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| | |-+  Coulior and Corn - NCNP & MRNP - 11.28 & 11.30.08
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Author Topic: Coulior and Corn - NCNP & MRNP - 11.28 & 11.30.08  (Read 1151 times)
Stugie
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Coulior and Corn - NCNP & MRNP - 11.28 & 11.30.08
« on: 12/01/08, 08:17 PM »

   I couldn't believe that we were actually thinking of burning off our Thanksgiving feast with some skinning and shredding.  However, as everyone knows, this kind of weather will make one go to drastic measures...in fact, Kyle and I voted Chris would have to be the first to be eaten, should that scenario arise.  (For anyone curious, this decision is arrived at by a quick "1,2,3 - Not it."
   Chris, a friend of Kyle's from work, was learning how to skin, so we decided to pick something that might have a trail that would be covered in snow.  Blue Lake sounded good, and from the report we read, it sounded alright.  After checking the forecasts, we voted on 6am in Seattle to get a good start.
   After leaving Seattle at 7, and gradually driving into what looked to be somewhat promising weather, we made our way up towards Washington Pass.  We passed two people near the Rainy Pass area and pulled off the road at Blue Lake.  Liberty Bell and the Spires were like ghostly apparitions in the distance.

Chris's first time skinning, he was doing alright...minus a few mishaps.


Chris and Kyle skinning to the first coulior on the north side of the lake


   We pressed on, laughing at the light, knee (to waist in some spots) deep powder we were going to ride.  However, as we proceeded up, we began breaking in a bootpack about 1/3 of the way up.  The snow became heavier, and I was kicking into what felt like a crappy crust layer.

Pit

picture by Kyle Miller


   The snow pack was about 1.5' of increasingly heavier mank seated on top of a hard, broken ice layer, covering the surface of the scree by about 4".  Failure on 9th elbow rap...we kept hiking.  Kyle topped out at 7400', myself about 75vf below.

Heading towards the top

picture by Kyle Miller

   I thought conditions, by the time we turned around, were horrible, but Kyle's opinion dissented.

Kyle ripping down


   We hiked out in the dark, noticing the drastic increase in temps, and seeing it through the glow of the flashlights on the quickly melting trail.   We finished out the day and after seeing first had what a drunk driver could have been capable of, returned unscathed with hearts in throats, to use Saturday to recover.

   Sunday we must have made it to the park right after they opened the gate.  Kyle's friend Kamini (pronounced Com-mahn-ee) met up with us and we headed up to gear up at paradise.  However, before getting to the park, we pulled over for some cool shots of the reservoir. 



    We climbed up, seeing the parade of faces that has already been talked about.  Made conversation with some, shared smiles with others.  We were all there for the right reasons.

Nisqually


   After making it to about 8800', Kamini was feeling tired and decided to stop.  I climbed to about 9500' to keep an eye, and Kyle hit Muir.  Supposedly, the snow got better down further, but I had no complaints.  It was awesome riding.  Someone tell Kyle that, he didn't agree.  After meeting back up, we headed down, all in agreement that it was worth the views, company, and effort.  I'm pissed I missed out on the free beer though.

   So, a good weekend of touring.  Here's a pic from the end of each trip.



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"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
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