Title: Jan 8-9, Balu Pass, Grizzly Shoulder-Rogers Pass
Post by: RyanPete81 on 01/13/10, 10:28 PM
The perpetual Cascade rains and the need for a good adventure led us to one feasible conclusion: Rogers Pass. We knew there was a recent storm that was yielding good turns based on many evenings drooling on my keyboard reading TRs here and on TGR. There was the persistent surface hoar layer just under the unconsolidated storm snow, which seemed like a ticking time bomb, especially with some warming and precip in the forecast. We were willing to risk low angle turns or a day at the resort on good snow if the avy danger was above our risk threshold, so we packed up and took off for the hostel in Revy on Thursday. We awoke Friday to cold temps and partly cloudy skies. Plan A for the day was Balu Pass with options for heading up the ridge in either direction from the pass if stability and time allowed.
We ended making it to the top of the pass, and after assessing the snowpack on the ridge found less then desireable results; significantly different and less stable than what we found on the way up. We were happy to enjoy the solitude of the Connaught drainage (we had the place to ourselves!) and take mellow turns back to the highway.
KCS making her mark:
The next day we awoke to 3 inches of fresh on the ground in Revy and a couple more in the Pass. We opted for Grizzly Shoulder due to poor vis. We ended up following the ridge above the shoulder to gain access to the "frighteningly steep trees" (as described in the guidebook) above lower Grizzly Bowl. In the end we didn't find the trees that frightening, nor overly steep, but appropriately laden with fresh storm snow over preserved pow from the previous weekend's storm.
KCS eats "frightening steeps" for breakfast:
Our timing was lucky. As we drove out on Sunday, the avy danger was on an upward trend with the forecast warming rolling in and news of skier triggered slides in the Pass.