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| | |-+  March 6-9, 2009, Phelix Creek
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Author Topic: March 6-9, 2009, Phelix Creek  (Read 942 times)
runningclouds
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March 6-9, 2009, Phelix Creek
« on: 03/19/09, 09:23 PM »

A bit late writing this up but it still might be useful.

It seems that Phelix Creek does not see a lot of traffic in winter. We found only two 2009 entries in the logbook. That's a pity because this is such a beautiful area and the skiing is always great. It sure was this time around, plus we got good weather and sun and blue sky on Sunday for our Mt. Aragorn ascent.
It is a long drive and long access from Vancouver so we took Friday and Monday off and spent two full days exploring the area.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/runningclouds/sets/72157615190470223/

ROAD:
The Blackwater Road is pure ice, they grate it but no sanding is done. It is so slippery you are better off in a car than on your legs!

SNOWPACK:
It is definitely a low snow year. See the Tenquille Lake snow pillow:
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/rfc/river_forecast/graphs/spd1d06p.html
The snowpack was stable but it sure is an unusual year for the Coast Mountains. The facets are still there buried and waiting for their turn, while we were there the bridging strenght of the layers above was very good, still we skied mellow terrain and mostly one at a time. The best stability was on Aragorn Glacier, poling indicated that area did not harbor the faceted snow.

Compression test: March 7, 1850 m, N aspect, easy 2 failure at 15 cm—overnight storm snow—and moderate 15 failure at 70 cm. The second half of our group dug a Rutschblock 20 meters away, the 70 cm layer slid about 5cm while they were digging but did not break up.
Compression test March 9, 1875 m, N aspect, no failures (the cold temperatures were definitely improving the stability).

Class 1 avy was triggered by a single skier. The slope was short steep pitch, E facing, well supported at 2000 m. The slope was ski-cut, three people skied it, one at a time, the fourth person hit a sweet spot (possibly around a rock) and the avy started slowly moving about 15 meters above him. He skied way faster than the avy moved so was out of danger in no time. The slide ran to the bottom about 70 meters, crown about 90 cm, 25 m wide.

Enjoy the spring skiing! Be safe!
It will be an epic season.
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bramvs
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Re: March 6-9, 2009, Phelix Creek
« Reply #1 on: 03/19/09, 10:56 PM »

Quote
It seems that Phelix Creek does not see a lot of traffic in winter. We found only two 2009 entries in the logbook.

There were groups ranging from 5-25 VOCers in the hut with New Years, mid January, end of January, end of February as well as last weekend. Perhaps they didn't write in the log book... Definitely an awesome place! Thanks for sharing the TR.
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runningclouds
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Re: March 6-9, 2009, Phelix Creek
« Reply #2 on: 03/20/09, 12:11 PM »

We heard that might have been the case. It seems this is the cabin of choice for the current VOCers. I just wish the cabin had a stove, the white gas heaters are underpowered and no match for the space.  Embarrassed
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bramvs
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Re: March 6-9, 2009, Phelix Creek
« Reply #3 on: 03/20/09, 01:54 PM »

Yeah, the hut can be a bit cold. The reason for that is b/c MEC donated $3000 towards the installation of the hut on the condition that there would be no wood stove. The standard VOC way of dealing with it is to take 25 friends with you... Many bodies create lots of heat ;-)
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