Turns All Year Trip Reports

2013 Backcountry Trip Reports => January 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: lrudholm on 01/05/13, 01:28 PM



Title: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: lrudholm on 01/05/13, 01:28 PM
Synopsis:

Fun run!
Sherpa Glacier, 25.2 miles round trip, dark to dark, 6k vertical. Sunshine. Exhausted.


More details:

I'm pretty stoked to sneak in a big day at the tail end of our weather window, especially with all the mixed forecasting.

    Powhound, Alecapone, bs, and I drove out to the TH thursday night and decided to bivy at the TH versus 4 miles in. Instead of setting up tents we managed to bivy on somebodies snowmobile trailer. It even had a hood! Drifted in and out of sleep for three to four hours before easily getting up and moving around 4:30 am.
    The approach up to the Colchuck lake trail fork was a super highway even with banked turns. :) After that we followed what looked like splitboard tracks until it looked like they were heading to stuart lake. Thats when we started breaking easy trail through light powder toward mountaineers creek. This is where Alecapone's experience really payed off, since he knew how to make a relatively straight trail without any boulder shenanigans. It probably saved us 30-40 minutes of approach time.
    We ended up meeting with the split boarders(?) skintrack at the base of Argaunot, and briefly wondered what they were riding on argonaut or sherpa peak, before making or way up mountaineers creek to the base of mighty and intimidating stuart. Travel up Sherpa glacier went pretty fast. Skinned up midway, booted a steeper mid section, then switched back to skinning until we reached the bottom of the sherpa couloir. Bootpack ben went up first and absolutely killed it.
    Timing wise we started at 4:30 am, reached the base of the sherpa glacier at 10:30 maybe 11, and reached the top of Sherpa couloir at 2:45? We decided to spend a little time enjoying the alpine splendor from there versus running up to the summit of stuart without skis with limited daylight. Rainer and Adams were out and the inversion clouds looked super low.

Spectacular.

    Then it was time to enjoy our efforts. The best snow was in the couloir, with about 4-5 inches of settled/windbuff pow. Steep fun turns with tired legs :). The rest of the glacier was more wind effected and only 2-3 inches of ski penetration. The ski out went fast in darkness, and I think it only took us 4 1/2 hours with a jetboil break. Beautiful stars!
    Thanks for not going to canada and joining me for a rad day!

    Sorry, I managed to not bring a photo taking device, but B.S. was designated photographer and powhound brought along the gopro. So hopefully more to come.

Thanks for reading!


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: silaswild on 01/05/13, 02:46 PM
Power team, nicely done.


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: glenn_b on 01/05/13, 08:07 PM
We need a like button.


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: jwplotz on 01/05/13, 08:24 PM
Well Done! Don't you wish you got another 3 or 4,000' of skiing for that 27 miles you put in?  I'm tired just thinking about the approach/deproach.


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: mikerolfs on 01/05/13, 08:32 PM
Nice work guys!


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: lrudholm on 01/05/13, 09:25 PM
Approach is long but shot blocks, scenery and being able to ski down the summer trail and road make it ok.

But yes... next time im there I'll have to check off some of the closer mountains.


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: powhound on 01/05/13, 09:42 PM
It was a huge day. Got home at 2am, and decided to unload the truck when I woke up...I would usually at least take my splitboard out of the back and inside. Luckily it was still there when I woke up at 11:30.

Stats off the GPS were 25.2 miles 6200 vert with a max speed of 52.5 ;D

It was a great day with perfect skinning weather.

Got a couple pics, and a video later. One is of the largest hoar crystals I've ever seen they were like 2" leaves of feathers. The picture didn't turn out so well, maybe BS has a better shot.

Thanks for the invite and driving!


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: Pete_H on 01/06/13, 08:55 AM
Nice send gents!

I'm familiar with the trailer where you bivied. I assume you guys know the owner and didn't just poach it. You did leave an empty bottle of Bullitt Bourbon in there though. Ha.


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: bs. on 01/06/13, 11:22 AM
thanks for the nice write up, leyland.  that's the kind of detail that's always missing from my reports!  here are a few photos to tell the rest of the story...

back in may, leyland and i made our first attempt to climb the sherpa glacier.  however, we aborted the trip due to a cut i sustained trying to ski the approach trail in the dark.  i shot this photo in the morning before we retreated, and have vowed to come back ever since.
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-lD0sA1RXV8s/UOnEL8IMBYI/AAAAAAAADLs/fZKk0MFaxag/s640/IMG_6701_sherpa%2520glacier%2520in%2520may_4x5.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

i didn't expect to be coming back so soon, but with conditions pretty prime for an alpine adventure it was hard to resist, even knowing that we'd have an extra 4 miles of road to navigate on the way in.  fortunately, the skin up 8 mile went pretty quickly thanks to the sled tracks and moonlight.
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-gQfUGwY8Sns/UOnEMutuiqI/AAAAAAAADL8/IQiFZmwsjlo/s400/IMG_9184.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

it seems a little strange to pass a trailhead when you've already been skinning for a few hours.
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-SQ-0ZXiQOfk/UOnENNGfo-I/AAAAAAAADME/LRP2gFo33u0/s400/IMG_9186_saign%2520trailhead_4x5.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

don't slip!
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-c5sA9aPuxrA/UOnEPN88XOI/AAAAAAAADMg/zxs7D6JyJ3w/s400/IMG_9194_scott%2520crossing%2520dark%2520bridge_4x5.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

