we had a rope!

Doug Workman

Mammut Pro Team said...

Ian,
Thanks for the flashback--I got to ski that line from the top a while back with Jimmy Surrette and we had a hell of a time. I tried to ski the whole thing without a rappel and let's just say, it did not go so well. I was glad we had a rope!

Doug Workman

Kijar said...

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