DEFINING DESCENTS -learning to go it alone

these are two descents(one in each photo-lookers L line in first photo we did but was nothing developmental) that began to realize the direction I dreamed of taking my riding, and pushed me to self-reliance through total commitment, and no support, only internal rapport.

peak 1912 snowboard mountaineering lines. canterbury nz 2011

peak 1912 snowboard mountaineering lines. canterbury nz 2011

1912; normally only a touring destination, but looking at this from work had me fired up. the lookers R line drawn on was icy as heck…had to drag my axe pick on the hanging shelf…And those are big cliffs, i don’t know if I’d often or ever been this directly exposed before while on a board. I’d also never had to abseil in a line, or ever placed natural pro myself, so this was part of the reason I Chose this line.
You have to learn sometime. I ended up hacking out a bollard of frozen turf on a ledge as my anchor. PS star in forest indicates best jump spot..ever!! amazing hip in that low snow year.  Shane and I had a pretty full day out there. scroll down for bigger things…

mt somnus E face and somnus couloir(in background)

mt somnus E face and somnus couloir(in background)

SOMNUS;As a teenager, I always meant to climb the somnus couloir.  A friend even joked about snowboarding it.  I climbed it at about 16 or 17, and thought…hey-actually you could (simon temple was the first , it appears).  I took this photo from emily peak in fiordland as a teenager.  Then, in Dec 2010 I finished a week of work at routeburn flats, building, and instead of taking the free chopper out,
I rather hiked up valley and had an apprehensive night in the rock biv by myself, hearing the occasional rock clatter down from the heights, and deeply feeling my life, my emotions and my frailty.  I wish I
could hold these lessons the mountains teach to me in my daily consciousness, always…so poignant at the time, I wish the sharp clarity it throws EVERYTHING  could remain ever present …perhaps that is part of the reason we pursue these objectives.  …Anyway.   An early start still found me stranded halfway up the couloir, confronted by a large , exposed rock and ice step never usually there(big melt that spring).   A tough proposition roped, by myself I faced a plummet into it’s gaping shrund if I failed.  after almost turning tail, I fianlly sacked up enough to commit to the final moves.  I believe this was one of the most defining moments I;ve ever had, exerting it’s influence on me ever since.  PS the east face of the peak and the couloir both rode fantastically. 10/10 corn


About ruari

a lover of the beauty of the mountains, coast and other wild open spaces. An adventurer and high-level snowboard freerider / snowboard mountaineer
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