Friday, February 15, 2013

Rev Renne- FKD

Yesterday I went skiing with Micke and made a mildly terrifying but thoroughly enjoyable first known descent of a couloir on the SW face of Revtind. Its a line which we'd both been eyeing for a couple years, and which lived up to our expectations of it being both reasonably steep and exposed.

On the drive in we stopped a few times to examine the line through binoculars and take reference photos, this is what it looked like from the road:

Revtind SW face, with our route marked in black dots.
For extra credit points we decided to visit a short chute on Olderstind on the approach. With Micke setting a respectable pace we bushwhacked through the horrible birch forest, skirting innumerable small cliffs and yanking on tree limbs to make our way up. It was a small price to pay for the terrific skiing which lay in wait.

Micke charging along the west ridge of Olderstind enroute to our first chute of the day.
Above tree line the pace quickened as we made our way over to the west ridge of Olderstind which we skinned/ booted until we reached the first little chute of the day. Only a few hundred metres of descent, but in fun snow.


Then it was on with the skins again and up the gently undulating "regular" route on Revtind. We topped out 3:10 after leaving the car, including about 1700 metres of ascent, some heinous bushwhacking and a ski descent of about 400 metres. I calculated in my head that if we continued at this pace I'd have time for a shower and feed before work at 4:30- oh the naivety!

The convexity at the top of the face was such that we couldn't really see what we were getting ourselves into all that well. So we made tentative side slips down for 10 metres before making the call to take the skis off and down climb a short section. Micke went first and made short work of it. I haven't been climbing for so long that I was struggling to get my mind around the gaping exposure and was subsequently slower.

Micke skirting the yawning abyss
We got our skis on again and made some cautious jump turns (intermingled with judicious side-slipping on my part) getting a feel for the snow conditions which turned out to be not so ideal: a crust which was supportable one turn and breakable the next. After the steeper upper face, reaching the couloir itself we were able to relax a bit and enjoy some fun skiing in a place where most likely no one had before (can never be certain but it seems feasible). There were a few cruxes yet to come in chokes down lower, which constricted to just two ski lengths wide (no photos) and a small ice-fall right at the bottom, but we made it down in one piece, with grins of both satisfaction and relief on our faces.



video
Here's a shoddy edit I slapped together a few minutes ago.


When we reached the road, I was given the opportunity to confirm what I'd heard about the Scarpa Alien boots being okay to run in- they actually are! I ran a kilometre back to the car and then we drove back to Narvik, arriving at work at 4:28. Another great day!

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