March 16, 2014

March Winter Gift

We already thought that the winter’s gone, when March surprised us with a few powder days. Our team gathered together for the first time this year, in Bansko. We had a couple of perfect winter days – intensive skiing in the resort, back country trip in beautiful areas and lots of fun.

Mt Todorka is a very special place for me. Everytime I climb it I feel mixed emotions of excitement and fear.

The ridge reveals incredible slopes with freeride terrain on both sides, north and west. Many riders are attracted this day – the best snow conditions this winter.

It takes about half an hour to reach the summit, starting from the highest lift station.

The weather is quiet, the sky is clear. Walking up is nice and easy.

Although the summit is relatively easily accessible, the slopes are serious. In this first day we climb the summit two times.

Final steps. In the background – Mt Vihren and Mt Kutelo

To climb Mt Todorka again, with good friends….it’s amazing.

Moments of joy.

We rode the North face many times but there is always little surprise. The wind have changed the snow conditions from the last time.

Valyo is heading to a cliff for a drop. The entering to the spot is very delicate.

On the second run we choose the West face. It is a late afternoon and we are alone in the mountain.

Boris is strarting first. Fast and clean turns. He is spraying clouds of the snow…. it is powder.

Elena is preparing for a descend.

She is strarting even more aggresively with big turns and full speed.

Valyo is starting his run. 

I am impatient to follow him.

It is a long and very pleasand ride – more than 500 vertical meters. The final point below is Vihren hut valley.

We can look at our tracks from below. This is a good reward for the day.

The plan for the next day is to make a trip in the back country area to a place called “Donchovi Karauli” and climb the highest pointof the ridge. We are especially attracted by the north facing couloirs in the middle section of the slope.

The easiest way is to descend from Mt Todorka to the valley below. So we climb the peak for a third time.

Boris is starting a diagonal line to the point where we’ll start to climb the opposite hill.

It is time to put the skins.

Now we are on the other side of Mt Todorka, far from the resort in the heart of the mountain. The atmosphere here is different.

Still figuring out the right climbing line.

Choosing the descending line in the couloir section. As we go up, the slope will remain blind. We have to observe it well on the way up.

On the sunny and quiet slopes it’s very warm. The snow is still perfect.

Making a traverse to a spot where we can climb the ridge more easily. Then there is only one short steep passage left.

Boris is trying to climb the final meters straight

Behind us is the ridge of Mt Todorka, the palce we came from.

In about two hours we reach the highest point of “Donchovi Karauli”, a summit of which we don’t know the name. Now its time to think about going down.

It resembles Alaskan terrain, not so steep of course.

After the first part of the descend we stop to discuss the entering of the “blind” cliff section. We only remember the view from the bottom.

We use my camera to check the photo of the slope.

We are little nervous, but finally everybody chooses his line. The group is safe and happy!

 Ski: Valeri Peltekov, Elena Mitrengova
 Snowboard: Boris Parvanov
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