We had to hike along the divide for about an hour to get to Flat Top Mountain and then down a bit to get to the top of Dragon's Tail. I'd read up about this quite a bit, but it was still a bit difficult to find from the top.
|Sign for Chaos Canyon|
|Kate standing above Chaos Canyon|
|At the top of Dragon's Tooth|
|Booting back up|
|In Corral Couloir|
It was lots of fun, easy conditions and aesthetic. While the top was just a little firm, but still easy turns, the middle was perfect and the bottom was slushy. We got to the bottom, had a short scramble to the next patch of snow and skied down to the glacier for lunch.
|Time to take the skis off and scramble a bit|
We made it to the top and decided to go check out the lines near Ptarmigan Point that face north. I had found information that led me to believe that Hour Glass Couloir was between the Ptarmigan Headwall and Ptarmigan Fingers. Hour Glass looked very mellow and fun in the pictures I'd seen and figured it be a good end to the day.
|Kate very happy to find a small puddle of water|
|Where I expected to find Hour Glass|
After looking at it from as many angles as we could find and discussing it for awhile, we decided that I would go first, ski 20 feet and if the snow was crap, I'd just boot back and call it a day.
|Kate pondering very hard|
|View from the top, looks like it will go|
At the top we got ready, strapping our axes to a ski pole to help with self arrest if we lost control, putting harnesses on and making sure that crampons and other technical gear were in easy reach. As it was the snow was firm but not too bad and so Kate followed. We were careful and took turns descending slowly.
I was in the lead and definitely not doing pretty turns, lots of side slipping and very careful turns. The choke was narrower than my skis, but to point it was more committing than I was comfortable with, so I had to side slip/push my skis past the rock walls. I got down past it and took pictures of Kate coming through, then she led for a bit.
Soon we got to a rock step that we hadn't seen from above, but it was pretty much where our vision had run out. We discussed turning around here and just booting back up, we'd had a good ski already. Kate decided to downclimb and try to keep skiing. After handing down the skis and poles I followed and Kate skied down to get a view of the bottom of the couloir, she called back, "it goes!"
With Kate leading I was more comfortable to make real turns and then pretty soon it was softer and a bit easier angle, and then 150 feet of corn turns to the bottom.
We decided to boot back up instead of trying to skin up the glacier.
It was time and energy consuming and we got to the top with an hour and a half before sunset. We ate a bit and drank the last of our water and started the trudge back to camp. I was still on an endorphin/adrenaline high for the first bit, but soon I started dragging hard.
We got back to camp and I was thoroughly spent, unable to produce warmth, I got into the sleeping bags and just felt nauseous. We didn't have much water and needed to make dinner, but the thought of dinner made me even more nauseous, so I figured some soup would spark my appetite. I heated water for soup, but when I took one sip I was overcome with the need to vomit. I dry heaved out the door of the tent and then crawled back into the sleeping bag. I was unable to help collect snow for water or even to do basic prep for dinner, and eventually, after puking up more we decided to skip dinner and just go to sleep.