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Author Topic: December 5, 2003, Tye Peak  (Read 1001 times)
GregLange
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December 5, 2003, Tye Peak
« on: 12/07/03, 01:21 AM »

What had begun as a trip with lots of friends dwindled down to Lara P., Adam G., Bear the dog, and myself. We had originally focused on Granite Mountain, but the conditions of the past week made us wary. So, we opted fro the Tye Peak area, having skiied it a few years ago in a Pro Guiding class on a particularly nasty day, and surviving.
Arrived about 8 AM, and off in 15 mins. We noticed that there were patches of blue sky, but figured they were short-lived, so kept our fingers crossed. As we skinned up the cat road to the Radio Tower, the ceiling just kept lifting; could this be a nice day? Got to the ridge top, and the snow was quite absent of moisture content. We dared to call it powder. Took off down the first mild couloir, into the top of the drainage basin for Tye Lake. Very nice turns, but making our way back up to Tye Peak proved more arduous than we had hoped. Still, that damned light-weighted snow persisted! This made the skinning more tolerable. After 800' vert of upclimb, we came across a new skin track, heading directly where we wanted to go. And, it was now quite easy to see our objective, since it was basking in bright sunlight! We all kept our mouths shut, but the common thought was, "Bluebird!!". The conditions changed some on the NE ridge leading to the summit. Now there was windpack, raincrust and powder. A bootpack and a quick skin later and we summited, able to see for 20 miles in any direction! Hoots and hollers were given out as we skiied some incredibly soft snow for about 800' down; at a nice angle, to boot! An hour+, and we were back to the car. The clouds were still stalled at the west end of the valley, and as we passed through Sultan, a look behind revealed Mt. Index in alpenglow, and the moon rising above it! A great tour for the first long slog since May!!!
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