Andre, who is also taking some time off work (but has been out of town), emailed the other day asking if I wanted to ski “The Slot” on Snoqualmie Mountain.
(Photo from Pro Ski’s awesome Snoqualmie Backcountry book. A must have book.)
The Slot had achieved mythical proportions in my head as the coolest couloir around and was high on my todo list. With avi conditions finally in the moderate range and weather looking not bad, this past Friday seemed like a great time to go do it.
To get up to the Slot we took the same route as I had taken two days before. Fortunately the snow conditions improved and it wasn’t as icy but still was challenging (I only fell twice :)).
Somewhere around 6000′ feet I was still slogging towards the top when Andre called out that we were there.
The entrance looked freaky! Mainly because it is so steep at the top. Feels like there’s a 2000′ foot cliff that you’re right on the edge of.
I was kinda freaked out so I took my skis off and carefully booted over to the edge. I didn’t want to slip into the Snot, the neighboring couloir which looked gnarly.
At the top of the Slot we were transfixed by the entrance to the Snot. Someone had apparently cut a hole in a cornice and slide slipped down ~100 feet above a massive amount of exposure. One wrong side slip and you’d be a goner. We couldn’t believe someone entered it that way.
After relaxing a bit, I had a quick bite to eat and we transitioned into downhill mode. After carefully slipping down into the entrance it was clear that Slot, while looking pretty intimidating, was totally skiable.
And actually, the skiing was awesome! Someone had skied it the day before, but we were the first to ski it that day and it got a little refreshed over night. Couldn’t have asked for better conditions.
After skiing it and totally impressed with ourselves, we marveled at the lines coming out of the Snot. While marveling we saw a foursome come down the Slot. We marveled to them about the Snot lines and they informed us that they were the owners of the lines! Turns out they had roped up, cut an entrance in the cornice and then skied it. I remarked that it looked a little hairy! They said the alternative to their crazy ski entrance was to rappel in but you’d need two 60m lines. Or you’d need to go back up and fetch your one 60m line. Andre and I figured that if we were to ski it we’d boot up instead :).
As they geared up to then ski the Crooked couloir, we departed for the ridge to head down.
Remarkably the weather went from this:
To complete white out in mere minutes:
Once we gained the ridge we debated downing the Crooked couloir (the other group had definitely got the idea into our heads) but decided to head down instead. We skied the Phantom Slide Path, same line that I had skied Wednesday.
I’m psyched we skied the Slot but stoked to knock of the trifecta of Slot, Snot and Crooked in a day :).