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| | |-+  April 24, 2010, Silver Star solitude
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Author Topic: April 24, 2010, Silver Star solitude  (Read 2344 times)
Jim Oker
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April 24, 2010, Silver Star solitude
« on: 04/25/10, 11:48 PM »

Craig and I headed up to his place in Mazama on Friday night. We hit the TH at the lazy hour of 8AM, with no other cars in the lot by Silver Star Creek.

The lower woods have cover to the highway, but in tighter trees, the ridges between the tree wells are getting quite pointy and tedious. We sniffed out openings to climb like a rat smelling for cheese in a maze.

Despite the somewhat gloomy forecast (60% precip on point forecast), we enjoyed many sunbreaks as well as the cooling cloud shade. I also enjoyed my ski crampons, which nicely gripped the crust under the 1-3" crust. Craig wished he'd had some too. I switched to kicking steps for the last steep bit of the headwall - should have switched two switchbacks earlier to save a bit more energy. That said, the step-kicking really took it out of me at that altitude. The view to the south when you hit that col is just so cool, especially after that epic climb by the spires and through the big yellow granite butresses.

We passed on the actual summit, as it looked like some weather was coming in, and we wanted some visibility for the long stretch of alpine descent. The dust on crust skied pretty well. We descended out uptrack (the heli run had major debris from earlier in the week). The last stretch before dropping to the creek was starting to get a bit softer under the powder - I call it "powdercorn." Very fun turns there. With lots of little rests, it took 30 minutes to drop the top 3800vf, and 1.5 hours to drop the remaining 1500vf over the chicken heads in the trees. The only real precip of the day hit us as we descended the flat meadow into the woods. It was drizzling as we put on sneakers at the car.

What a fun tour - between the varied terrain and the rapidly shifting weather, there were so many varied moments burned into the brain.





I hope some folks got up there today and helped amortize those damn steps I kicked up on the headwall...
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Big Steve
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Re: April 24, 2010, Silver Star solitude
« Reply #1 on: 04/26/10, 07:52 AM »

Cool!  Not much solitude up there Sunday -- we were one of at least five parties.  Skiing was fun below 7000', somewhat wind beaten above that.  First time I've ever been able to ski to and from the road on a SS tour.
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Jim Oker
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Re: April 24, 2010, Silver Star solitude
« Reply #2 on: 04/26/10, 08:11 AM »

It was only the third time in I don't know how many trips where we've had the mountain entirely to ourselves (save for the lone mystery bootpacker/turner we saw evidence of down among the chicken heads as we descended - if that person is reading here, please do tell the story as I'm curious!). And one of those times was a really nasty weather day where I sort of wondered why we were continuing up in the fog-soaked alpine (and another was in '95 well before internet trip reports  Wink). I'd say we've managed to ski to/from the road at least half those times, and sometimes it was harder, and at least once MUCH easier. That stretch is definitely a good warmup for spring skiing in the woods.

I forgot to mention the debris that had come down along the avy path we use to climb right up out of the creek valley to get up by the spires. I'd never seen so big a slide along there. A lot of stuff moved earlier last week. It took out a bunch of climbing and turning terrain, but thankfully left a strip open that held our best skiing (and sounds like perhaps the best for Sunday's crew as well).
« Last Edit: 04/26/10, 08:21 AM by Jim Oker » Logged
silaswild
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Re: April 24, 2010, Silver Star solitude
« Reply #3 on: 04/26/10, 11:38 AM »

Why did I leave home slopes?  Nice work!   But did you have beer and strudel in the sun after the tour? Smiley
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Jim Oker
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Re: April 24, 2010, Silver Star solitude
« Reply #4 on: 04/26/10, 12:12 PM »

You know why you left the home slopes, and I sorta wish I were there with you!

Our apres-ski was just a little more PNW than that - we went here:

and I had a fine Pale Ale (which kicked butt on ANY beer I had while in Switzerland! and don't get me started on that beer and fresca thing that everyone else seems to love, I think they called it panache...) and too many nachos in the sun by the river. Then we went back to the house and cooked up some awesome halibut with a mango-lemon salsa.

If/when you get to Distentis, I should note that my favorite meals were at the Italian restaurant (I forget whether there were one or two of them - at any rate I had both really good pizza, better than I seem to ever get here, and the best pasta with pesto I've had) and the little Turkish Gyros place (I went for the felafel). The Swiss food there did not manage to etch any positive memories. In fact, I'd say the same of Zurich and Lucerne...
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