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| | |-+  January 17, 2009 Eightmile Mountain
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Author Topic: January 17, 2009 Eightmile Mountain  (Read 4928 times)
ski_photomatt
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January 17, 2009 Eightmile Mountain
« on: 01/18/09, 05:52 PM »

Josh, Jim, John and I skied Eightmile Mountain's broad south slope on Saturday.  From the summit, it drops 3000 ft to Eightmile Creek.  The top half is a series of huge bowls that end in a small basin near 6500 ft.  The bottom half is an old avalanche path that descends through steep open glades, Aspen forest and alder, finally terminating at Eightmile creek about a half mile west of Eightmile Lake.  The entire run faces south, perfect for the warm, sunny day.





From a frigid Icicle creek, we skinned the summer road through the fog and inversion.  At the Eightmile Lake summer trailhead, we followed an old road spur that eventually intersected the summer trail just before the Alpine Lakes Wilderness boundary.  The snow conditions in the valley were perfect for fast travel -- the cold temperatures had rotted the upper few inches of snow into huge surface hoar that sat above a firm crust.  Soft enough for easy skinning, but firm enough for effortless trail breaking.  We avoided most of the alder schwacking by initially climbing along the east side of the slide path in timber, then crossing to open glades through some avalanche debris at the toe of a climax slide.  We toured up to about 100 ft below the summit where lack of snow forced us to walk over the remaining boulders and talus to the top.

The ski descent was a mix of nice corn, heavier sun softened snow and breakable crust.  The snow re-frooze very quickly once in the shade so we so we timed our descent to maximize sun exposure but still allow enough time to beat the sun into the valley.



The remainder of the descent was transportation skiing, but still extremely enjoyable to me.  I love using skis to travel efficiently, and trail skiing in gradual valleys is all about the subtle aspects of efficient travel and route selection.  One section of the valley in particular was littered with downed trees.  Instead crossing over the trees, we traveled along them by side stepping up, herringboning to the opposite end and jumping off or stepping onto the next log.  A half mile long terrain park in the middle of the wilderness.  Beautiful!

This was a long day but not unreasonably so with good conditions.  From Icicle Creek it's about 18-20 miles round trip and about 6000 ft of gain.

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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: January 17, 2009 Eightmile Mountain
« Reply #1 on: 01/18/09, 06:55 PM »

Great report and beautiful pictures, Matt!
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clubber
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Re: January 17, 2009 Eightmile Mountain
« Reply #2 on: 01/19/09, 03:48 PM »

Yeah bro, good to see you still getting out and enjoying the sunshine.  Nice pics
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Splitboard Graham
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Re: January 17, 2009 Eightmile Mountain
« Reply #3 on: 01/19/09, 08:12 PM »

nice! good perspective on transportation skiing! that is how it all started afterall...
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jwplotz
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Re: January 17, 2009 Eightmile Mountain
« Reply #4 on: 01/19/09, 09:04 PM »

Gorgeous photos!  I love skiing 8 Mile Mtn.  You get such amazing views of Mt. Stuart and Mt. Cashmere.  When we get our next dump, you should get back up there to ski the northeast aspect.

« Last Edit: 01/19/09, 09:14 PM by jwplotz » Logged
Stugie
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Re: January 17, 2009 Eightmile Mountain
« Reply #5 on: 01/20/09, 08:45 PM »

What is the name of the chute on the right side of that photo?
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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
Ned_Flanders
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Re: January 17, 2009 Eightmile Mountain
« Reply #6 on: 01/23/09, 11:02 AM »

More Pictures:
http://staff.washington.edu/jstern77/gallery/eightmile_ski-01_17_09

http://joshuasternphotography.com/
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Randy Beaver
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Re: January 17, 2009 Eightmile Mountain
« Reply #7 on: 01/23/09, 12:13 PM »

Those are some beautiful photoes in J Stern's gallery-any photoshop used?
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The mountain might get 'em, but the law never will
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