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| | |-+  March 27, 2004, Source Lake Vicinity (Conditions)
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Author Topic: March 27, 2004, Source Lake Vicinity (Conditions)  (Read 2972 times)
powscraper
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March 27, 2004, Source Lake Vicinity (Conditions)
« on: 03/27/04, 09:57 AM »

This is less of TR and more of a description of what the snowpack was doing today.  I skinned up to Source Lake from Alpental.  The snow was decent powder up to the lake, then turned to mashed potatoes.  On a couple of traverses I found that the 1-2 feet of mashed was getting slabby and sliding off on the underlying corn slush layer, which apparently didn't have a chance to firm up before the big dump.  This was creating a good lubricant between layers.  

Right above the lake was a very large and recent slide path, which appeared to have come down from a lot higher up, bringing down a lot of snow.  This path covered the greater part of the SE to E aspects of the cirque.  There were also a lot of little sluff paths.  1-2 foot fracture lines could be seen all the way around the cirque, except for the south-facing slopes.

I followed a skin track through steep trees up the south-facing slope to the saddle.  On the way up I heard another large slide, loud and lasting about 30 seconds.  Didn't see it though.  At the saddle I looked over to see two skiers resting halfway up the NE slopes below Bryant Peak.  While getting ready for my run I saw another two small avalanches come off the cliffs across the lake from me, one of which swept right through the chute along which these skiers had been skinning to reach their current point.  I was back down to Source Lake before they decided to come down.  

The snow was interesting, I chose a steeper line through some trees and the snow was very dense and clingy.  Style was definitely out of the question especially without any wax on my split.

All of this slide activity occured without any sunshine to contribute to instability.  I was there around 10:30 am.  I was a little surprised by all of the slides, I had expected tomorrow (Sunday) to be the bad day, with the forecasted sunshine and warmth.  I would say the conditions are especially "considerable."
« Last Edit: 10/25/04, 06:38 PM by admin » Logged
Sam Avaiusini
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Re: Mar. 27, 2004, Source Lake Vicinity (Condition
« Reply #1 on: 03/27/04, 01:16 PM »

Thanks for the post, Justin.  Josh, Jason and I bailed on our plans to head to Stuart early this morning after seeing the overnight snow totals and heightened avy conditions.  Instead, we opted to rendezvous at Crystal for some lift service.  We had some great runs off The King into A-Basin, but anything that was not north facing had the consistency of mashed potatoes (with the exception of upper Exterminator).  Heck, even the mashed stuff was fun though.  I think we ended up making the right call not heading to Stuart, but then again, maybe I'm just saying that to ease the thought of "what could have been."

P.S. sorry for the thread drift into what would normally be a "ski area" report. Grin
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Sam Avaiusini
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Re: Mar. 27, 2004, Source Lake Vicinity (Condition
« Reply #2 on: 03/27/04, 01:55 PM »

MW88888888 and I skied at Snoqualmie Pass today too.  Above 4500 ft the snow got better, until above 5000 ft it could almost be called excellent.  The old crust got harder with elevation;  the new snow seemed to be bonded pretty well to the crust.  The most sensitive layer was only 6" or so down, basically the snow that has fallen since yesterday.  We found some protected glades and made some enjoyable powder turns between 5400 and 4500 ft.  There's a lot of new snow up there, and a lot of what didn't come down today may come down tomorrow.  
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MW88888888
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Re: Mar. 27, 2004, Source Lake Vicinity (Condition
« Reply #3 on: 03/27/04, 03:06 PM »

A testament to the conditions at the pass.  Tricky, sloppy, and sometimes down right GOOD - Matt samples some of the not so good snow.

ZFnpb*IWufGs5Y5JxoRkE/Matt%20chest%20shots.JPG" alt="" border="0" />
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powscraper
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Re: Mar. 27, 2004, Source Lake Vicinity (Condition
« Reply #4 on: 03/27/04, 07:36 PM »

That wasn't you guys hanging out below Bryant Peak was it?  Looked like the slide paths might have been a better ski than the deep mashed...
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MW88888888
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Re: Mar. 27, 2004, Source Lake Vicinity (Condition
« Reply #5 on: 03/28/04, 01:27 AM »

No. †

The skiing was surprisingly good on SW faces where it seemed the wind slab had't occurred as on the N aspects. † †
« Last Edit: 03/28/04, 01:28 AM by MW88888888 » Logged
powscraper
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Re: Mar. 27, 2004, Source Lake Vicinity (Condition
« Reply #6 on: 03/28/04, 02:22 AM »

I have to admit I got a few good turns in where there was adequate space to turn, but since I was cowering in the trees that wasn't often...
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fooman
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Re: Mar. 27, 2004, Source Lake Vicinity (Condition
« Reply #7 on: 03/28/04, 02:34 PM »


I was up near Source Lake when the big slide went off.  Was quite loud but slow moving.

I was heading up there to give the S face of the Tooth a go (though we expected it to be a crapshoot)  Things looked ok until we got to Source Lake, at which point we dug a pit before commiting to skinning any higher.

Top 12 or so inches was heavy but recent, with a slight ice layer underneath it, then 18 inches or more of nasty corn before getting to some solid stuff.  Shovel tap test failed on the ice layer after 3 wrist taps on the first column, then almost immediately after the column was isolated the second go around.  At that point we decided to bag it.

A few minutes later while we were taking the skins off and messing around in the pits, the Source Lake bowl slid, it was a pretty impressive sight.  Lots of other stuff was coming down around us as well.

We ran into three others who decided to keep going, though they ended up turning back shortly thereafter.  Interestingly enough their track got covered by one of the slides while we were digging the pit.

Ya, definitely the most unstable 'considerable' conditions I've seen lately. Smiley

FooMan
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