When we got back to the false summit Troy and Jason were looking a bit cold. Jason was upset that he didn't summit. This was the second summit that his brother made without him (see Old Snowy, Winter 99). We were all anxious to start skiing.
Josh, Jason and I made our way down from the false summit with relative ease. The snow was a consistent breakable crust but you had to decide whether you wanted to break through or not. Either way was fine but there was nothing in-between. Troy climbed down the ridge a bit more to drop in another chute. We waited for what seemed like an eternity as his side stepped his way down the entire slope. He had apparently pulled his knee and couldn't twist it. He took it easy the rest of the way down.
The rest of us followed our tracks which provided for some excellent skiing. The snow down low was a little mushy and we did start a few avalanches but they all slid towards the center of the couloir. All we had to do was stay near the edges to avoid them.
Josh ripping a steep chute.
Another steep chute.
Jason goes deep near the edges before the slide.
We met up with Troy at the bottom of the couloir where we packed up our skis for the hike down and out. The down wasn't so bad but the out was a pain. It was around 6pm when we reached Longs Pass but we weren't in too big of hurry because we were camped just a few miles down the road. The ski down from Longs Pass was great but we were all pretty tired so our turns were big and fast with a few headers in-between.
Hiking out towards Longs Pass.
Josh with Stuart from Longs Pass.
We were back at the truck around 7pm. There were a few people camped there who were planning on climbing Ingalls Peak the next day. We explained our ordeal and wished them luck.
Our plan for the next day was to kayak. The weather turned out to be beautiful. A refreshing Class II on the lower Teanaway was just what the doctor had ordered. It would have been nice to climb Stuart that day but the snow conditions up high would have made for a dangerous climb and descent with the warming temperatures. I think we lucked out but Ulrichs will have to wait until next spring.