Coalpit Hand Rappel

| January 3, 2011

Now that the snowpack has filled in to about the 6,500′, the Wasatch backcountry is officially open for the season.  This is good in many ways, but one of the biggest benefits is that a low elevation snowpack means that many of the bigger lines are now skiable and most importantly, there are many, many more options available than just Cardiac/Silver & Days.

I brought out my Contour POV camera today, but between the weather being kind of greybird and me pointing it too far towards my feet (you get a sore neck just reviewing it – “Look up!   Look up!”) the only worthwhile shots came at the Coalpit rappel/downclimb.  I’ve heard a few people say they have seen this filled in enough to ski through, but I have always done some sort of downclimbing or a handline rappel.  There are ropes fixed all over this section in various states of decay.  Most of the time you can get through without them, but in low snow conditions they add a nice bit of security.

Help support and capture the rapture of a rappel with a Contour ContourHD 1080p Wearable Camcorder from Click on the photo below…

Category: current conditions

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (12)

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  1. Lil'C says:

    Isn’t that in the Meadow Chutes?

  2. mc says:

    Nice A-frame method!

  3. Hope those are your rock boards! *cringe*

  4. Patricio says:

    I’ve also had the lens rotated at some strange angle. Watch out for that one too. Otherwise, they’re fun cameras. Nice little video!

  5. BP says:

    I’ve done that same rappel on the sketchy ropes. For some reason, it didn’t occur to me to just huck my equipment down to the bottom. :)

  6. Jim says:

    Don’t you worry about busting your bindings or skis?

  7. mt surf says:

    My first thought was to give you a hard time for carrying brakes after all this enLIGHTenment talk…
    But, reflecting on your ski toss, maybe they came in handy.

  8. Greg Moellmer says:

    My favorite part was the ski toss as well. I get the impression that someone else pays for your equipment.

    On a side note, for me, cardiac/silver/days doesn’t really open until April. Before then, those canyons are so packed full of skiers it doesn’t even feel like the backcountry. I like others to share in the joy as well, but when it gets too busy, a lot of the magic is lost for me.

  9. Andrew says:

    Jim – I worry about it a bit, but often times there is a deep pile of snow where they landed, so it is a lot softer. It was still a bit thin in there.

  10. Matt S says:

    Damnit! I was about to tease you for those being women’s skis, before I noticed the paint job looks slightly different than last year’s payback. Next year’s Wayback? Also, I have no life.

  11. Andrew says:

    Hi Matt – yes, they are a sexy new pair of K2’s. I’m not sure if they are in-line, protos or what, but they have quickly become my favorite ski.

  12. watertight says:

    Epic fail on the ski toss

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