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2014 Backcountry Trip Reports => October 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: mikerolfs on 10/25/14, 12:18 AM



Title: October 24, 2014, Spider Meadows
Post by: mikerolfs on 10/25/14, 12:18 AM
ErikT alerted me to a weather window for Friday and his prediction was correct.  This trip started by headlamp and ended by headlamp, and we never had a drop of precip during our outing.  But 15 minutes into the drive home, the rain started coming down, and it grew more intense all the way back to Wenatchee.  This was my second powder day this October.  I'm spoiled now and expect it to storm before and after my trips, but not during.  And I expect the snow surface to be soft and consistent from falling straight down, not sideways, the night before.  That is exactly what Aidan Ottley and I found on the Spider Glacier and on the slopes north of Spider Gap toward Lyman Lakes.  Fabulous snow, safe over remnant snow, more "exciting" where it is just covering rocks.  Both of us fell, me twice.  We skied the Lyman side until we ran out of snow (which was about 700 feet below the gap).

short video:  https://vimeo.com/110014388

We found snow about halfway between Leroy Creek and Spider Meadow.  We walked in sneakers until 300' below the Spider Glacier.  Here is what the Phelps Creek Crossing looks like right now.  An easy task this late in the season.

Aidan crossing Phelps Creek:
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/10-24-14%20spider%20meadows%20skiing/CIMG8420_zps7632e6a3.jpg)

The Spider Glacier was smooth and soft.  New snow on top of the glacier in the neighborhood of 14".  Last night's snow was around 4" and it fell straight down on top of a light wind stiffened layer that gave some resistance when skiing, but that I punched through when skinning.

First tracks on the Spider:
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/10-24-14%20spider%20meadows%20skiing/CIMG8484_zpsa9324047.jpg)

Looking down the Phelps ridge to the South:
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/10-24-14%20spider%20meadows%20skiing/CIMG8485_zps0600a943.jpg)

Nearing the top of the Spider:
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/10-24-14%20spider%20meadows%20skiing/CIMG8497_zps1a13e8a9.jpg)

View north from Spider Gap, skiable snow does not yet extend to the valley floor, but it is close!
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/10-24-14%20spider%20meadows%20skiing/CIMG8508_zpse99b8657.jpg)

Skinning back up from the Lyman Side:
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/10-24-14%20spider%20meadows%20skiing/CIMG8526_zps39e599d5.jpg)

It was a great day in the mountains.  A lot of walking, and a lot of skiing too.  I love these early storms.

*edit to add video link:  https://vimeo.com/110014388


Title: Re: October 24, 2014, Spider Meadows
Post by: jtack on 10/25/14, 07:28 AM
Your the poster child for October powder!  The snow looks great and your weather window was perfect, nice work!


Title: Re: October 24, 2014, Spider Meadows
Post by: ErikT on 10/25/14, 08:35 AM
Wow that looks great! glad the weather worked out...held out for us at rainier as well until the cloud ceiling came down at ~3ish


Title: Re: October 24, 2014, Spider Meadows
Post by: Dave_R on 10/26/14, 09:11 PM
Hey Mike,

Debbie & I were through there on a backpack earlier this month and I almost sent you a picture of the old scratchy snow above Lyman lakes since you had talked about wanting to go out there soon.  I figured you were lining up for another suffer fest.

But it looks like you nailed it!

-Dave


Title: Re: October 24, 2014, Spider Meadows
Post by: Dr. Telemark on 10/26/14, 10:28 PM
Pretty nice coverage and looked like great snow.  Talk about hitting it just right for an early ski.



Title: Re: October 24, 2014, Spider Meadows
Post by: ADappen on 10/27/14, 01:04 PM
I'm glad I was home with a banged up knee. Efficient travel, mountains covered with fresh snow, some powder turns...it's way overrated. A reason to be on the couch, a bag of Tim's awesomely calorie loaded chips, and a billion adds between World Series half innings... that's where it's at, man.


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