telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
www.turns-all-year.com
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
05/19/19, 06:21 PM

Become a TAY Sponsor!
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
 
FOAC Snow
Info Exchange


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  November 2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  November 14, Stevens Pass
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: November 14, Stevens Pass  (Read 13910 times)
gregL
Member
Offline

Posts: 1222


WWW
November 14, Stevens Pass
« on: 11/14/09, 07:23 PM »

We and several hundred of our best friends headed for the not-yet-open ski area looking for deep enough snow and a minimum of driving, and were fortunate to find this:



Our "bike commuters anonymous" group, consisting of Seth, Holly, John M., Eric N., Michael T. in from Switzerland and myself headed for Seventh Heaven at around 9:20 AM and found quite a crowd ahead of us - saw skiphotomatt and Jens K. near the top, then parted company with the masses to get first tracks skier's left of the 7th chair. Then back up to the ridge and down a nice open spot on the back of Cowboy, and finally further down the ridge to ski a narrow waterfall line next to the cliffs.

Excellent snow quality higher up, with a thickening sub-surface crust as you descended to lower altitude, particularly on the backside. More snow depth than we had expected, with good stability on the front side (mostly vegetally anchored); witnessed a couple of skier-induced slab releases that went approximately 25-30 ft. wide, shearing easily at about 10-11" on the crust layer on the backside of Cowboy Mt.† Instability was quite localized as we couldn't get it to repeat elsewhere in the area.

« Last Edit: 11/16/09, 01:08 PM by gregL » Logged
Lowell_Skoog
Member
Offline

Posts: 2081


WWW
Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #1 on: 11/14/09, 09:35 PM »

Thanks for helping me live vicariously, guys.  Looks and sounds like a great time!
Logged
Jim Oker
TAY Moderator
Offline

Posts: 1590


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #2 on: 11/15/09, 08:42 AM »

Wow. What an amazing starter for the season for our small crew. We left the van at the lazy hour of 10, and had no problem finding as many fresh turns as our legs wanted to handle until we returned to the van at 4. Despite reports that the back side was "done - getting heavy and there's a crust under..." we decided to give it a shot and headed down Aquarius. As long as we stuck to skiers right, where the snow was mostly shaded by trees, we were loving the snow, and no one else had been over there yet! If we wandered left toward all the other ski tracks, we found the buried crust and heavier surface snow. Based on some of the reports we'd heard at the ridge, we expected to want to turn around before the bottom, but the fun continued the whole way down. After the slog back up on the flat-steep-flat-steep-repeat uptrack, we found more fluff on the edges of the intermediate runs on Tye Mill. We actually had to make a few turns on top of one of the cat tracks in this stretch - the low point of the day† Grin. The crew was feeling ready to head in, but rather than just doing the bobsled track back to the car from the bottom of Tye Mill, I suggested we do one more short climb to the top of Hogsback in hopes of finding a little fresh powder on a better fall line along Blue Trail. We were surprised to find top-to-bottom-bottomless, though on the mellower-angled sections I'll admit that I wanted the speed that skiing among some of the prior tracks offered.

Wow. The day far exceeded our modest expectations. What a treat to have the first day out be a serious fix to re-fuel the powder-turns addiction, rather than simply being "hiking on skis."
« Last Edit: 11/15/09, 10:02 AM by Jim Oker » Logged
telemack
Member
Offline

Posts: 1717


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #3 on: 11/15/09, 10:03 AM »

That was an amazing number of skiers and tracks at the area.† Thanks to the conga-lines that put in the skin track up Cloud 9.† It was interesting to see all the boulders, trees, etc. that are buried later in the season, yet still have lots of deep snow.†
When we skied from the traverse track leading away from the top of 7th I entered the track of a surface slide that had run 8' wide for 50' or so; I guess it slid on the surface hoar from before the last 3" of fresh.† Skiprince set off another bit of it when he came down.† This week's weather should destroy it.

