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Author Topic: Silver Basin_Threeway Exit Chute_May 1_2009  (Read 1130 times)

Posts: 512

Silver Basin_Threeway Exit Chute_May 1_2009
« on: 05/01/09, 04:58 PM »

Lowell pulled up in the lot as I was leaving to head up to Silver Basin to ski the Threeway Exit Chute. Lowell was doing the Crystal Quartet Threeway-King-Queen-Summit Lodge.

The skinning was easy as there was a track laid in all the way. As I entered the basin I noticed Lowell skiing down from Threeway and caught a picture. He traversed across a debris field to avoid cliffs and the skied the lower part of the exit chute and traversed silver basin and gained the ridge over by the King.

I headed up the chute and where just below where Lowell entered the chute to descend I pulled off the skins and booted up. The wind was howling off the ridge and blowing snow plumes. The snow up the chute became increasingly deeper (up to almost a foot) with windswept crust over granular snow. What looked like chunks of snow crud were actually big rocks barely covered.

As it was blowing so hard up top and the snow was so deep making walking around a chore, I quickly donned my helmet and headed down.

While the crust made the skiing less than pleasurable, it was not a death crust and did not suck. Lower on the mountain the snow was very sticky. It's not quite corn yet.

Saw Lowell at the bottom and chatted then watched him heading up to East Peak after a short repast.

pic 1: Lowell skiing Threeway
pic 2: Looking down the Exit Chute
pic 3: My tracks are on the skiers left and Lowell's are on the skiers right.

* lowell_threeway_may_2_2009_TAY_IMG_5715.JPG (99.89 KB, 525x537 - viewed 716 times.)

* threeway_exit_chute_detail_May_2_2009_TAY_IMG_5763.JPG (98.43 KB, 680x510 - viewed 711 times.)

* tracks_threeway_exit_chute_detail_May_2_2009_TAY_IMG_5739.JPG (100.58 KB, 700x538 - viewed 675 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/19/09, 06:26 PM by Keith_Henson » Logged

Keith A Henson, Puyallup
"Let's go! That powder's not going to ski itself."

Posts: 2090

Re: Silver Basin_Threeway Exit Chute_May 2_2009
« Reply #1 on: 05/01/09, 06:19 PM »

Thanks for the report and photos, Keith! It was great talking with you. I enjoyed my outing and it was a beautiful day, even if the snow was less than perfect. The wind was blowing a gale on the ridges--enough to knock you off balance at times.

For those planning to ski Crystal this weekend, here's my take on the conditions. The underlying snowpack seems to be consolidating well. Two or three inches of snow fell this week, which made conditions challenging on north aspects because wind and sun created crusts in places. South aspects were sticky due to the melting snow, but I think that should resolve quickly.  I judged the avalanche hazard to be low to moderate today. The air temperature was pretty cool.

Here's a sketch of the "Crystal Quartet" circuit I did today, from last year's trip report (click to enlarge). I decided to add East Peak today, making it a quintet, I guess.

[To Gary and Eric: Sorry I didn't hook up with you guys for the highway today. Tom was sick a couple days this week and I didn't figure out until this morning that I could get away, so I chose a closer destination.]
« Last Edit: 05/01/09, 07:38 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
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