Blog: A TR From The Gnarwhale, Our Smith Optics Grand Prize Winner

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Congratulations to The Gnarwhale, our Smith Optics We Make The Great Days Better Contest Grand Prize Winner. As the Grand Prize winner, The Gnarwhale will be setting sail for Antarctica this November with Ice Axe Expeditions. Below is a trip report by The Gnarwhale from the day they found out they won that we've adapted from the contest forum thread. Thanks to Smith Optics, The Gnarwhale and everyone else for their participation!

Yeah, seriously stoked. Yesterday was a real good day.

MarkH and I set out to ski the Ribbon at Alta after a fitful start to the day. We first showed up to different Park-n-Ride lots, each wondering where the hell the other was then, once that was sorted, Mark realized he'd left his gloves in the dryer at home. Rather than drive back down the canyon he opted to wrangle a pair from Snowbird's Lost and Found. Too honest to fib about loosing a pair on the tram deck, he explained that he'd forgotten his gloves and the good folks at the 'Bird gave him a non-matching pair that'd been sitting around for months and took his car keys as a deposit.

So, we set out an hour later than we planned and skinned with the Ribbon in full view and looking awful imposing.

Lucky for us, the temps stayed cool enough to keep cornices and loose rock frozen in place as we edged out on the line.

NoHow likes to say "As long as you have skis on, it's skiing."

Mark led most of the route and I think he had the spicier end of it, except for here where I belayed him around a cruxy < 1 ft wide snow ribbon with rock slab on one side and several hundred feet of exposure on the other. After cleaning that last piece of protection I had take a couple deep breaths and try not to think of the potential for a huge pendulum fall.

As the traverse widened into hanging snowfields I made cautious turns, remembering what it's like to have my right ski downhill for a change. Out of the firing line of falling rocks and cornices, we noodled down the apron, fully stoked.

With Alta closed for the season, we didn't know we were being watched but someone emailed me this picture of Mark and I closing in on the end of the difficult part.

So, we skied the Ribbon, returned the gloves to Lost and Found, had a little celebratory Lone Star lunch, then I headed home for an afternoon nap. Unfortunately for my nap, I turned my computer on and glanced through my emails first. Cell phone bill, bank statement, facebook update, blah blah blah, Wanna go to Antartica, blah blah blah. Woah - doubletake - what was that last one?

click. HOLY HELL. I'M GOING TO ANTARCTICA.

Like MyPetPowderGoat said, "thought Obama was having "best day ever" but you may have one-uped him." Making great days better indeed!

Click Here To Visit The Gnarwhale's Blog, Perceptual Weekend

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