Turns All Year Trip Reports

2014 Backcountry Trip Reports => April 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: Pete_H on 04/27/14, 12:40 PM



Title: April 26, 2014, Axis Peak
Post by: Pete_H on 04/27/14, 12:40 PM
Hoofed up the completely dry 8-mile road (we forgot bolt cutters) nearly to Eightmile Lake before donning skis.  Planned to ski the Northeast Couloir but skepticism pervaded due to the less than robust snowpack and firm conditions.

However as we gained the col (this route requires one to ascend to an obvious col to the lookers left of the peak then wrap around on the south side and drop in from the top), the firm snow and debris became boot deep powder at around 6500. Good corn on the south side and easy skinning led to the summit.

After dropping in on the line, my partner, P.M., made a few hesitant jump turns and quickly set off a fast moving but deep soft slab, which shot straight down and over a cliff to the skiers left of the choke point.

We quickly decided that if there were more pockets of instability on the route, as there probably were, it would be prudent to climb out of the couloir with our tail between our legs and descend the way we had come up.

This was a nice ski line though with about 500 vf of nice corn to about 500 vf of pow to hardpack to corn again.

Snowpack in the Enchantments is definitely funky right now. Coverage isn't very good but north faces above 6000 still holding pow, albeit with some faceted layers in spots.

Fun day in the mountains, with weather that turned out nicer than we thought it would and although we didn't ski the line we had intended, still skied off a summit and had some good turns and a good adventure.

Link to Mr. Plotz's TR of skiing Axis with a bit better mid-April snowpack:
http://www.justgetout.net/Wenatchee/23363


Title: Re: April 26, 2014, Axis Peak
Post by: kevino on 04/27/14, 03:23 PM
Nice Pete. That is a fun area.

Hope that gate opens up soon before I move.


Title: Re: April 26, 2014, Axis Peak
Post by: Sol Wertkin on 04/27/14, 03:47 PM
Nice man. I was trying to ride the  NE face of 8 mile on the 25th but a string of bailing ski partners forced me to go climbing.


Title: Re: April 26, 2014, Axis Peak
Post by: hedonaut on 04/27/14, 04:15 PM
Right on Pete, sounds like a rational, enjoyable venture.  That's an attractive line--next time.


Title: Re: April 26, 2014, Axis Peak
Post by: David_Coleman on 04/30/14, 02:47 PM
No bolt cutters needed....yet :)


Title: Re: April 26, 2014, Axis Peak
Post by: PhilH on 04/30/14, 03:46 PM
Not to pile on, but I heard Backcountry.com is having a sale on bolt cutters. The new light-weight 'ski mountaineering' model. :)


Title: Re: April 26, 2014, Axis Peak
Post by: jwplotz on 04/30/14, 10:12 PM
Man the snow looks so good in that last photo.  The ski back down the gully is a great consolation.


Title: Re: April 26, 2014, Axis Peak
Post by: tabski on 05/01/14, 06:33 AM
Nice one, Pete!

That road's not so bad. The next ten miles, however...

Dreams of hwy 20 dance in my head.


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