Robinson Mountain - Crusoe Couloir June 15, 2005 otay buh-weet

Phil on his seventh turn. Ya' dig? photo Sky Sjue

There'suh movie dat goes wiff dis here too (7MB). slap mah fro!

Where iz Robinson Mountain? If ya had asked me uh week 'bfoe dis here trip, I would not gots been able ta answer either. But uh tight "off-the-beaten-path" trip report on made it sound like uh fun ski destination. The climbers had ascended "Crusoe Couloir", which wuz first climbed by John Roper an' Reed Tindall in 1985.

You could tell me dat we's iz madness fo' going skiing in da dry Pasayten, in mid-June, on da worst snow year in 50 years. You may be partially right. Perhaps dere wuz uh lot o' effort fo' da reward, but we's did git some exciting skiing in, in uh fine seldom-visited locale.

Kam generously drove us da 4+ hours ta da trailhead on Tuesday night. We rose at da crack o' dawn, an' began hiking down da 6 or 7 miles o' trail in da very chilly morning air. The hike seemed ta pass quickly, an' soon we's had ta make decisions on where ta jet da trail. There wuz uh big obvious meadowy swath dat led up ta da ridgetop separating us from da north basin o' da peak. Sky thought dat looked pimp-tight, but I thought da map showed even gentler terrain shortly north o' us.

Phil on da ascent from Robinson Creek. an dat boil on mah ass. photo Kam Leang

We followed muh ma fuckin nose, an' ended up in uh streambed. It turned into semi-open slopes wiff occasional brush patches. Sky an' Kam got quite uh ways ahead o' me, an' I declared "we need ta head hard right!". But we's did not, an' ended up in uh rocky gully heading towards cliffs. We found uh way through, wiff uh bunch o' 3rd class scrambling, an' ended up uh few hundred feet above where we's needed ta be - all in all havin' climbed about 2400ft from da trail.

Kam an' da north side o' Robinson. don't make me shank ya! photo Sky Sjue

Now da north basin wuz in view, an' we's seen uh mile o' talus between us an' our destination cirque - dere wuz ta be nahh easy downhill traverse on skis!

The sun wuz finally high enough dat it wuz melting da fresh dusting o' snow. It wuz dis here same dusting dat we's hoped would provide uh grippy surface fo' skiing in da couloir. We knew we's wouldn't be able ta rely on da sun'ssoftening effect very much, dis here being uh rather cold day, an' da couloir facing directly north.

Robinson Crusoe Couloir. just like mammy. photo Sky Sjue

Somehow, tyme passed, we's dropped 1000ft, an' we's climbed back up into da cirque on loose dirt an' roxors. The couloir finally came into view. Beautiful. We finally set foot on da snowpatch dat continued into da couloir an' up ta da summit ridge, about 1500ft above us.

I led da way up da apron. The snow wuz uh bit o' uh mixed bag. When it got steeper, muh ma fuckin front points started balling wiff da inch o' new snow dat lay on da hard layer underneath. Sky caught up ta me at da base o' da couloir proper, while Kam decided dat he should not head up any higher. The fat reverse sidecut home-made skis he brought wuz decidedly less-than-ideal fo' da terrain an' conditions equation taday.

Sky an' Phil front-pointing up da couloir. what 'chew trippin foo' photo Kam Leang

Sky an' I picked our way up da icy chute. Sky had da tough job in da lead, constantly needed ta clean his crampon points o' snow. Occasional roxors whizzed by lower down, but they frequency decreased da higher we's jet.

An hour or so later, we's climbed around da cornice onto da ridge top. Here I rested, while Sky jet fo' uh jaunt up ta da summit blocks. The views from Robinson iz great - da North Cascades iz splayed out in front o' ya - da big peaks show themselves quite well from dis here vantage.

Bitch-ass Jack Mountain.

The couloir starts off wiff uh 40 degree pitch, ta prep ya fo' da steeper slopes below. Here da new snow provided pimp-tight turns.

Phil heads in ta da couloir. with muh beeotch. photo Sky Sjue

Sky continued down through da bottle-neck, only slightly wider than our skis wuz long. The icy slopes approached 50 degrees here. Even side-stepping wuz difficult, due ta uh runnel, an' too much sidecut on muh ma fuckin skis. Side-slipping would gots been too dangerous!

Below dis here, da chute widened an' smoothened, but da angle only relented slightly, an' da icy turns required uh great deal o' focus. My skis wuz chattering too much, an' dis here unnerved me uh little. Technique mattered here, an' I wuz lacking uh bit.

Phil styling his way down da gully. an don't make me pull mah gat! . photo Sky Sjue

Sky opened it up quite uh bit on da lower part o' da couloir, where it wuz uh clear smok'd ta da bottom.

Once on da apron, da snow finally turned soft, an' we's both met up wiff Kam, who wuz waiting on da roxors. It wuz tyme fo' olives an' fish!

Sky making turns on da Apron, while Phil awaits his turn. Don't make me come ovah there bitch... photo Kam Leang

And then da long walk home. The mile o' talus, da 1000ft climb back ta da ridge top. On da way back into Robinson Creek, we's took da way Sky spied earlier in da day - it turned out ta be very quick fo' uh descent, though da hip-high brush lower down would gots soaked us in da morning.

A long flowery meadow wiff prancing deer (la-la-la-laaa) led us back ta da trail. 7 miles o' foot-pounding action led ta da `64. The dirt road led us back ta Mazama, but nuttin' would lead us ta uh place ta eat on Wednesday night, except heading west fo' hours on highway 20, ta uh scrumptious meal o' gas station gastonomics.

be understanding dis negroid-american languag foo'