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| | |-+  March 19, 2010, Mt. Shuksan, White Salmon Powder
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Author Topic: March 19, 2010, Mt. Shuksan, White Salmon Powder  (Read 1480 times)
skier8484
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March 19, 2010, Mt. Shuksan, White Salmon Powder
« on: 03/20/10, 08:45 AM »

Inspired by Otter's successful ski of the Hanging Glacier, and Scole's beautiful picture of the summit pyramid (Hanging Glacier Ski), I was eager to make a summit/ski bid on Mt. Shuksan. 

The weather looked perfect on Friday, with sun, and potential powder lurking on the north facing slopes of the White Salmon Glacier.  Initially, it appeared Chmnyboy would be kept in Port Angeles by work, but a few hours of boss-convincing later, he was on his way to Bellingham.  Andybrnr was also in route from Seattle. 

We got to the lower lot at the Baker Ski Area around 3:45 AM to find the gate locked, and splitboarder Matt sleeping in his bronze Tacoma.  The four of us set off a little after 4:00 AM, and quickly missed the clear cut drop.  After a minor folly in the woods past the Chair 8 base, we backtracked and descended the clearcut to the valley without having to remove our skis/half snowboards.  Skiing crappy steep snow in the dark turned out to be remarkably fun.

Skinning up to the base of the White Salmon was easy, and Matt (as he would most of the day - thanks) led the way breaking trail through 12" of consolidated powder up the glacier.  This was made more impressive by the fact he had broken trail up to the summit of Mt. Baker the day prior. 

There were some saggy spots in the snow, but other than that crevasse danger was minimal on the White Salmon.  Up Winnie's Slide and Hells High, across the Upper Curtis and a quick booter up summit pyramid later, we stood upon the summit - greeted by incredible views of Mt. Baker and about every peak in the North Cascades.

Definitely a steep committing ski off the summit, with 45 deg. breakable crust making the going tough.  The corn across the Upper Curtis was mellow and enjoyable after the thrilling ski off the summit.  Then the real gem of the trip.  3k of perfect consolidated north facing powder down Winne's Slide and the White Salmon.  One of the best runs I've ever had.  We laid the first tracks down the glacier the entire way; no shortage of smiles and great snow.  Snow stability was great, with only small sluffs on convex rollovers.

Motivated by the cold beer waiting at the car, the booter up the clearcut went quickly.  Overall this trip had everything you would want: expansive mountain views, exposed steep skiing, and a surplus of stable powder.  Great day to be out in the mountains!


* Shuk.1.JPG (24.02 KB, 1000x232 - viewed 889 times.)

* Shuk.2.JPG (222.82 KB, 814x800 - viewed 931 times.)

* Shuk.3.JPG (180.34 KB, 600x800 - viewed 890 times.)
« Last Edit: 09/03/10, 07:43 AM by skier8484 » Logged
Gary_H
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Re: March 19, 2010, Mt. Shuksan, White Salmon Powder
« Reply #1 on: 03/20/10, 07:38 PM »

Nice report on what looks like was a great trip. I can see Mt. Baker from my office window, defiantly was thinking of you guys.

Looks like I'm going to have a chat with Tyler's boss, he is being way to generous with giving him days off, we do have a business to run ......  Wink

Gary
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There is no such thing as too much snow............... Doug Coombs
Stugie
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Re: March 19, 2010, Mt. Shuksan, White Salmon Powder
« Reply #2 on: 03/21/10, 09:25 AM »

no shortage of smiles and great snow.

That right there makes for a great tr!  It's hard not to smile when you're looking at the N. Cascades!  Nice read, way to nail Shuksan!
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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
chmnyboy
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Re: March 19, 2010, Mt. Shuksan, White Salmon Powder
« Reply #3 on: 03/22/10, 11:47 PM »

Looks like I'm going to have a chat with Tyler's boss, he is being way to generous with giving him days off, we do have a business to run ......  Wink

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Wink

Brian, thanks for convincing me that skiing would be better than working...what an awesome day.

It seems that getting lost in the trees and struggling to get to the valley floor is required before one is allowed to summit Shuksan, and we were definitely no exceptions.
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