I found one soft turn that transitioned to windboard before transitioning back to soft and nearly got bucked off my skis! After a couple of weird turns I was in the apron and skiing beautiful cold winter powder.
The views in all directions were spectacular and for the first time, I was able to identify all of the major summits (as well as a few minor summits in the Cathedral Crest)!
As I exited the couloir, I made a hard right to try to get as close to the PCT as possible, but the combination of large suncups and embedded rocks made for difficult skiing. Linking turns was difficult because I never knew when the next suncup might be five feet deep or have a rock in the bottom of it!
We were all transfixed by a pillar near the top of the ridge. Kristine seems to have a deep seated desire to climb all things thumb shaped and this appeared to fit the bill. Chris and I were also intrigued by the pillar and we unanimously agreed to head there and climb it if possible.
I don’t even recall meeting a significant stream crossing when I’d taken the trail in October. Now, it seemed like at least two feet of water buried a fifteen foot stretch of trail.
This is far and away both the largest and the most experienced group of people I’ve ever hiked with. I don’t imagine I will have to worry about the group slowing me down much during this trip!