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2015 Backcountry Trip Reports => December 2015 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: Matt Kurjanowicz on 12/28/15, 11:45 AM



Title: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: Matt Kurjanowicz on 12/28/15, 11:45 AM
Q: Is Mount Si skiable?
A: Yes, and I don't have to it again.

I wanted to ski something I could see from my living room window, so on a whim Troy and I started planning a ski trip on the big gully of Mount Si. With the recent snows in North Bend, and then several days of clearing weather, this Sunday seemed like it was the time. It was an exhilarating experience, and now that I’ve skied exit 31 I don’t think I need to do that again.

Easy bushwhack scramble to increasing snow and up an Avy chute. We transitioned to skis at 2100' and by 2500' we were picking our way through dense trees, blowdown, and deep snow.

We couldn't get snow to slide with our kick turns, and pinwheels were breaking up rather than picking up steam. The gully has a 6' deep gouge in the middle, and it appeared this gouge saw plenty of activity since the last storm cycle.

With increasing wind loading of the main chute, and signs of recent activity, we turned around at 3100 feet and picked a safe way down. The snow was actually quite nice for the first 10 turns or so, and then started to get a heavy and thin. We transitioned back to boots after we generated sparks from our skis and walked out to find 1/2” of fresh on the cars.

9.6 miles, 14 hours, 3244ft ascent, BW2 - 3, 20 turns.

This is my first TR here, after lurking for too long. So, hey!



Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: Frank Sosa on 12/28/15, 01:19 PM
Hey there,

Congrats!  I figured this would be a good spot to share my similar story...

On Christmas morning mt si was ripe, but couldnt find a partner so I solo skied the deep walled canyon with a  12 foot rock step 2/3 down.  Side step down  steep rock slab with shrubs to grab (60') to get into it, then several hundred feet of good pow turns before jump turns on 10'' covered rocks.  Rock step near bottom is very obvious, it crosses the whole line from wall to wall.

Congrats on a once in a lifetime (possibly) ski!  I knew there had to be other people going for this low elevation adventure!

I'm stoked to come across your TR as i'm trying to compile mt. si ski history info.
If you know of any other descents on Si that you would be willing to share, please shoot me an email with info!

skibigtrees@gmail.com

-Frank


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: Charlie Hagedorn on 12/28/15, 02:15 PM
I'm so glad you guys are skiing these things. That way none of us need to do them either! :).


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: jakedouglas on 12/28/15, 02:21 PM
Quote from: Charlie Hagedorn on 12/28/15, 02:15 PM
I'm so glad you guys are skiing these things. That way none of us need to do them either! :).


Yup. Been eyeballing this every day for a while now but I wasn't looking forward to it by any means.


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: Matt Kurjanowicz on 12/28/15, 02:41 PM
Quote from: Frank Sosa on 12/28/15, 01:19 PM
Congrats!  I figured this would be a good spot to share my similar story...


I figured we weren't the only ones eyeing Si. Is that the Black Canyon? Looks spicy. Cool!
Quote from: jakedouglas on 12/28/15, 02:21 PM
Yup. Been eyeballing this every day for a while now but I wasn't looking forward to it by any means.


After a good rest, I'm thinking that this is something I'd do again. Probably could use another foot or two of snow and would be quite a nice ski. The booting was actually pretty easy once you remember that you are carrying your skis on a pack and are much taller than normal, and I'm sure more experienced skinners would have a pretty easy time navigating the upper slopes.

That's all good, here's the drawback: We didn't find any nice gladed skiing, so the only real options that we found were avy chutes. I wouldn't want to do this on any higher an avy danger day. Maybe with another couple feet of snow the brush we were skinning would turn into decent dense tree skiing.


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: flowing alpy on 12/28/15, 03:21 PM
global warming missed Si for a few days!


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: savegondor on 12/29/15, 08:43 AM
seems like there were some glades off the hiking trail? 


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: kciari on 12/30/15, 08:19 AM
Quote from: Matt Kurjanowicz on 12/28/15, 11:45 AM
9.6 miles, 14 hours, 3244ft ascent, BW2 - 3, 20 turns.

This is my first TR here, after lurking for too long. So, hey!



Great first report! Thanks for the beta, and I appreciate the Bushwack rating :)


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: Griff on 12/30/15, 04:29 PM
Very cool! My son and I have been thinking about those for years. Definitely only under certain conditions. We had named the lines:

1. The Big Crack (Main Chute)
2. Line viewers right that is thin - Daddy's Crack
3. The Cleft - the 2nd line skied in the TR

LOL. Thanks for the great reports.


