Steep ski: Hermana Menor East and Sister’s Gully..corn harvest!

Great conditions in the Peñalara area at the moment, both for more relaxed skiing due to the new snow from last weekend and also for steep lines thanks to the so-called “spring” state of the snow on East faces..a condition which is better defined as corn. I finally got around to dropping the cornice of the Central East face of Hermana Menor, after weeks (nay, months) of putting it off due to bad weather, avalanche risk, etc..

Hermana Menor East Central, cornice drop with a small sluff..

Hermana Menor East Central, cornice drop with a small sluff..

The impact of landing after the jump off the cornice produced a small sluff (an avalanche of loose snow usually of very limited dimensions)..which can be better appreciated in the following shot.

View from directly below..sluff is clearly visible as is the windslab fracture from almost a month ago

View from directly below..sluff is clearly visible as is the windslab fracture from almost a month ago

Next up (or rather down?) was a line i like to call Sister’s Gully, the upper section of which is very steep..usually over 45º and sometimes around 50º – in the above foto it’s the line between the two craggy areas in the upper left quadrant. I haven’t seen it skied so far this year and i was a little concerned about a potentially bigger sluff at the top even though no jump was required to enter. Just when i was ready to go a cloud blocked out the sun, darkening the slope..and making me wait for another five minutes..

Sister's Gully..skied (very) fast with sluffs following

Sister’s Gully..skied (very) fast with sluffs following

The gully – usually it looks like a gully (or short couloir) but this year there is so much snow it is completely filled in – was further complicated by small crevasses on both sides below the exit, but equally due to the enormous quantity of snow the upper section was less steep than normal..not much over 45º. Two sluffs were set off by my passing but i passed very fast and was way down the slope before them!

Again general view from below

Again general view from below

Yes this was certainly a day of harvesting the corn!

On my way back up and over the cornices of Hermana Menor i took a couple of pictures of the crevasse zone above the cornice – this year it’s somewhat akin to traversing a glacier..

Glaciar de Dos Hermanas!

Glaciar de Dos Hermanas!

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About coldspringdays

Éireannach is ea mé, i mo chonaí insan Spáinn. Rugadh mé i lár na tuaithe, ar feadh blianta bhí mé ag teitheadh uaithi, i bhfad as an tuath, ach sa deireadh d'fhill mé, ar ais go dtí an tuath.. An Irishman am I, settled in Spain. Born was I in the middle of the country, for years I ran from it, far from the country, but in the end I returned, back to the country..
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