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| |-+  January 2010 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  January 25, Mazama Ridge & Paradise Valley
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Author Topic: January 25, Mazama Ridge & Paradise Valley  (Read 2016 times)
Don Heath
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January 25, Mazama Ridge & Paradise Valley
« on: 01/26/10, 10:14 PM »

Tempted by the recent snow, and running away from work and responsibilities, Jake (Blackdog) and I met at Longmire to get acquainted and wait for the gate.  It opened right at 11, as the message stated, so we paid for our coffee and headed on up.

Our first objective was to head up into Edith Basin towards Golden Gate.  Occasional blue skies created a need for sunscreen, and very little wind had us shedding coats quickly.  We saw several natural avalanches coming down into the basin, mostly on the south and west facing slopes, some very obviously started from tree bombs.  Based on that (and the "considerable" rating, we opted to stay on mellow slopes. 

We dug a pit on a south facing 35 degree slope about 5 feet deep.  If I remember right, an isolated shovel column failed relatively cleanly at 12" deep on a very thin rain crust layer after about 10 taps from the elbow.  The lower layers didn't fail or slide.  A full RB test failed on the same layer with one knee bend. 

We skied lower angle stuff down to the creek with no problems at all.  It was so great to finally be in powder!  Met up with Gary Vogt who was lapping some west facing slopes through the trees down to 4th Crossing.  We parted company at the top of the ridge, headed a little farther out and then made our own fresh tracks cruising gracefully through the trees, down to the road.  The time caught up to us, and we decided to head back toward the parking lot. 

But (and this is the biggest stress on my marriage) there was just too danged many untracked slopes!  Right before the parking lot we had to strip em and rip em one more time down into the valley.  An hour later we said goodbye to miles of still untracked slopes, and headed back down to civilization.  Thanks for the trip Jake!  Another friendly, strong, young AT skier I can add to my list of "young guys who help me back to the car" Wink

A few pictures http://picasaweb.google.com/Rustyknees/2010MountainTrips#

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The best part of summer skiing is napping on a warm rock.
Snow Bell
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Posts: 532


Re: January 25, Mazama Ridge & Paradise Valley
« Reply #1 on: 01/26/10, 10:58 PM »

Glad to hear that your working the rust off of that ankle Don.  I was hoping to hear a report of you skiing soon. 

The rain crust you found was the same layer our group was wrestling with the day or two before.(were you out there the 24th or 25th?)  Our compression test didn't fail exceptionally easily but the sheer tests on isolated columns were less than inspiring.  Hopefully things will be all settled in nicely tomorrow for anyone lucky and handsome enough to be up there.   Roll Eyes

Thanks for the report.
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Life is going to slide by you one way or another
Stugie
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Re: January 25, Mazama Ridge & Paradise Valley
« Reply #2 on: 01/26/10, 11:27 PM »

Nice read Don, glad to hear you're out enjoying the freshies.  Thanks for the beta on pit results.  Cool also that you did an RB...a bit more time, but so much more fun to do!  Like the pics, and thanks for the gear swap!  Wink  We'll see you soon.
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"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
ron j
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Re: January 25, Mazama Ridge & Paradise Valley
« Reply #3 on: 01/27/10, 07:55 AM »

Nice report, Don.
Thanks.
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"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
blackdog102395
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Re: January 25, Mazama Ridge & Paradise Valley
« Reply #4 on: 01/27/10, 05:06 PM »

Don, thanks for a great day of touring, the cup of coffee and digging out my snow saw.  I still don't know if the BD flintlock failed or if it was user error.  Anyone else ever lose as BD saw while cutting a block? 

Nice trip report.  I would only add that the south facing slope (dropping into fourth crossing) we skied contained some pretty rotten snow about three and a half feet down: lots of sugar with dense snow on top.  Nothing moved that far down, but it may be something watch.  If I can figure out the new GPS, I'll  post my photos. Thanks again and I look forward to some future tours.
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blackdog102395
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Re: January 25, Mazama Ridge & Paradise Valley
« Reply #5 on: 01/28/10, 10:10 PM »

Here's a few more pictures to go with Rusty Knees:

http://picasaweb.google.com/blackdog1023/Rainier12510#
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Andrew Carey
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Re: January 25, Mazama Ridge & Paradise Valley
« Reply #6 on: 01/29/10, 07:41 AM »

Here's 27 Jan:

My tracks on the left, Regine's (my wife), on the right; Anon's in the middle from the 26th.

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Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
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