Patagonia Backcountry Report: The Patagonian Spine-Fingers

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Report from August 26, 2023

On Saturday, we showed up early with a line that only had a small chance in hell of being any good.

My favorite line here.

It’s an Alaska-esque spine line that is shaped long a long, twisted finger.

In the right conditions, it can be a scary, fun dream line.

In the wrong conditions it’s battle…

I assumed it would be the latter.

This place is gorgeous. image: snowbrains

This line gets a lot of sun and it had been sunny since Tuesday.

I was sure it was already cooked.

This spine-finger is our favorite line down here and we haven’t hit it for years.

Never seen tracks here before… image: snowbrains

It takes a ton of snow to fill it in, especially the bottom section, and the snow is usually just plain bad in there.

We literally went to go ski it in bad conditions just to go through the motions and relearn the moves.

1st turn = bad.

2nd turn = better.

3rd turn = good!

Skinner. image: snowbrains

Once we felt the good snow we hit the throttle and tried to remember where the hell to go on this epic, gorgeous spine line.

Skiing this is kind of like skiing “The Fingers” back at Palisades Tahoe except this bad Larry just keeps going and going and going.

“The Crack”. image: snowbrains

I felt euphoric as I landed the final air and skittered through roller balls and bad snow into safety.

I hadn’t skied this line in conditions this good 8-years or so…

Thanks, Patagonia!


Tough skinner. image: snowbrains
Layers. image: snowbrains

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