Outdoor Retailer - April 2021 - 36

The Backstory: Skiing Yosemite

THE NO-FALL LINE

Taking advantage of a heavy spring snowfall a few weeks after their now-famous Half Dome descent, Jason Torlano,
Zach Milligan, and Eric Rasmussen skied Bushido Gully in Yosemite National Park on March 17. " This was the hardest
and most dangerous of all my descents in over 25 years of skiing in Yosemite, " Torlano says. " It makes the [Half Dome]
Cables Route look easy. "
Torlano and Milligan had skied the Cables Route on Feb. 21, making headlines around the globe. But Bushido Gully,
the narrow cleft to Half Dome's right, is even riskier, with more complex terrain. To protect themselves on the route, the
team wore climbing helmets, belayed one another through tricky sections, and strapped Whippits (micro ice tools) to
their ski poles.
Bushido Gully requires navigating a 1,000-foot death-fall zone interspersed with 50-foot sections of bare ice over
rock. It took them 4 1/2 hours to descend 5,000 feet. Once past the entry slabs into the gully, the route's crux, Torlano,
Milligan, and Rasmussen skied deep powder as they paralleled Half Dome. After Bushido Gully, they followed the
Death Slabs to Mirror Lake, spending hours skiing over manzanita, rappelling from trees, and navigating steep
drop-offs. " We both swore we wouldn't be back, " Torlano says, " but there we were. " -Chris Van Leuven

36 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ April 2021

Photograph courtesy Jason Torlano



Outdoor Retailer - April 2021

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