The Cheops Shelf

In January on our way up Cheops I had dreams of attempting this line but due to lots of wind and other reasons we headed down the diagonal line. That was a fantastic day but I could not forget this line.

I have wondered about this line since my first trips up connaught. Its hard not to if you are a mountain dreamer. You look up and it screams potential, it screams fearful and  it screams great skiing in a wild environment.  From all angles I have looked at it seemed like the feature is probably big but it always really hidden.  The weather on Friday was not great but I wanted to get a look into it, at least approach with an anchor and look down to see what it looks like.

Joey and I headed up and were constantly teased further up the ridge with small windows of sun. Sun patch by  sunpatch we were lured higher. Hitting the summit ridge we struggled through facets and waded our way  to the notch. Finally we got there and joey hip belayed me with a deadman off his snowboard. I edged over to the ridge, cutting the snow ahead of me. I had scoped this on tuesday and saw that it was not corniced, soon enough we could see down the slope.

But how to get an anchor that will work with our two sixty metre ropes? We searched for rocks or planned a deadman but in the end a we found a large boulder at the top of the couloir.We dug out a huge rock and set up our anchor with two 10 m 7 mm cordelletes wrapped around it.

The first cliff was small and then it looked like the ropes made it past the second cliff.  I rapped down and was psyched that our ropes made it exactly past the last cliff. Joey joined me.

From there the ramp just lay below us, wide open pretty mellow and just great. We still skied conservatively and had to watch for sloughs from above.  

Super classic descent, one that I am sure I will repeat.

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