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Author Topic: Chair Peak Basin/Snow Lake 4/4/10  (Read 1239 times)
jasonsalvo
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Chair Peak Basin/Snow Lake 4/4/10
« on: 04/04/10, 08:07 PM »

Skied out to Source Lake and up the flank of Chair Peak with the intention of skiing the North Side of Chair Peak down to Snow Lake. The snow looked very promising during the climb, despite the obviously very high winds above us.

As we approached the notch through which we would have descended to the lake, the wind continued to increase. In the last 50 vertical feet before the ridge, the wind increased to amazing strength. I have been in two hurricanes in my life, and some of the gusts we saw in the funnel and on the ridge were close to the most wind I've ever experienced. I think there may have been something of a Bernoulli Effect in the narrow gully. My guess is that gusts were 70 knots or more. It was so windy that my ski caught the wind and almost knocked me over during a kick turn. Very impressive. 

Due to the blowing-snow related bad visibility and crazy wind, we aborted the descent down the N. Side, opting to retrace our uptrack back to the Snow Lake divide and head down to Snow Lake that way. In the hour or so since our ascent, the wind had compacted the snow a fair bit. Skiing was still great, but the expected face shots were more like waist shots.

As a result of the windloading, we set off quite a few small slabs in the 3-5" deep x 2-10' wide range.  Not sure whether there was a hoar frost last night, but the snow that fell last night/snow that was blown around today was not bonded to the last snowfall. If we should be so lucky as to get more snowfall this year, this is something to be aware of.
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