Skiing south faces in Gudauri

1 Photography,skiing,Travel  |   February 25, 2015  |     1503

Soo, two days ago I met this very nice dutch guy, and I pointed out to him a face that I wanted to ski. His reaction was that it looked pretty steep, not to mention 100% south exposure, meaning it must have been crusty. and it was. And there was recent avalanche activity there, surface snow only from the latest snowfall… Today I headed out to it. Well I first skied a east-north-east face after digging the first snowpit. It was quite nice, knee deep snow. There was little reaction in the snowpit, a granular layer about 30 centimeters deep but it barely moved. The ice crystals were about 1 mm in size and free from each other.

I skied down, then had to skin back up to my ‘south face’. It was about 40-45 degree average, I’d say 600 meters vertical. Probably more if I had skied all the way down to the river but I had doubts I could easily make my way back. So I skinned back up, about 400 meters vertical. Took me forever. .. haha. The top was hard windpack, in the middle i had some boot deep snow, and at the bottom well.. it was melting quite a bit.

the south face had a crust about 20 centimeters thick, it took big repeated swings at the shovel to get through it; that must have been wind activity, a lot of it. There were a few ice layers deep down and the bottom 40 cm’s were mostly hoar, big ice cristals about 4mm in size. There is; I’d say, on average 1.8 meters of snow in the snowpack so far. Although on the first snow pit (yesterday) I didn’t get to the ground level, that was north facing and about 3000 meters in altitude.

Here are the pictures!

M

Comments
  • February 25, 2015 at 9:19 am

    simon a.

    Merci de partager cette expérience en ces lieux uniques. Des mots auxquels seul un skieur peut rêver : )

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