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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  June 2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  June 9, 2009, Nisqually Chute and Tatoosh Chaser
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Author Topic: June 9, 2009, Nisqually Chute and Tatoosh Chaser  (Read 2134 times)

Posts: 634

June 9, 2009, Nisqually Chute and Tatoosh Chaser
« on: 06/09/09, 11:53 PM »

I was thinking this was going to be the good weather day of the week in the mountains, Maybe, maybe not.
Watched cumulus build in the mountains as I drove up, but was still lots of blue sky when I pulled into Paradise lot after noon. By the time I made Pebble Creek, the cumulus had built up into thunderstorms, steaming up the valley to the west. Shortly thereafter started hearing thunder, seeing lightning, as well as other cloudmass sneaking over summit, from LT, and over the Point Success side. I was hoping to get higher today but it seemed prudent then to truncate the trip and do just the chute, lest the snowfield white out or storms got more aggro as they came together.

Chute direct entrance gone, side entrance from lookers right still goes OK. Didn't see much of any old tracks in there, seems to wipe itself clean? One notable and maybe recent slab area (seen in pic) which I ended up skiing down because the snow was smooth and clean. A little bit of chokepoint about 100vf below entrance then there is room to spread out (and avoid the occasional center runnel).

Snow was good soft corn with quite firm base, and did not encounter anything else that seems like soft snow with more potential to slide. Cloud cover helped keep snow even lower on moraine from getting too soft. Immediate Paradise environs were not good skiing, dirty, polleny, sticky.

BTW can skin from parkinglot but if you follow the trails/summer route there are dismounts at Pan Point and just before Pebble Ck. Parking for "all-day" is now limited to down the valley road, the entire main lot is '2 hour parking' for the gift shop crowd, and the old vis center lot is now offlimits while they finish its demo. It's gonna be a scene there on weekends later in the year, not the good kinda scene either.

Since had finished earlier than had planned. decided I'd drive to Reflection Lake and see whether the storms were getting better or worse. Verdict: better (how often does THAT happen, especially anywhere near Paradise?  Grin) Probably I could've gone ahead and stayed on the snowfield a couple hours longer and made Muir (although clouds were starting to slide in at 9K or so). Oh well. So to finish off the day ran a quick trip up to Castle-Pinnacle.

Snow in the Tatoosh today was surprisingly nice. Minimal if any runnels. Quality corn, fair amount of surface debris of various types and lightly cupped, but with a perfect consistency such that it didn't matter, you blasted off that top layer and slid nice on the firmer stuff beneath. I could've happily spent the day there. Stuff above about 5500 was better but below was still quite acceptable. Visually both from looking across above Paradise and from Reflection Lakes road view, coverage was good on Castle Pinnacle Foss and Unicorn slopes, and OK too on Plummer and Denman, so there's all day potential there on several slopes and aspects.

BTW slush tarn not even thinking of being a tarn yet  Smiley
ron j

Posts: 2602

Re: June 9, 2009, Nisqually Chute and Tatoosh Chaser
« Reply #1 on: 06/10/09, 07:44 AM »

Good info; great pics, wolfs.

"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston

Posts: 2428

Re: June 9, 2009, Nisqually Chute and Tatoosh Chaser
« Reply #2 on: 06/10/09, 09:03 AM »

You were full of energy !  Wink Thanks for the conditions report.  Nice tracks in the last photo.

Posts: 238

Re: June 9, 2009, Nisqually Chute and Tatoosh Chaser
« Reply #3 on: 06/10/09, 08:06 PM »

Saw your tracks in the chute. Looked sweet. We were climbing Ingraham and got smamped in the T-storm mess at the flats. I knew I could find out who was layin tracks up there, looks like you were the only one! Great job!

PNW-Wasatch Ambassador.
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