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SKI FAQ 5.17 Rock Lobster

Mayo weekends are always a critical go time to get the lines in Colorado. I had a little extra time and the perfect weather window to go attempt something different that I have thought about on previous trips. The picture below shows Nokhu Crags from the West. The wide(r) couloir that dog legs slightly to the right at the bottom is Rock for Brains. You can see the entrance (top) as the 2nd notch off the summit on lookers right.

In the above shot, just to the lookers left, there's a 2nd sort-of-couloir-gray zone that seemed intriguing as it has these crazy spires in the middle and looked steep on the top. I wondered if it could be skied. So I searched around the astroweb, found nothing on it. So as Rudi would ze, "you don't know till you go..."

Cruised up the hut trail in decent time. Snow well frozen from the night before.

My plan was to go up Rock for Brains as I knew that line went and would serve as the backup plan if there was no other way through. I wasn't sure if I could piece the two lines together into a more interesting combo.

Going up, there was a bit of debris from the rocks shedding their winter coat, but if you hung on the shoulders, there was perfect schmo snow to be had. This shot is a massive wet slide out of Option A that our gang skied in November a few years back.

The shot from from the summit of Rock for Brains, looking West, into the labyrinth that makes up the Rock for Brains upper half. Note the little white carpet to straight-line back into the couloir from the top. I would exit this couloir here and veer hard right.

Once over the skiers right shoulder of Rock for Brains, I peered into the abyss line. The snow looked good, I had a rope and a sling, and so, it was time to check it out.

Once in, the line chokes significantly, but you can follow your nose and work your way down a crazy S series of tight, steeper turns. This steeper shelf gave way to even tighter turns below, but held some the best turns of the day. I would be going fall line left (where that little snowball track is going)

Once past the upper section, I could see the glory hole. Literally, if you look down toward the bottom of the shot, you see the little opening that you squeeze through. A bit less then a ski length wide through most of these turns.

The line has a lot of big spires in them that stand like sandcastle formations. Really cool looking and fun to ski around. You can just about see where I traversed back to Rock for Brains on the bottom of this shot. In a bigger year, you could run this out, but it gets flatter here in the apron, whereas RfBrains apron has a nice steep shot to the lake, so why not?

Leaving my line, looking back up. My line is lookers right. (off angle) and I'm just about to cross to RfBrains

This porcupine was super stoked on my line (hiding in the tree well).

Not to mention apparently I had an audience and got asked out on a date. Found this on my car upon return.

Check me out I'm ripping! I am calling this variation line Rock Lobster.

It's not over yet...

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