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: Matt Kurjanowicz on 12/30/15, 05:41 PM
Quote from: savegondor on 12/29/15, 08:43 AM
seems like there were some glades off the hiking trail? 


Maybe? Like up high when the ridge starts getting narrow? I could see that. Snow looks like it's holding up well ...
Quote from: kciari on 12/30/15, 08:19 AM
Great first report! Thanks for the beta, and I appreciate the Bushwack rating :)


Thanks! The Brush and Bushwhack Rating System (http://www.alpenglow.org/themes/subalpine/brush-ratings.html) is always a great read. I'm pushing for it's inclusion in Freedom 9.


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: kciari on 12/30/15, 05:52 PM
Quote:
Thanks! The Brush and Bushwhack Rating System (http://www.alpenglow.org/themes/subalpine/brush-ratings.html) is always a great read. I'm pushing for it's inclusion in Freedom 9.


Ha! I don't know how I have never seen this before! And I do work for The Mountaineers - perhaps i can put in a good word with the Freedom 9 Committee...


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: Lowell_Skoog on 12/30/15, 08:26 PM
If you want to get in touch with Mark Dale, author of the Brush and Bushwack Rating System, I can put you in touch.

Mark's treatise is part of the Sub-Alpinism page on my website. It was one of the first things I posted on alpenglow.org back in 1999.

I also highly recommend "Travels in the Enigma Range," by the late Kathy Phibbs:

http://alpenglow.org/themes/subalpine/enigma-range.html


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: Lowell_Skoog on 12/30/15, 09:51 PM
Based on Facebook posts I've been seeing, it appears that Peter Avolio, Dave Jordan and Trevor Kostanich skied Mt Si today from the top of the Haystack. I'm gonna guess this doesn't get done very often.  ;)


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: Matt Kurjanowicz on 12/30/15, 11:42 PM
Quote from: Lowell_Skoog on 12/30/15, 09:51 PM
Based on Facebook posts I've been seeing, it appears that Peter Avolio, Dave Jordan and Trevor Kostanich skied Mt Si today from the top of the Haystack. I'm gonna guess this doesn't get done very often.  ;)


Whoa, cool. I found the video of them skiing of the haystack. Way cool! Looks fun :)
Quote from: Lowell_Skoog on 12/30/15, 08:26 PM
If you want to get in touch with Mark Dale, author of the Brush and Bushwack Rating System, I can put you in touch.

Mark's treatise is part of the Sub-Alpinism page on my website. It was one of the first things I posted on alpenglow.org back in 1999.

I also highly recommend "Travels in the Enigma Range," by the late Kathy Phibbs:

http://alpenglow.org/themes/subalpine/enigma-range.html



Mark's piece is one of my favorite reads and I relate to it dearly. Thanks for the pointer to Kathy's piece (and for all the cool stuff on your website...great source of history for a transplant like me!).


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: degnaw on 12/31/15, 03:24 PM
Quote from: savegondor on 12/29/15, 08:43 AM
seems like there were some glades off the hiking trail? 


Gave this a shot today! I basically cut the switchbacks the whole way down - didn't want to stray too far from the trail since I was solo. Trees are a bit thick so I couldn't pick up much speed, except in the clearing at the very beginning of the run - Also, spent about half the run traversing right. Finally got stopped by fallen trees + low snowpack at around 2200ft (just above the flat with the old growths)


Title: Re: December 27, 2015, Mount Si
Post by: Matt Kurjanowicz on 01/08/16, 11:19 AM
Quote from: Lowell_Skoog on 12/30/15, 09:51 PM
Based on Facebook posts I've been seeing, it appears that Peter Avolio, Dave Jordan and Trevor Kostanich skied Mt Si today from the top of the Haystack. I'm gonna guess this doesn't get done very often.  ;)


Yup - http://snovalleystar.com/2016/01/07/local-trio-makes-landmark-ski-descent-from-mount-si-summit . Way cool :)
Quote from: degnaw on 12/31/15, 03:24 PM
Gave this a shot today! I basically cut the switchbacks the whole way down - didn't want to stray too far from the trail since I was solo. Trees are a bit thick so I couldn't pick up much speed, except in the clearing at the very beginning of the run - Also, spent about half the run traversing right. Finally got stopped by fallen trees + low snowpack at around 2200ft (just above the flat with the old growths)


Wonderful! Lots of great lines on Mount Si. Where should the lift line go?


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