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| |-+  March 2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  March 6, 2004, Granite West, Snoqualmie
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Author Topic: March 6, 2004, Granite West, Snoqualmie  (Read 3559 times)
randojohn
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March 6, 2004, Granite West, Snoqualmie
« on: 03/07/04, 03:53 AM »

I was with a party yesterday (Sat. March 6) that toured up to the summit of Granite West (Peak 5566). On the decent off the top east side, just east of the south facing ridge, we triggered a fairly large slab avalanche (12-18 inch fracture line) below us (5,300 ft). No one was caught or injured and we kept to the S, SW shoulder and had a safe descent.

Can't wait to get back up there under more stable conditions.

I hope to post pictures later today.
« Last Edit: 10/25/04, 06:37 PM by admin » Logged
powscraper
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #1 on: 03/07/04, 04:15 AM »

Guess I was wrong, there was someone here crazy enough to ski the BC this weekend.

OT:  So this is my first year interpreting forecasts--Are we looking at some corn skiing this week?  Will "partly cloudy" be enough to soften things up?
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philfort
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #2 on: 03/07/04, 04:44 AM »

Conditions yesterday were some of the sketchiest I've been out in this year.  I wasn't going to bother reporting this, since the rain today will change everything - but we experienced extensive whoomphing on the south and east aspects we were on, and someone in our party remotely triggered a slab (about 100 feet away) with a 2-3 foot crown, which ran about 500 vertical feet - helped along by a second slab lower down the slope, which the weigh of the first presumably triggered.

But we found excellent (and safe) skiing in lower angle terrain.
« Last Edit: 03/07/04, 04:46 AM by philfort » Logged
randojohn
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #3 on: 03/09/04, 02:31 AM »

Our party was skiing just right of the trees, above the slide when we heard, and felt, a loud whoomph! The slide is on an SE facing slope. We skied the ridge to the left out.

A classic windloaded slope as you see the somewhat scoured ridge.

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randojohn
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #4 on: 03/09/04, 02:33 AM »

Another view a bit lower.

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randojohn
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #5 on: 03/09/04, 02:34 AM »

A closer, "oh, my God, what were we doing on that slope" view.
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randojohn
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #6 on: 03/09/04, 02:37 AM »

The three previous photos are courtesy of Andy Pound, who lived to tell the tale.
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ski_photomatt
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #7 on: 03/09/04, 03:33 AM »

This was the same aspect and near the same elevation as the remotely triggered slide at Heather Ridge.  Randojohn - did your party dig any pits?  Any thing else you can tell us about the snowpack?  Any other whoomphs during the day?
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Robie
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #8 on: 03/09/04, 01:53 PM »

At the great risk of eliminating myself from ever enjoy ing turns with either the Granite West  or Heather Ridge party members. Didn't any of you in either party access the previous days(Friday ) telemetry? Yes, both  Both places were the nearly the same Aspect and elevation. Both places also had good nearby sheltered tree skiing. The pictures are are great examples of side loading on a ridges.Both Stevens and Snoqualomie (70mph)had heavy winds on Friday.  
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randojohn
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #9 on: 03/09/04, 03:31 PM »

We did not dig pits. There was an inch crust and you could pole down a couple feet to the hard layer.

I had followed the avy reports that week and yes, I did monitor the telemetry reports and noted the extremely high winds.

I knew the east slopes were loaded, but the party discussed a west descent, which was wind blown of course, and we concluded the top of the east slope wasn't as wind deposited because of the tree barrier along the ridge.

Hindsight, we should not have skied off the east slope -- at all.
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Robie
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #10 on: 03/12/04, 01:02 AM »

Just now getting back. I'm glad parties in both spots made it back safer and wiser.
A Pound, I'd Like to use the photos in mountaineers avy class if I could. They are both great examples of wind loading around a ridge.
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"I bought my rope at Walmart ,my gloves at costco but paid dearly for my dynafits"
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randojohn
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #11 on: 03/12/04, 06:01 AM »

I'll check with Andy about getting you those images. Although he's an intermediate student, and therefore might be a bit surly and stubborn. Grin  When do you need them?
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Robie
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #12 on: 03/12/04, 12:16 PM »

Surly and stubborn is my kinda guy. no problem abotu him sending them to me.if he gives me the OK I'll just lift them from here.
Thanks
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russ
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Re: March 6, Granite West
« Reply #13 on: 03/12/04, 02:08 PM »

We skied past there today and saw the crown. It's a little weathered, but still very evident.

Went up Granite, then skied off the north side & traversed back west to hit the pass between Granite & W. Granite. Then traversed SW around the hill to eventually hit the Ollalie Lake trail at 3K. Just a day exploring since the ski conditions sucked. Lack of sun kept most of the mountain from corning up, just frozen wind, sun crust.
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