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| |-+  April 2010 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  22Apr WA Pass
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Author Topic: 22Apr WA Pass  (Read 2328 times)
RobM
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Posts: 20


22Apr WA Pass
« on: 04/22/10, 08:17 PM »

Finally got my schedule and the weather to align...  Absolutely beautiful day in the N. Cascades.  Got to the Blue Lk pullout (room for about 4 cars if parked carefully) about 8:30 and found the snow to be frozen solid overnight.  Opted to cross the hwy to ski the south-ish faces for the morning with the idea that I could come back to the Blue Lk side a little later.  Skied up the bald peak with the open SE facing slopes directly across the hwy from Blue Lk.  There was evidence of natural wet slides under the cornices along edge of the east facing bowl, but the peak at the north end was clean and the wind that cropped up around 10am kept the snow from getting too mushy (almost knocked me down a couple times though).  Dug a pit and found three distinct crust layers in the top 18-20" of snow.  Shovel shear test got the top 6" or so to slide pretty cleanly on the first crust down.  That, combined with a few glide cracks starting to show at the steepest part of the slope about 100-200 ft from the summit caused me to strip the skins a little short of the top.  Awesome views even from here - a unique view of Liberty Bell and Cutthroat, SW to a sea of jagged peaks, N to the PCT (Golden Horn / Tower) and NE to the vastness of the Pasayten.  The ski down was variable: the top, steeper pitch was good "nearly corn" w/~2" ski pen; the middle section wasn't bad - a little flat for the 4" or so of penetration; but the last couple hundred feet into the creek valley was pure survival skiing - ~12" pen through the trees (saw a track of rather large bear prints through here, but fortunately no bear!)
Most any rocky slope with sun exposure has released a dirty mess of wet slide debris on the snow below, but there looks to be plenty of snow to keep the skiing going for a while up there.
Pics:
#1 - Tracks near the top
#2 - Liberty Bell and Blue Lk col across the valley
#3 - recon of the SE couloir from the Blue Lk col down to the hairpin (looked to be in surprisingly good condition).
More pics at: http://picasaweb.google.com/rcmizen/WAPass22Apr2010?feat=directlink


* Turns_web.jpg (193.42 KB, 400x300 - viewed 983 times.)

* BlueLkCol_web.jpg (200.23 KB, 400x300 - viewed 998 times.)

* Hairpin_couloir_web.jpg (180.94 KB, 300x400 - viewed 992 times.)
« Last Edit: 04/23/10, 12:51 AM by RobM » Logged
Bird Dog
5Member
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Posts: 89


Re: 22Apr WA Pass
« Reply #1 on: 04/22/10, 08:23 PM »

Nice TR, and great conditions report  - thanks.
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