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| | |-+  June 27, 2008 Fuhrer Finger
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Author Topic: June 27, 2008 Fuhrer Finger  (Read 1766 times)

Posts: 150

June 27, 2008 Fuhrer Finger
« on: 06/27/08, 08:59 PM »

Andy M and I skied the Finger today.  We left Paradise around 1:30 as the moon rose.  Skinning up the Nisqually went pretty well although we had some crevasse navigation issues just before the transition to the Wilson.  Booting up the Finger was a chore due to unconsolidated snow.  As we started crossing the snow slope above the finger Andy felt the snow settle along with a whomping sound.  That was about 9:30.  It was a hard decision but we felt we had to turn around.  After a short wait to let the snow soften a bit more we started skiing down about 10:15.  Skiing was challanging up top due to suncups.  Below the Finger it was pretty smooth and soft.  A good day but the warm temps could be an issue this weekend.

* Andy_Booting_the_Finger.jpg (29.59 KB, 640x480 - viewed 502 times.)

* Slope_above_the_Finger.jpg (38.95 KB, 640x480 - viewed 506 times.)

* Scott_Skiing_the_Finger.jpg (47.28 KB, 640x480 - viewed 501 times.)

Posts: 926

Re: June 27, 2008 Fuhrer Finger
« Reply #1 on: 06/27/08, 09:00 PM »

Nice job and thanks for the heads up!

"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals; the houses where I practice my religion." - Anatoli Boukreev

Posts: 144

Re: June 27, 2008 Fuhrer Finger
« Reply #2 on: 06/28/08, 10:33 AM »

A good trip and nice report Scott.
In reference to the decision to turn around it is easy to second-guess after the fact. We had just transitioned back to skis at about 10,900' and were starting to skin up the 30-35 degree slope when I felt a distinct settlement of a large area and dropped a couple of inches. That, along with the steeper slopes above and the incredible display of avalanche activity seen on the way up was enough for us. The unconsolidated snow we booted up below and through the Finger didn't feel good either. I have to say it was hard to imagine the sun-cupped slope were were on actually sliding, but then it was hard to credit the huge slides visible on the Turtle, Wilson and Nisqually! I experienced another table-top sized slump about half way down the Finger as well, but nothing propagated.
Presumably 3 or 4 days of 14,000' freezing levels will put these lingering instabilities to rest. It was already plenty hot by 11 am when we were back on the Nisqually.
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