December 27, 2011

The Muir Disconnect

Seen from nearly any angle, Mount Muir's East Buttress would seem to be self-evidently unskiable.

And then, from atop Thor Peak last April, Dave Braun and I saw what appeared to be a continuous thread of snow connecting the mountain's south shoulder to the base of the buttress.

Truth be told I'm of two minds regarding this footage. Muir's East Buttress is an extraordinary, dazzling, supernaturally-exposed ski route—a most unlikely avenue of possibility carved through the heart of one of the Sierra's fiercest walls. I can't help but want to share my excitement about it. And yet the entire line is also inarguably a death trap, likely among the spiciest 1300 vertical feet yet skied in the Sierra. Even the living legend himself was 'apprehensive'.

Enjoy the footage here, and decide for yourself what madness transpired there last April and May. I apologize that things are kind of raw; this was not our best day (or days, rather) with the camera. Pesky thoughts of terror kept intruding. That's my excuse, at least. One quick note of thanks to Trevor Benedict, who assisted on our first scouting venture up the lower part of Muir, and carried the D7000—no small task! Finally, sorry about the language! For some reason, we were swearing a lot more than usual on that day...


Andy Lewicky

ANDY LEWICKY is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer who enjoys good books, jasmine tea, long walks in the rain, and climbing and skiing the big peaks of the California Sierra. email | follow

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