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| |-+  March 2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  March 8, 2009 Mt. Catherine plus
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Author Topic: March 8, 2009 Mt. Catherine plus  (Read 2044 times)
John Morrow

Posts: 531

March 8, 2009 Mt. Catherine plus
« on: 03/09/09, 06:55 AM »

Wow, wow, wow!  Go ski today!
donb and I skinned to Nordic Pass and then onto the west ridge of Catherine.  Met up with MD2020 (Mike) and Brenda and shared a great day with them.  Met Trevor and Rob at the top and they went off the south side!  Obviously great skiers.
North side trees of Catherine unbelievable low density, light, floaty powder.  We ski cut a steep entrance to a gully and fan and found it slufffed readily but was light snow and never fractured into a slab.  Surprisingly stable right-side-up snowpack we all agreed.
Then back to Nordic Pass and over to the east slopes of Silver Pk. skinning to about 4700 feet.
What an incredible fall line open tree run to Twin Lakes.  Rarely in, I am assuming, but sure is for now until the next warm up.
Looong trip out Hidden Valley to Creek Run and the crossover back to Silver Fir parking lot.

Oh, if we ever do this again we are going through Nordic Pass to Silver first.  Then skinning the groomed trail back up to Windy/Nordic Pass and onto Catherine for a shorter length route and trip back out.  Hidden Valley takes about a toe jam and a few blisters long to get out!

Thanks for a great day you all.
« Last Edit: 03/09/09, 06:59 AM by John_Morrow » Logged

Posts: 385

Re: March 8, 2009 Mt. Catherine plus
« Reply #1 on: 03/09/09, 09:30 AM »

that was really an epic day for me and Brenda. Thanks Don and John for the trail breaking, it would've been tough if we hadn't run into you guys. Too busy skiing to get many photos, but I managed a few. The first is of Brenda the day before during the dumpage around Nordic Pass area. Skiing Catherine in the second. The last is climbing up above Twin Lakes with endless turns below.

« Last Edit: 03/09/09, 10:01 AM by md2020 » Logged

Mike Metz

Posts: 198

Re: March 8, 2009 Mt. Catherine plus
« Reply #2 on: 03/09/09, 12:11 PM »

 I agree... I believe going up from silver fir to grand junction thru nordic pass is the best way to go to and from this area. So nice to finally be in the trees again. Glad you enjoyed those turns down to twin lakes. And your right...the sun can ruin those slopes easily.
Jim Oker
TAY Moderator

Posts: 1386

Re: March 8, 2009 Mt. Catherine plus
« Reply #3 on: 03/09/09, 04:00 PM »

Nice job of getting that run above Twin Lakes in - I've pondered that many times while hiking the PCT in summer, but never seem to get over that way in the right conditions.

Yesterday was no exception. We were elsewhere in the general neighborhood yesterday, and found wonderful turns on W through S aspects (though a bit of a crust down lower on the S aspects beneath the new snow). What a nice contrast to the first part of '09!! Snow seemed generally quite stable where we were as well, other than one ski cut, perhaps 10 or so feet above another skiers track on a particularly deep and steep bit of slope (guessing 35+ degrees but did not measure; seemed like a local deposition zone as well), got a small chunk of all the new snow moving.

Posts: 3

Re: March 8, 2009 Mt. Catherine plus
« Reply #4 on: 03/11/09, 04:32 PM »

Thanks for the tip on Catherine! Had a wonderful dawn patrol outing up there this morning with your (or someone's) skin track nicely set in for us. Powder tree skiing all the way down the north side with plenty of fun drops along the way.

Posts: 385

Re: March 8, 2009 Mt. Catherine plus
« Reply #5 on: 03/11/09, 09:35 PM »

my friend Frank and I broke that trail yesterday during our repeat of "mt catherine plus". We did the tour in reverse with Silver Pk - Twin Lakes first then up to Mt Catherine. The new snow from Monday had nearly covered all of Sunday's tracks so trail breaking was pretty tough. The ridge of Mt Catherine had lots of slabby wind lips that made the end of the tour a trailbreaking challenge. Everything skied nearly as well as Sunday. Saw only two other skiers who had broke a trail into Twin Lakes from the lower hairpin.

Mike Metz
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