a welcome sunrise.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wACup2kh4Lk/UOnEQmd732I/AAAAAAAADM0/qp8Nvm05k_8/s640/IMG_9201_sunrise_5x7.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-GuiqrzoDP1U/UOnERhT5F-I/AAAAAAAADM8/2JJ1m2mGWbg/s640/IMG_9203.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

leaf-sized hoar frost...  flash macro photography with gloves on is not my forte.
(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-D_LD5RH1d-w/UOnESi0YeyI/AAAAAAAADNM/icueRfwOyRA/s400/IMG_9209_hoar%2520crystals_4x5.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

our destination appears.
(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-YkG8QxinT34/UOnE2fJ1ZFI/AAAAAAAADQM/ZY-yRJ2w80I/s640/p130104_stuart%2520sherpa%2520peaks.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

the thin couloir in the background captivated us for a minute, but we were quickly above it.
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-iHHPOPVpmqM/UOnEUJNTHsI/AAAAAAAADNk/1TGVXeLOZ90/s400/IMG_9221_climbing_4x5.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

nearing the top.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7cb-8SO5Hsw/UOnEXkWDSOI/AAAAAAAADOU/n4DmVOKy1jE/s640/IMG_9233_leyland%2520climbing_4x5.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

the views alone were worth the 11 hour travel time!
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-z4OL8PcK0mo/UOnEW8U8fdI/AAAAAAAADQo/GFXq_rfq_T8/s640/IMG_9231_rainier_5x7.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-KhzIxgJhOqo/UOnEWStS0KI/AAAAAAAADOE/EtzMTKmM41Q/s640/IMG_9230.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

but then we got to ride, too!
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-OqPFeWVeMsc/UOnEZf17fiI/AAAAAAAADO4/-JpXlRNtr_c/s640/IMG_9240.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-7Rr4rcXT2LI/UOnEa_U9yqI/AAAAAAAADPQ/3cEx7nbSjFo/s640/IMG_9257_scott%2520riding_4x5.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BORxzyzu-Ig/UOnEcMBFAoI/AAAAAAAADPk/b1W1AqTD6nw/s640/IMG_9272_leyland%2520skis%2520by%2520ice_4x5.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)


dusk was just setting in as we reached the bottom.
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-mJo77NxYY_A/UOnEcunCXjI/AAAAAAAADPs/wAy_9agL_tY/s400/IMG_9275_saign%2520leyland%2520at%2520bottom_5x7.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

time for a quick break and then we cruised the exit in just over half our approach time.
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1078KkM8QJ8/UOnEdh_BG9I/AAAAAAAADP8/OBjZN8pRF2Y/s400/IMG_9278_dark%2520break_4x5.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/109555336871390657951/2013_01_04_stuart?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2JnJXP0bfEeA&feat=directlink)

huge thanks to leyland for pulling the true crux of the trip--the drive home over steven's pass!


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: Wook#17 on 01/06/13, 11:39 AM
Great trip, report and pics gentlemen.

Another photo appears that makes it look like the balancing rock is not the true summit of Sherpa.


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: powhound on 01/06/13, 06:29 PM
Quote from: Pete_H on 01/06/13, 08:55 AM
Nice send gents!

I'm familiar with the trailer where you bivied. I assume you guys know the owner and didn't just poach it. You did leave an empty bottle of Bullitt Bourbon in there though. Ha.


Of coarse we would never poach an empty shelter for a few hours. It must have been some other poachers who left the whiskey bottle... ::)


PS thanks ;)


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: ryanl on 01/06/13, 08:35 PM
damn Scott, you're putting together quite the season so far! Do more please. Your trips are better beta than telemetry


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: ryanl on 01/06/13, 08:40 PM
Oh, and great write up and photos, lrudholm and BS


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: Gregg_C on 01/06/13, 08:51 PM
Applying the commitment and duration of alpine climbing to ski mountaineering.  Kudos gentlemen.  That is how it is done.


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: kevino on 01/07/13, 07:11 AM
Nice work up there.

Glad to see to the bridge is getting packed down - it was pretty scary cross it on the 24th!


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: jwplotz on 01/07/13, 07:56 AM
Quote from: kevino on 01/07/13, 07:11 AM
Nice work up there.

Glad to see to the bridge is getting packed down - it was pretty scary cross it on the 24th!



no kidding!  For some reason I decided to cross the second bridge instead if following your tracks.


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: ryanl on 01/07/13, 08:33 AM
Quote from: kevino on 01/07/13, 07:11 AM
Glad to see to the bridge is getting packed down - it was pretty scary cross it on the 24th!



Was it as scary as this?
http://www.mtnphil.com/Temp/Oops.wmv

taken from this trip:
http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/543235/1


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: kevino on 01/07/13, 11:59 AM
not quite that bad since it didn't collapse.

mike def punched through once or twice so we didn't care to take our chance on the second bridge, which looked worse


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: String on 01/07/13, 02:22 PM
Looks like another epic, nice work! Love the picture of balance rock on sherpa, one day I want to to get on top of that thing.


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: alecapone on 01/08/13, 07:17 AM
Great write up and photo guys!  What a treat for a midwinter day. Love the photos as usuall. Not so bitter that I didnt go to canada now.

Thanks ryan, but this trip was all leyland's doing. My contribution was only navigating all of a mile or two through mountaineers creek.

Funny video. From the tr, it Sounds like they skied the couloir we where looking at on the way up? It had a cool window at the top.


Title: Re: Jan 4th, 2013 Sherpa Glacier, Alpine Lakes Megaday
Post by: powhound on 01/09/13, 07:34 AM
Hers a short video of the day

https://vimeo.com/57044031


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