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Wednesday
Jan272010

Kickstep with Ryan

Some days there is no instability. Compression columns snap off at the base. Kickturns stay in place. The advisory boasts low. It must be time to try Kickstep. Round three in four days.

Anchorage alpinist Ryan Hokanson and I left Tincan parking lot at 9am. We first skied the 2,000-foot south face of Tincan Proper (Why not Tincan Improper?) into Tincan Creek. We toured up to Kickstep, booted to the summit and skied the standard chute on the west face. The snow on the upper face was like skiing a massive duvet. Then we entered the slough-scoured chute.

Ryan on the northwest ridge of Kickstep above Tincan Creek. The chute we skied drops down and skiers left of Ryan.

 

Ryan applying his alpinist mentality to skiing to access this 50-degree shot that dropped straight into a chute hidden from my view. After skiing the face he stopped below a cliff to spot me. I yelled down, "Hey Ryan! Can you see the chute?" "Oh yeah! It's like a hose, right below me." I took the 45-degree powder line straight into the hose.

 

Ryan skiing avalanche-scour below the eight-foot wide venturi. 

 

Our eight-hour tour was about 6,000 vertical feet and 11 miles.