One highlight was eating lunch below the top of Hogs with 2 grooming machines running laps within a few yards of us and some very cheerful drivers.† †Smiley
Logged

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
Pete_H
Member
Offline

Posts: 278


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #4 on: 11/15/09, 10:49 AM »

Those are nice pitures!
Logged
SkiPrince
5Member
Offline

Posts: 12


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #5 on: 11/15/09, 01:52 PM »

Here are a few more pics... no action shots though...


* 2009-11-14_10.43.33.jpg (52.71 KB, 640x480 - viewed 2067 times.)

* 2009-11-14_11.32.46.jpg (48.72 KB, 640x480 - viewed 2062 times.)

* 2009-11-14_12.08.04.jpg (36.56 KB, 640x480 - viewed 2074 times.)
Logged
Don Heath
Member
Offline

Posts: 834


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #6 on: 11/15/09, 06:51 PM »

† † †We (Moscawulff, Teleskichicka, and Paul) were a part of the headcount.† Too bad we didn't run into any others we knew.† We did two laps up the double eagle face/Big Chief/Tye Mill areas, then drank Moscawulff's surprisingly smooth first batch homebrew in the lodge till they closed the place down and kicked our small group out.†
† † †Highlights - Someone else laid in the skin track, Soft untracked snow coming down the Big Chief face, Lunch in the sun at the base, Deep pillowy (Boulders) fresh tracks in some areas - it was an incredible number of people out there not just playing but really earning their turns.

Note to Stevens Pass:† You missed the boat by not having any services for sale.† As Paul said - "They left a lot of money on the table".† Maybe next year they could sponsor a no lift opening day, and cleanup on sales of burgers and beers.† Or maybe I'll set up a barbecue and sell a few Rusty Burgers.

That was an amazing number of skiers and tracks at the area.†

Hey Mack!† I thought of calling you the day before - glad you had a good day.
Logged

The best part of summer skiing is napping on a warm rock.
Teleskichica
Member
Offline

Posts: 353


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #7 on: 11/15/09, 08:46 PM »

For some reason, I didn't get a lot of pictures of this outing...  Wink


* P1040650.jpg (67.33 KB, 638x479 - viewed 1920 times.)

* P1040651.jpg (78.51 KB, 639x426 - viewed 1935 times.)
Logged

Livin' high on the cold smoke!
Stugie
Member
Offline

Posts: 926


WWW
Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #8 on: 11/15/09, 09:04 PM »

Nice, glad you guys got some goods up there!
Logged

"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals; the houses where I practice my religion." - Anatoli Boukreev
gregL
Member
Offline

Posts: 1222


WWW
Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #9 on: 11/15/09, 09:36 PM »

Note to Stevens Pass:† You missed the boat by not having any services for sale.† As Paul said - "They left a lot of money on the table".

Our thoughts exactly. If anyone had offered us $5 plastic cups of insipid American lager to wash down our dirtbag PB&J lunches, we would probably have had 100 percent compliance in our group!
Logged
Jim Oker
TAY Moderator
Offline

Posts: 1590


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #10 on: 11/16/09, 09:58 AM »

One of our party members posted a few photos and videos - here's a link to one of the vidoes from his eentsy point-and-shoot, showing the fun of my first turns of this season, at the top of Aquarius.
Logged
Big Steve
Member
Offline

Posts: 328


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #11 on: 11/16/09, 10:53 AM »

Good work, all!

We were across the road on Heather Ridge.† Got only one 400' vert run on the N side due to inadequate coverage.† Thanks to an early start, we got good freshie turns on the S (front) side.† We saw several ascending parties during our descent, so it probably got all tracked up by the end of the day.† Fun day.† Nice start to the season.
Logged
Robert Connor
Member
Offline

Posts: 194


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #12 on: 11/16/09, 10:57 AM »

On the skin up yesterday I was thinking, "I should have been here Saturday". †From all of the tracks on Tye Mill you might have thought the lifts were running. †We did find good snow skiers left of Southern Cross, not quite to Polaris Bowl. †Took that and Andromeda all the way to the base and we were quite happy with it. †I was surprised to see snowmobiles tearing up Lower Gemini. †Returned to find the base area a zoo with all manner of folks enjoying the snow. †All in all it was a good day out.
Logged
gregL
Member
Offline

Posts: 1222


WWW
Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #13 on: 11/16/09, 11:05 AM »

OK, one more pic . . .

