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Author Topic: Jan 10, 2009 Skyline Ridge Area  (Read 2926 times)
trees4me
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Jan 10, 2009 Skyline Ridge Area
« on: 01/10/09, 07:26 PM »

Finally got up to get some good turns in the new year.  Parked at Stevens and went up the road to the top of the ridge and dug a pit on the NW side.  Some concerning layers ~40cm down, so we proceeded with caution.  Dropped down the NW side to 4400' with fantastic 6-12" deep powder turns. 

Then we headed up the other side of the basin to the ridge west.  Many slides on this east facing ridge (~5000') with deep headcuts near the ridge crest.  The slides seemed to be from early in the week, as the debris and slide layer was covered.  We skied an area that had previously slid (twigs and trees sticking up) and were shocked to find 12" of soft light snow on top.  Smiley

Finally, we skinned back up to the ridge above the lake and headed back to the car.  Total 3 laps and about 3500-ft.  A nice (if not late) start to 2009!

-Pat

PS.  I'll post pit results later, gotta run to dinner...
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chill people, skiing is fun
Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: Jan 10, 2009 Skyline Ridge Area
« Reply #1 on: 01/10/09, 08:05 PM »

We were the pair that dropped past you as you climbed up from your pit (I almost fell in! Smiley .) . Glad you had a great day!

Bigger plans for the day got shelved by complete glue failure on a pair of older skins. Parachute cord wrapped 'round a ski helped, but not much.  Dropped from near Skyline Lake to the bottom of the bowl, up to the pass between 5476 and 5482, up most of 5482, and traversed/struggled back to our route and home. Glue failure can be humbling.

I agree about the weakness about a foot down. It seems that the bond between the new and the old wasn't stellar, but wasn't bad either. Both of us were surprised to find that the wet old hadn't frozen harder; a ski pole basket penetrated with light to moderate force. Couldn't get any representative test slopes to go. Small loose sluffs while skiing. Skintracks broke weakly at the corners and scraping to the crust was pretty easy, but fracture propagation was nonexistent.  May be worse with extra cohesion and stress. Skiing in the morning was pretty good and light, but got heavier through the day . Snow might've been best on SE aspects. Met a few others - no reports of instability were mentioned.

The crown on the SE side of 5476 was impressive.


* 5476Crown.jpg (186.13 KB, 800x495 - viewed 1266 times.)

* GluefreeTraverse.jpg (195.22 KB, 800x548 - viewed 1300 times.)
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skierlyles
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Re: Jan 10, 2009 Skyline Ridge Area
« Reply #2 on: 01/11/09, 01:08 PM »

We were the pair that dropped past you as you climbed up from your pit (I almost fell in! Smiley .) . Glad you had a great day!

Bigger plans for the day got shelved by complete glue failure on a pair of older skins. Parachute cord wrapped 'round a ski helped, but not much.  Dropped from near Skyline Lake to the bottom of the bowl, up to the pass between 5476 and 5482, up most of 5482, and traversed/struggled back to our route and home. Glue failure can be humbling.

I agree about the weakness about a foot down. It seems that the bond between the new and the old wasn't stellar, but wasn't bad either. Both of us were surprised to find that the wet old hadn't frozen harder; a ski pole basket penetrated with light to moderate force. Couldn't get any representative test slopes to go. Small loose sluffs while skiing. Skintracks broke weakly at the corners and scraping to the crust was pretty easy, but fracture propagation was nonexistent.  May be worse with extra cohesion and stress. Skiing in the morning was pretty good and light, but got heavier through the day . Snow might've been best on SE aspects. Met a few others - no reports of instability were mentioned.

The crown on the SE side of 5476 was impressive.

I believe we may have bumped into you guys as well, I was the one with dynafiddle troubles. You had mentioned the skin issues. I was wearing a red arcteryx jacket and was asking folks if they had lost a OR glove ( if you are out there, it is waiting for you in the skin track before the hairpin, before the first cell tower).  Luckily for us there was enough of a boot track and compaction that booting or "skinning without skins" seemed to work out fine on the lower traverse track.

Observations:

No slide activity noticed from us either. We observed two guys who had dug a pit, executed a compression test, and ruschtblock  with pretty good results. Shot from the shoulder (good sized blow) on CT caused a failure 14 inches down, Ruschtblock failed when jumped on from the knees. No propagation noticed.

Great powder skiing yesterday with awesome trees for relief! Shockingly good quality skiing with the underlying firmness, barely noticeable until we got further down in elevation.

First time out in Steven's backcountry and I am sold on the tree skiing.
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trees4me
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Re: Jan 10, 2009 Skyline Ridge Area
« Reply #3 on: 01/11/09, 01:48 PM »

Yeah, it was fun to see so many people out there enjoying the snow.  Both of us had glue issues and we went through a decent amount of duct tape on the skins that didn't have a tail attachment. 

It was good to see that almost everyone was digging pits.  We got to the top at around 10am and by the time we left there were at least 3 pits on various aspects.  Nice to see others being safe!

I believe we skied near the crown in your photo.  The slide layer was covered by about 12" of fluff below the crown. 

On the way up the rain layer was not frozen, but temp results from the pit showed 32F above and below the rain crust (30-40cm down).  All our obs had Q2-Q3 failure.  The only layer to propagate was a new wind slab about 15cm down (on a lee slope), it failed at CT5, but we felt it wasn't deep enough to be a concern...


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chill people, skiing is fun
Pete_H
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Re: Jan 10, 2009 Skyline Ridge Area
« Reply #4 on: 01/12/09, 10:36 AM »

I believe we may have bumped into you guys as well, I was the one with dynafiddle troubles.

Our group stopped to chat, etc. with you on the cat / skin uptrack.

We skiied two laps in Moonlight Bowl with lots of other folks and then trecked over to ski the secret line off Skyline Ridge. Excellent conditions down to about 4800 or so, then some crust. Good consolodation and little wind effect on the new. Excellent day.
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Marcus
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Re: Jan 10, 2009 Skyline Ridge Area
« Reply #5 on: 01/12/09, 01:19 PM »

Great conditions reports, thanks y'all.  Glad to hear there's a little new snow coming down.  Or at least was...

For those of you with skin troubles -- buy 3 or 4 long Voile straps and toss 'em in your emergency kit.  They're the ultimate fix-everything-item.  Perfect for skin problems.
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adamb0mb
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Re: Jan 10, 2009 Skyline Ridge Area
« Reply #6 on: 01/29/09, 03:28 PM »

Has anybody been on Skyline this week?
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