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Author Topic: 5-16-10 Mt Hood  (Read 2818 times)
rong
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Posts: 95


5-16-10 Mt Hood
« on: 05/16/10, 05:57 PM »

I was on the trail west from timberline at 7:30am in search of perfect corn.  I had skied the white river drainages on 5-12, and it was wonderful, but I needed a change of pace for today's ski.  On the way west the the conditions were not encouraging, as I was encountering a very trappy crust on soft underlying glop, and it was quite warm(t-shirt weather).  On the flats it was giving me grief, and making any minor downhills on the tour an adventure in staying upright.  I was hopeful that the sun would improve conditions in the canyon, but it was apparent that it would be a fine line between too much and too little.  I hit the canyon rim (SE) at 8:15 and was amazed at the abundance of point releases, seeing at least 20 from my vantage point. Several can be seen in the first image, but the NW aspect from where I was standing was clean, and the underlying snow was solid, giving me confidence that stability would be good, at least for a while.   The first descent into the canyon was the best, as the snow was at the perfect stage of corniness.  i skied 700' down to a line of cliff bands, and traversed left until I could find an open line to the canyon bottom, another 150' down.  At this point I crossed the river on a bridged area and started my climb up a feature I call the nose(2nd picture).  As this is a SE aspect it was receiving full sun, and the mush factor was in play.  This is a pitch that I have never witnessed instability on, as it has no cornice, or other trigger points associated with it, just a smooth 35ish pitch top to bottom,  but I hurried the ~700' to the top, pulled skins and descended quickly, as I didn't want to be the trigger.  It skied very well although the snow was beginning to over soften on this aspect, and it was just past 9am!.  I set a track line back up the first pitch (right side of the 3rd picture) I had skied and decided to lap it one more time as it was still holding up pretty well.  But similar to the Nose this NW aspect was also over softening.  I think that the heat collection in the canyon was building up, and even though there was only low angle sun on it it was collecting reflected energy from the rest of the canyon.  In spite of the softness it skied well, but I had to cut my line about 1/3 of the way down as I triggered a small release, but changing line got me in the clear, and I finished the line to the bottom. 


* IMG_0764.JPG (70.32 KB, 800x600 - viewed 781 times.)

* IMG_0774.JPG (30.88 KB, 450x600 - viewed 785 times.)

* IMG_0775.JPG (60.77 KB, 800x600 - viewed 797 times.)
« Last Edit: 12/19/10, 06:07 AM by rong » Logged
Ritalin Kid
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Posts: 115


Re: 5-16-10 Mt Hood, Slaying the Zig Zag
« Reply #1 on: 05/16/10, 09:32 PM »

Very nice pics!
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OldHouseMan
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Posts: 259


Re: 5-16-10 Mt Hood, Slaying the Zig Zag
« Reply #2 on: 05/16/10, 10:24 PM »

The terrain in Zig Zag Canyon is very interesting and unbelievably easy to access from Timberline.

Nice pics.
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Snowolf
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Posts: 91


Re: 5-16-10 Mt Hood, Slaying the Zig Zag
« Reply #3 on: 06/06/10, 12:31 AM »

Nice TR. I love Zig Zag!. I see you skied way down low. Just curious as to your route back. Was it just a slop up the steep canyon wall?
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