Logged
Seth
5Member
Offline

Posts: 96


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #14 on: 11/16/09, 12:29 PM »

Great report and Pics Greg.  It certainly was a great way to start the season.
Logged
watsonskipsmith
5Member
Offline

Posts: 86


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #15 on: 11/16/09, 12:44 PM »

photo and videos from the jim oker pack:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11723786@N06/sets/72157622812050590/
Logged
jj
5Member
Offline

Posts: 83


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #16 on: 11/16/09, 10:45 PM »

Here are our pics from the 14th.

You can see that we optimized for Pabst and Miller High Life.

http://nofriday.smugmug.com/Other/Stevens-Pass-Hiking/10326328_PybPK#713918211_5TW5e
Logged
ski_photomatt
Member
Offline

Posts: 361


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #17 on: 11/17/09, 08:58 AM »

Great to see everyone up there on Saturday!† Wow, we were surprised when we pulled into the lot at how many other skiers were already there.† Amazingly a hour later and it felt like we had the place to ourselves.† After our initial run down 7th Heaven, Brandon and I took two beautiful runs down the backside of Cowboy Mountain in the sun then a final run down the front side.† Great start to the season.
Logged
Jim Oker
TAY Moderator
Offline

Posts: 1590


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #18 on: 11/17/09, 05:04 PM »

Yeah, it is amazing how a "big backcountry crowd" still ends up feeling a whole lot smaller when spread across the whole ski area, and to be honest, I'm used to lift-served crowds when there, which is a different on multiple fronts, including how quickly slopes get tracked out.
Logged
DaveSesski
5Member
Offline

Posts: 18


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #19 on: 11/18/09, 09:44 AM »

I was the solo skier doing shovel runs† on 7th Heaven on Saturday.† With all the activity here I was surprised to feel mostly alone during the day.† I saw several of the people in the pictures from a distance.† †I traversed left rather than going to the top of the lift and skied the first three runs down skiers left of Seventh Heaven. My track out next to the lift is in picture two.† Once the line got tracked I traversed out under the lift and cliffs for four more fantastic tree runs skier's right of Seventh Heaven.† †Good to see everyone out there making turns in waist deep powder early November!
« Last Edit: 11/18/09, 09:47 AM by DaveSesski » Logged
cavenah1
1Member
Offline

Posts: 1


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #20 on: 11/19/09, 11:20 AM »

Then this guy comes flying out over double-diamond lift...


* SkiParachute.jpg (10.07 KB, 604x452 - viewed 809 times.)

* SkiParachuteAgain.jpg (63.25 KB, 604x452 - viewed 800 times.)
Logged
Teleskichica
Member
Offline

Posts: 353


Re: November 14, Stevens Pass
« Reply #21 on: 11/19/09, 04:28 PM »

Yeah, it is amazing how a "big backcountry crowd" still ends up feeling a whole lot smaller when spread across the whole ski area, and to be honest, I'm used to lift-served crowds when there, which is a different on multiple fronts, including how quickly slopes get tracked out.

I must confess, having left a boot at home, I sat in the lodge for the entire day while everyone else skied... (never fear, I put the time to good use rereading avalanche safety books). Anyhow, while backcountry skiers do spread out a lot, from my observations, most of the "crowds" at Stevens weren't the backcountry crowd. Most were† employees for training (streaming through the lodge the entire day) snow gawkers in sneakers, jeans and teeshirts whipping out cameras, lots of sledders, kids building kickers at the base, parents taking their littlest tikes for a "first snow" experience and a few random people booting about halfway up a run carrying skis in hand or over shoulder and getting a few turns in that way. I saw very, very few people actually skinning up the hill. It's great that so many people could enjoy the day in all of their own ways. Smiley
Logged

Livin' high on the cold smoke!
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Contact turns-all-year.com

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.