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| | |-+  Oct 26, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge
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Author Topic: Oct 26, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge  (Read 2093 times)
pipedream
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Oct 26, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge
« on: 10/27/13, 01:03 PM »

Hurting for October turns, I convinced two friends to join me on a 24 hour adventure up Heliotrope Ridge for what would hopefully be either soft, faceted powder or warm, buttery corn. It ended-up being not quite either: slippery, but semi-breakable sun crust on the NW slopes and faceted "dust on crust" on NE slopes.

Our adventure began w/ an 8pm Friday night departure from Seattle, which became a 9pm departure after I realized on our way through Everett that I'd left my poles at home. With a supply stop in Mt. Vernon, we made it out to the TH around 12:30am where we spent a chilly night under clear, moonlit skies. With a pre-dawn wake-up call, we were on the trail by 7:30am, and after some minor confusion at the junction of the (maintained) overlook trail and the climber's path, we were atop the climber's trail (~5800') where the snow starts at 10. We booted the first pitch up to the Hogsback Camp area (~6000'), donned skins and began traversing west through mellow, but very firm, knolls. As we began the uphill in earnest, the sun began to warm the snow, making for favorable skinning conditions right up the gut of the zone. 90 minutes later we were bootpacking the final approach to the top of the western high point (~7200). We spied easily a dozen folks making their way up - this number would almost double throughout the day.

We went back up to the top for lunch and a second lap then headed east across the ridge to test out a purely north-facing line - it wasn't quite as good as the NE-facing slope, but much less tracked-out. We made it back down through the rollers around the climbers' camp and down to the top of the climbers' path before putting our sticks on our backs. At 3pm we began carefully making our way down to the maintained trail - there are several patches of rock hard snow on the path which make downhill travel tricky. A few falls happened but everyone came out okay and we were out to the car by 4:45 and back home in the city at 8.



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Moral of story is don't ski when you can snowboard
all mtn
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Re: Oct 26, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #1 on: 11/02/13, 04:50 PM »

Great rpt
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