Variable snow in Left Gulley

November 20, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Name: Ian
Location: Left Gulley

Silas, Owen and I climbed and skied the entire length of Left Gulley. No other runs in Tuckerman Ravine or Hillman’s were in, but Left Gulley had snow in all but the very bottom of the run. The snow consisted of powder drifts on a pencil-hard subsurface. The powder drifts were fairly light, up to knee deep, and up to 50 yards in length, but a majority of the run consisted of the icy subsurface. The subsurface was difficult to edge on and crampons were required. There was no faceting on the surface. We topped out on the wide fan that is looker’s right of the main top-out route. A wide band of powder formed in the concavity across the top of this fan. When dropping into the line we ski cut this section as it seemed fairly loaded with little to support it, and sure enough the pocket gave way on the third cut releasing a small (20 yards square) sluff onto the icy section below. With survival skiing through the icy sections we managed to have fun turns in the powder sections.

The top section of the Sherb was *barely* skiable, and only with willful disregard of the inevitable damage to ski bases and edges. This was basically an early-season exploratory walk with skis, which yielded a few good turns.