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| | |-+  April 18th, Mt. St. Helens, Worm Flows
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Author Topic: April 18th, Mt. St. Helens, Worm Flows  (Read 3108 times)
JasonGerend
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Posts: 28


April 18th, Mt. St. Helens, Worm Flows
« on: 04/20/09, 09:15 AM »

Quick report before work – might post pictures and more details later

Summary: Extremely icy until about 6500’ and somewhere between 12:00 PM and 1:30 PM. Mix of ice and ~4” breakable crust/packed powder above. Couldn’t skin much past treeline, even with (freeheel) ski crampons (I wasted about an hour plus a ton of adrenaline trying). MSR snowshoes worked well for the rest of the ascent, but I would’ve loved to have climbing bars. Plastic boots worked well for the masses (after steps had been kicked), and crampons for others.
The descent was a deathtrap until sometime after 12:00 PM or 1:00 PM when it softened enough to permit good turns, then was fabulous. Saw no evidence of instability (back to parking lot by 3:00 PM, so may have softened further later…). Snowboarded to the parking lot by keeping speed up and poling in 3-4 places for 5-10 feet. Parking lot clear of snow mostly.
Absolutely gorgeous day, with lots of friendly faces on the upper mountain, including an extremely energetic and friendly Husky. If only she could’ve carried my snowboard for me…
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turchinc
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Re: April 18th, Mt. St. Helens, Worm Flows
« Reply #1 on: 04/20/09, 09:56 AM »

Summary: Extremely icy until about 6500’ and somewhere between 12:00 PM and 1:30 PM.

I don't believe it. Not until I see pics. Before noon? You never get up that early!

;-)

Greetings from Germany!

--chris

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shepherdsond
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Re: April 18th, Mt. St. Helens, Worm Flows
« Reply #2 on: 04/20/09, 10:09 AM »

I was up there yesterday.  We left the parking lot fairly late at 9:30am and saw no ice, it was already soft and got progresively more so throughout the day. Summited arround 1:00pm.  Ski down was mostly variable cement and porridge but fun. Some of the steeper lower SE facing slopes had slid by afternoon (small slides).

The stink of two stroke smoke in the parking lot was almost unbearable by afternoon.
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JasonGerend
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Re: April 18th, Mt. St. Helens, Worm Flows
« Reply #3 on: 04/20/09, 10:31 AM »

We woke at 2:00 AM (my idea - I was concerned about the predicted new snow getting dangerously unstable in the warming sun, and concluded the safest solution was an uncomfortably early start). We had three hours of sleep, and yes, I was the first one ready. The new snow didn't seem to arrive, so we ended up killing a lot of time on the upper mountain waiting for the snow to soften. Pictures later.
Tchüss!
Jason
I don't believe it. Not until I see pics. Before noon? You never get up that early!
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md2020
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Re: April 18th, Mt. St. Helens, Worm Flows
« Reply #4 on: 04/20/09, 11:31 AM »

We woke at 2:00 AM

2:00 AM! and I thought Brenda and I leaving Renton at 5:30 yesterday was early. Needless to say we were one of the last parties out of the parking lot. We climbed the east side of the gully, as the snow was much smoother than that across the way from all the climbing and skiing activity. We ended up on (for us) an uncomfortably steep traverse towards the top of the gully. Snow was very soft this day however, so not too worrying. Very late afternoon had us at the crater rim for the first time in 10 years, and the first on skis for Brenda. Kind of cool. The lava dome has really grown. Ski down started out kind of lousy in the deep, heavy old powder at the top several hundred feet. We chose to ski the gully, as there had been very little traffic there, and the snow looked very smooth. Great run. Late afternoon shady side skied like real corn. Fat skis helped with the punchiness factor. Bottom of the gully got pretty bad. Very deep, wet, sticky, tip burying. Set off a couple slow moving hissers on a couple steep little rolls, but nothing major. Embarrassingly late arrival to the car.
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Mike Metz
skierlyles
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Posts: 270


Re: April 18th, Mt. St. Helens, Worm Flows
« Reply #5 on: 04/20/09, 08:09 PM »

Nice job Mike and Brenda, such a fun place to ski when conditions are ripe. How was the lower section just before the treeline? Skiable for the foreseeable future? Planning on hitting it in a few weeks and hope to still be able to ski most of the way down. Guess I will have to wait and see what the weather does in the meantime.

Chris
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md2020
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Posts: 386


Re: April 18th, Mt. St. Helens, Worm Flows
« Reply #6 on: 04/21/09, 04:29 PM »

pretty good coverage in those flats. I think it should be skiable for at least the next couple weeks or longer. Lots of folks tracking the place out though.
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Mike Metz
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