I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself with all of this NOLS stuff.  In all of the hurry to get ready last month’s expedition in the Wrangells and next month’s trip through the Talkeetnas, I nearly forgot that I reached another personal goal for the year right before I left.  I’d said here previously that I would elaborate on our climb of Leuthold’s couloir, but I’m going to renege, as I think that I’d bore you.  The cliff’s notes: it was supposed to be good skiing, it was breakable crust, we summited, we skied a different line, and I tore my Dynafit binding out of my Manaslus (possibly more to come on that later).

There, that was easy.

Climbing through the clouds around 10,500', above Leuthold's Couloir.

Now, this is the first year that I’ve really dug into backcountry skiing as an alternative to lift-served resort skiing, and I set what for some would be an extremely modest goal for the year: I wanted to get my ass out into the backcountry enough that I logged at least 50,000 vertical feet of human powered skiing.  If I lived in Utah for a winter, well, this could be a two-week goal and I’d still get rest days.  But I don’t.  I live an hour and a half from a mountain with limited bakcountry access, in a town without a lot of gung-ho partners.  It is a pretty big day out there when we log anywhere around 6,000′ for the day.  On some days I only logged 2-3k, but that’s how it goes.

Anyways, after the trip up Leuthold’s Couloir I decided to total up my vert, which I hadn’t done in a while.  Season total: 56,235 vertical feet.  Good job me, and next year, maybe I’ll take a leaf from Greg Hill’s book and just double it.  Or add a zero. Three goals down– don’t forget your own resurrection.

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