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| |-+  March 2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  March 20, 2004, Heliotrope Ridge
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Author Topic: March 20, 2004, Heliotrope Ridge  (Read 2794 times)
philfort
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March 20, 2004, Heliotrope Ridge
« on: 03/21/04, 02:18 AM »

Drove to within 2.5 miles of the summer trailhead.
We didn't get an early enough start to have a realistic chance for summitting Baker, so we made laps on the lower slopes of Heliotrope Ridge.  One of the best days of the year, sunshine, 12 inches of really nice powder.  Wind-affected but still nice above ~5700ft, and superb below. Snow stayed powdery down to 4500ft on sheltered slopes.  
Snow was well-bonded to the crust, but there was another layer about 4 inches above the crust that was shearing more easily - the snow above that wasn't very cohesive though.  Didn't see any slide activity anywhere.
Saw some other folks off in the distance, who boarded down from pt.7160.  They may have been the snowmobilers-with-snowboards we saw later on down on the road? (who clearly missed out on the best part of the day: snowboarding down 2.5 miles of rutted slushy road)

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alpentalcorey
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Re: March 20, 2004, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #1 on: 03/21/04, 01:12 PM »

I *really* like that photo.  Thanks for posting the report!
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Scole
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Re: March 20, 2004, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #2 on: 03/21/04, 01:45 PM »


Interesting. At the ski area today, I counted six slabs on Shuksan Arm & one on top of Hemispheres. All seemed to be on lee slopes.
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curmudgeon
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Re: March 20, 2004, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #3 on: 03/21/04, 02:30 PM »

Those slabs developed in the PM, after the slopes had baked for several hours in the unseasonal warmth. The slopes that I saw the crowns on were around 45 degrees. The crowns were down to the pre-storm layer (16-20"). Before noon we were able to ski these aspects on slopes that steep or steeper in complete security. When the warmth hit, we skedattled.
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markharf
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Re: March 20, 2004, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #4 on: 03/22/04, 02:50 PM »

Regarding releases on The Arm: see my recent edit at http://www.turns-all-year.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=tr0403;action=display;num=1079855376.
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curmudgeon
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Re: March 20, 2004, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #5 on: 03/23/04, 05:02 AM »

Phil -- with your excellent photo, the snow levels expected this week, and the melting out of the GC Road, I expect that we will see a Muir Circus effect on Heliotrope Ridge this weekend.

The Roman Wall might be in primo shape for early risers. In fact, I think that camping at about 8500 ft Friday night would allow for the Roman Wall to be skied in "pre-slop" conditions on Saturday. Cool
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