Thursday, January 31, 2013

TR: Schnieder Hut

After hitting up Lassen and the Warner Mtns on our seemingly neverending drive out to Halfway, OR (formerly, OR)... which included two wrong turns (I blame Funk & Toro... as I was passed out in the back) and an epic Mexican meal at the Aguila Real in Lakeview, Oregon (my 3&4th burritos of the trip).  We made it to the Halfway motel at 2 am.... where we proceeded to sort gear...  Lou-doo knew that he wouldn't get much sleep in the hotel, so he was snoring away in the back of his Volvo in -10 deg weather.

Some of our provisions... missing are two other plastic bottles of whiskey and 3 bottles of wine... and a case of Rolling Rock.

The "Miley Method" of carrying 18 eggs.  

The next morning we met up with our guides, who towed us in 6 miles on the back of the snowmo to the town of Cornucopia.  

From there we slowly made our way up the "ridge of insanity" led by our guide Kip, quite the badass.  Didn't use heel risers at all so that he'd set a nice low angle skin track for us.  

And after a few hours of skinning, we arrived at our home for the next 3 nights... the Schneider Cabin!  

After we got settled in, Kip led us in some beacon drills... here's the Miley Bros demonstrating the strategic digging.  

And soon we made our way up to the shoulder of Cornucopia peak to ski a short lap with Kip and to enjoy the sunset.  

After skinning back in the dark for the 2nd time in 3 outings, we had a nice happy hour outside the cabin.... and the drinking began.  Actually... we had a policy of taking a sip of whiskey for every skin transition so we were pretty lit already, but this was when we actually focusing our attention to drinking... 

The hut was quite cozy... and we shared the space with a mouse, but we really grew to love the cabin.  It's definitely rustic, but everything works quite nicely.  

Later that night, we tried to engineer a mortar barrel, which basically failed (you can see in red how high it reached...) Thanx to Chris for bringing the entertainment.  

The next morning everyone woke up with a hangover... where did the 5 bottles of whiskey & 3 bottles of wine go?  Mainly out into the pee pole... and to our head.  Our heads felt as foggy as the valley below, so I took a morning lap with the Miley Bros and Lou-Doo to start sweating out the toxins.  Funk, who was a top contender for the most drunk ended up in the crow's nest... and woke up soaked.  Not from urine... that'd be his brother... but from sleeping on the bite valve to his camel back.  So not only did he wake up drunk with a full bladder, he had to negotiate the technical descent off the crow's nest in the dark while shivering.  We all thought it was pretty funny.  

After a big ole' kale and egg scramble, most of us felt human again and got ready to explore the area.  Here we are up on the other shoulder of Cornucopia Peak... looking down into the Pine Lakes area... 

And Funk sending it!  This landing happened to not be as soft as it looks...

Awww... sharing is caring...

Skining up the backside of Cornucopia... the snow on this day was pretty scoured... which we had suspected, it was really a day to explore the area's potential.  This place has an amazing amount of terrain... 

After skinning back up to the shoulder of Cornucopia, we did a nice lap in the sunset on crusty corn... some of us kept skiing below the cabin to end the day once again skinning in the moonlight.  

mmmmm.... din din is served.  

My ski boots had a catastrophic failure at this point... and took 3 engineers, a doctor, and the remainder of the whiskey to fix the problem.  I'm glad these guys stocked the cabin with some basic tools... such as the hand cranked drill...

Soon, we ran out of whiskey... and it was time to start blowing things up... 

There was a huge temperature inversion during our whole trip and turned out the mountains were much warmer than the towns down below.  We heard that on this particular morning it was -10 deg F in town... Here's the doctor getting some much needed rays.  

After the usual routine of getting in a pre-brekky lap, eating some scrambled eggs + dehydrated veggies, we decided to stay low and harvest some turns.  Here's Chris with a clean huck.

And Nick about to stomp the first heli of the season.

Around 3 pm... on our 4th or 5th lap on a near by slope, we were all talking about what we were gonna do tonight.  And Funk suggested we call them about a keg.  So Nick called... and a few hours later we had a delivery from the amazing, god-like folks from the Wallowa Alpine Huts.  

On the drive up we had just listed to a "This American Life" episode on bliss... and it was too bad that none of us recorded the moment we all saw the keg in front of the hut... but our reaction was very similar to this guy and his cheeze doodles...

Chris contributed to killing the keg waay too early on this our last night with his cup he couldn't set down... 

HAFS (High Altitude Farting Syndrome)... was in full effect.  I got thrown out of the cabin soon after this pic was taken...

Our final day.  After a morning lap, the doctor booting, and cleaning up the cabin... we were soon on our way down. Check out this hoar!

The biggest hoar I've ever licked!

Soon we were back in the ghost town of Cornucopia... where there hasn't been an earthquake since this building was built... and ready to ski/skate back on the groomed road for 6 miles back to our cars.  

That night, we ate a fat meal at Stockman's... then caravaned to Boise... bunked, and were on the road all day on Tues back to the bay.  My neck was sore...  another really, really fun trip.  

Here's the vid in case y'all missed it:

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