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| |-+  May 2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 1-2, 2009, Olympics, Steeple Rock
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Author Topic: May 1-2, 2009, Olympics, Steeple Rock  (Read 1073 times)
chmnyboy
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Posts: 264


May 1-2, 2009, Olympics, Steeple Rock
« on: 05/03/09, 08:48 AM »

My friend Les suggested we camp at Steeple and spend the next day tagging as many chutes as possible before the forecasted rain moved in.

Haphazardly tossing gear into my car resulted in leaving the whiskey on the back porch, so we had to finagle our victory beer into the packs instead. We left the visitor center at about 7:15, arriving at the col west of the summit block around 8:00 after a boot pack up the SSW face. We were able to get one run down the summit in windblown powder before darkness set in.

The clear night eventually clouded over with a couple hours of light rain. The morning came with high overcast and patches of blue. The snow was soft but stable, only an inch of wet, slide-prone snow. Back up to the summit, we were caught by Gary, Jan (of GaryJan fame), and the rest of their group. With caution, we all skied down and dropped into the large NE bowl. As GaryJan & co. descended the treed slopes, Les and I bootpacked a small chute to the east of the low eastern col of Steeple. Les was able to make turns, but my confidence was shaky so I sideslipped the 45 degree 10 foot wide chute until it opened up a little.

Afterwards, we went to climb the large prominent chute of Steeple, but steep ice and rock fall turned us back about 3/4 of the way up, although despite the way it looks, we found this chute does gain the true summit. So, we looped back to the summit through a safer chute for a final ski, packed our tent, and skied the small bowls, wind drifts, and cornices on the west ridge of Steeple until it hit the Obstruction Pt road.

The snow was great spring corn mixed with soggy powder, all completely skiable. The open slopes on the North side still have tons of snow, while the chutes are started to get rocky, steep and narrow. The straight and narrow chute on the eastern flank is pretty sketchy looking, and probably a 20 ft rappel to enter it.

Today my knees are reminding me why you shouldn't drop cornices with a 40 lb pack on, but aside from that it was a great day with good company. Thanks to all who showed.

We forgot our cameras, but here's a pic of Steeple from the North from earlier in the season.


* IMG_0086small.JPG (22.19 KB, 448x336 - viewed 476 times.)
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skier8484
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Posts: 358


Re: May 1-2, 2009, Olympics, Steeple Rock
« Reply #1 on: 05/03/09, 11:25 AM »

Nice man.  Hope to get out there next weekend or the weekend after for a little May corn harvest.
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Gary_H
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Posts: 320


Re: May 1-2, 2009, Olympics, Steeple Rock
« Reply #2 on: 05/03/09, 05:36 PM »

It was another good day in the Olympics with friends. We were kind of hoping you would have had breakfast waiting for us when we got to the summit though  Wink. Fortunately, we did remember the camera, so here is a link to a few pictures.

http://picasaweb.google.com/GaryJanH/20090502SteepleRock#

Gary and Jan
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There is no such thing as too much snow............... Doug Coombs
RandoBro
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Posts: 30


Re: May 1-2, 2009, Olympics, Steeple Rock
« Reply #3 on: 05/04/09, 09:15 PM »

RandoBro is stuck on the other side of the bridge:(
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Brian "RandoBro" Simmons
360.779.6720
skier8484
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Posts: 358


Re: May 1-2, 2009, Olympics, Steeple Rock
« Reply #4 on: 05/04/09, 10:41 PM »

GET TO THE CHOPPER!......THE BRIDGE IS OUT!!!!
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