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 Post subject: Crescent Mountain in the Abseroka's...Amazing Terrain!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:45 am
Posts: 178
Location: Jackson Wyoming
Yesterday Chaz and I went up to the Buffalo Plateau. With a 5am start our idea was a marathon across towards Yount’s peak to see how close we could get. Ultimately we got past Crescent Mountain right around 1pm with only one skin transition and decided to go back and ride Crescent. Getting out of that place can be a challenge so our marathon turned into making runs on Crescent and blazing back.

It starts with the challenging sledding to the Wilderness Border which took us about 6 attempts in the last few years before we ever made it to fly a kite, but now we have it relatively dialed. There’s a couple steep drops on the way in that linger in the back of your mind the whole time. The hardest climb on the way out took me 7 tries before I dumped my packs and finally made it. I was having thoughts of leaving my sled and skiing out the 10 miles…very unsettling.

Once to the Wilderness Boarder we launched our kites and made it about 6 miles deep into the Abseroka Mountain Range. We had only one skin transition that's a short climb at the base of Crescent. From there we made the distance easily, but linking the plateau sections led to some of our most challenging kite exploring ever. At one point I was dropping over a horizon which I was pretty sure I knew from Google Earth, but as it kept getting steeper and steeper I started to think it turned into cliffs and thoughts of a forced flight started flashing through my head as I started skidding down. Fortunately the steep slope was snowy and I pounded a series of steep jump turns with some minor sluffing of the snow. It panned out, but it was seriously intense. After that we were thrown right into another technical part where there was the skinniest line across this rocky blown off ridge and trees that I caught a glimpse of from my decent. At the beginning my kite sluffed and I kid you not, I backstalled my kite right around a tree, lines on both sides and kite behind. Then I relaunched it straight up and ended up making the crux of our kite adventure to make it past Crescent mountain and almost to Wall Mountain.

Anyway, Huge terrain reliable wind and a very suitable challenge for our experience, once again I hauled my camera so check out the pictures!

Cheers,
Will Taggart


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Last edited by knewschool on Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Mountain in the Abseroka's...Amazing Terrain!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 6:14 am
Posts: 520
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Wow... Crescent to Wall... Impressive!


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Mountain in the Abseroka's...Amazing Terrain!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:17 pm
Posts: 893
Location: jackson WY
Nice work! Those are some amazing shots! Bummed I missed than one! :jump:


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Mountain in the Abseroka's...Amazing Terrain!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 12
Buffalo Plateau looks next level. Inspirational terrain, riding, and images. Way to document as well. Thanks Will!


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Mountain in the Abseroka's...Amazing Terrain!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 1444
Location: PASA Level III Instructor FL- OBX - MI - the world
Impressive adventure there! Stunning photos and great story! (I can imagine the sketchy feeling when you caught your lines - good recovery!)


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Mountain in the Abseroka's...Amazing Terrain!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:39 am
Posts: 180
:o Very cool. Great story. Sounds like Class 5 to me. I am curious. That is avalanche terrain right? Do you carry probes and shovels and beacons when you are out there and what were the avalanche conditions? I believe it is picture # 9. It looks like one of you skied off the cornice and down the face. Would you have skied that without a kite? Does the kite give you an advantage in avalanche terrain? JR


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Mountain in the Abseroka's...Amazing Terrain!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:26 pm
Posts: 39
Hey JR,

I managed to sneak around the side of the cornice and drop in. Cornices can break loose and start big avi's, so standing on them or jumping off of them is never a good idea. We had avalanche equipment with the sleds, but chose to leave the shovel and probe and just run the transceiver once we started kiting. Mostly for the weight savings.

I was comfortable doing this because I am familiar with the snow pack living here and can get great information via the local forecast: [u]http://www.jhavalanche.org/index.php[/u]
I don't think that it is unrealistic to say that the dedicated, snowkiter, who is comfortable with gliding/flying, could employ that technique to escape an avalanche. I hope I never have to find out!

The terrain on the Buffalo Plateau is mind bending. It is a long way from the road, in the middle of nowhere, so being prepared is key.
Big thanks to Will T. for the pics and guiding.
Looking forward to going back. :thumb:

Cheers
Chaz


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Mountain in the Abseroka's...Amazing Terrain!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:45 am
Posts: 178
Location: Jackson Wyoming
In retrospect we should've taken the shovels over the beacons and probesI think because finding a kiter at the end of a kite should be pretty quick compared to a beacon and probe, but digging with your hands and skis isn't quick for sure. Conditions weren't so bad that day however, we understood the snowpack and tested it around. In that picture of chaz you can't see all the other lines to the looker's left we took leading up to that one that helped us feel the snowpack. Also, with steep mountain lines you're often struggling to stay on the ground agressively flying the kite down. With the gravity speed and the wind speed I'm often trying not to fly even with side off slope wind.

Thanks for the feedback guys!


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Mountain in the Abseroka's...Amazing Terrain!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:39 am
Posts: 180
The gliding you all do is very impressive indeed, but I have to say that I really dig the adventures you guys out there in Jackson get into. I luv seein' the pics of the steep lines being skied with a kite! When I was out in the area in Dec I got to get into the Big Horns on my last day. I was eyeballin' the shot from the radar ball and thought how cool it would be to use my kite to get up there and ski it. Then after I got home I saw this awesome pic of Wayne doin' just that. I got to try some of that on some easier slopes that day. I understand what your sayin' about keeping the kite down to stay on the snow. Very cool. Maybe someday I can get the skills to be able to ski a big line like that with my kite. Please keep takin' your cameras into the woods with ya and postin' the pics and vids. Checkin' out kiteforum and gettin' to see them is one of my favorite things to do. And that goes for you too Noah! JR


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Mountain in the Abseroka's...Amazing Terrain!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 11
Excellent style, very nice!


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