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| | |-+  May 16, 2009, Mt. Hardy
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Author Topic: May 16, 2009, Mt. Hardy  (Read 1213 times)
cascadesfreak
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May 16, 2009, Mt. Hardy
« on: 05/16/09, 06:32 PM »

Mt. Hardy- south face, southwest ridge, and lower southwest chutes:

The pre-dawn start (4 am) from a car bivy site along Hwy 20 and headlamp route finding was fortunately worth the effort of skinning/lugging skis up to the top of Mt. Hardy.  Enjoyable turns were had with Kevin and Gabriel in the mid-morning sun before the surface crust became too soft.     

Bushwhacking factor was far less than anticipated (thanks to old avalanche debris still covering much of the vegetation below Mt. Hardy’s prominent SW chutes).  Some rotten snow (deep mush) and exhausting post-holing was encountered on a short (but seemingly long) section of the ascent to the SW ridge, but the surface crust became thicker (about 4-to-5") and far more supportable above about 5,600 feet. 

Shallow snowpack layering in the early morning on the SW ridge and south face above about 6,000 feet was a fairly sturdy surface crust underlain by a few inches of poorly consolidated granular snow or powder, with another melt/freeze crust beneath underlain by semi-consolidated granular snow.   

Booted/cramponed up the final about 160 vertical feet to the summit on semi-breakable surface crust.  Unimpressive skiing in the southwest-facing chute off the summit (jump turns and side slipping on the steepish semi-breakable crust).  Once back at the false summit, the south aspect was ripe for harvesting.  A couple of quick slope tests were done (pushing a heavy mass of snow onto the slope followed by a couple ski cuts) neither of which produced any sluffing.

Fun turns were had on the south face shortly after 10 am on “semi-corn” over a still supportable crust.  A few small pinwheels further down, but no significant sluffing. 

We turned off the SW ridge below 6,400 feet onto a northwest aspect skiing excellent corn on an old forest burn slope down to the gut of the main SW chute.  Good corn turns down to about 5,100-feet, where old avy debris had choked the chute from an adjacent gully.  While probably not “good skiing" by most practical definitions, the debris provided mostly continuous skiing below adjacent slopes which were mostly melted out.  Amusing “turns” were had by all attempting to ski through the snowy rubble (the surface had fortunately softened).  After a short portage to by-pass a melted-out section of the chute, the skiing was continuous back to the car (with the typical North Cascade stump/log dodging in the lower forest).  Back at the car before 11:30.


* DSC_20851Gabriel-MtHardy-sub-summit.jpg (92.43 KB, 800x532 - viewed 601 times.)

* DSC_21161Kevin--MtHardy-south-face.jpg (100.3 KB, 800x532 - viewed 583 times.)

* DSC_21431Kevin--MtHardy-lower-SW-chute.jpg (83.69 KB, 800x532 - viewed 587 times.)
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Joedabaker
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Posts: 1816


Re: May 16, 2009, Mt. Hardy
« Reply #1 on: 05/17/09, 10:58 AM »

Great trip report and adventure Chris and gang!
I love that last photo. When I look at it I think, Well only 2000 vert more of this then it will get a little tougher after that...
Funny I had a dream last night that I skied a chute like the one in your picture, but there was a foot of new and it was all filled in...gotta love those dreams!
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hedonaut
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Posts: 198


Re: May 16, 2009, Mt. Hardy
« Reply #2 on: 05/17/09, 11:05 AM »

Nice, concise and informative report.  We were across the valley looking over at your line, thinking, "bet there's some good skiing there today".  That summit stretch looks steep!

We were skiing that face on the far right of your 2nd picture.  Will post a little report later today...
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cascadesfreak
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Posts: 366


Re: May 16, 2009, Mt. Hardy
« Reply #3 on: 05/18/09, 01:22 PM »

More trip photos posted here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/chriscass1/MtHardyNorthCascadesMay162009?authkey=Gv1sRgCIrFi-ab4fWkCA#
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