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Author Topic: 11-23/24-08, Rainy pass  (Read 2809 times)

Posts: 313

11-23/24-08, Rainy pass
« on: 11/25/08, 02:34 PM »

I've never been past Marbelmont on Highway 20, and didn't expect to be so amazed by the incredible mountain views - I've always heard that the scenery wasn't so special on the highway. It's too bad the road closes for the winter - if it stayed open, it would probally become the new mecca (Teton pass) for backcountry skiers in the lower 48.

The snow coverage up there was about what I had expected - not too much - but definitely enough to get some turns. I drove past Rainy, then scoped Washington pass for lines with adequate coverage. Washington Pass needs another storm or two, but Rainy looked promising. With minimal scoping - I saw a nice looking chute on a mountain just to the north of the pass. My dog Sadie was not happy to see me packing my ski gear, knowing that she would be left behind.

I planned my shwack route to the chute from the parking lot. The snow for the first 1k was not deep(generally shin to knee deep) enough to skin, and there was too much shwacking for that anyway.

The chute was loaded with deep powder, so I hiked up the ridge to the side of it. The sun was begging to set as I reached the top, but SW facing chute reflected the orange sunset light nicely. The descent had some great pow turns, but there were some buried rocks too, and I threw some sparks a couple times.

The next day I skinned out of the parkinglot to the south. I had seen some skiers the day before on the slopes above Lake Ann - sure enough there was a skin track all the way up to peak 6870. The descent was 1400' of blower pow with no rocks, too good for only one run - so I went back up for another.

I did notice well developed (striated) surface hoar in many of the sheltered areas around lake Ann. Some of the crystals were up to 2cm. Much of the snow surface in general is trending towards facets - I would pay close attention to this layer as it gets buried by future dumps.

Random NC shot

Another NC shot

« Last Edit: 11/25/08, 02:45 PM by danhelmstadter » Logged
Randy Beaver

Posts: 238

Re: 11-23/24-08, Rainy pass
« Reply #1 on: 11/25/08, 02:39 PM »

Nice call-you might've left the dog at the mobile command post, but you look to have  a nose for POW! Wink

The mountain might get 'em, but the law never will

Posts: 178

Re: 11-23/24-08, Rainy pass
« Reply #2 on: 11/25/08, 07:06 PM »

My wife and i are heading out to Winthrop for T'giving and after reading your report, a little tour might be in order on the way there or back....

Two quick questions though re the Lake Ann tour:

Could you skin directly from the car or, if not, how much bushwhacking/hiking was involved?

How long did the tour take? I'd love to be able to leave seattle early on thursday and get a run in before dark.....

Posts: 313

Re: 11-23/24-08, Rainy pass
« Reply #3 on: 11/25/08, 08:51 PM »

Jason, you would definetly be able to get up there if you left Seattle earlyish. There is no bushwacking involved to get to the skiing above Lake Ann, and it's only a mile or two each way. I may see you up there!
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