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| |-+  July 2010 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  July15, 2010, Russell Glacier
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Author Topic: July15, 2010, Russell Glacier  (Read 1856 times)

Posts: 14

July15, 2010, Russell Glacier
« on: 07/15/10, 09:11 PM »

An early start beat some of the heat. The trail is snow free to Spray Park. A good freeze made thing very firm early. We made it up to 9400' on the Russell Glacier before hitting our turnaround time of 12:30 so we could get back to town. The snow on the glacier is still very smooth and the steeper pitches were excellent. Flatter aspects got too mushy in with the heat.

We had to by-pass the headwall on the Flett due to time constraints and cut onto the lower section which was a bit sticky. Met another TAYer heading up as we came down the Flett. I wonder how the snow held up?

Still able to 'mostly ski' down to 5300' with only a few walks, soon there will be a lot of walking as its melting fast in Spray Park.

Should be excellent this weekend with cooler temps. Get it while it lasts!

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Posts: 634

Re: July15, 2010, Russell Glacier
« Reply #1 on: 07/16/10, 12:14 PM »

I was the solo skier you met (hi!)

I also didn't get any higher than the 9400 point. Too tired and too late in the day. The sun hadn't been doing the snowpack any favors.

Like Amar, I've been up on Flett Russell a lot in the last decade or two. Unlike Amar I don't think yesterday's trip was necessarily the best ever. (I have been to that 10K ridgecrest and high part of headwall that Amar's report notes, and both times it was definitely the ski of that upper part of headwall that made it memorable.)

The snow above 9K was different than that below - more grainy, some dirt content. Below, cleaner and smooth so you'd think better, but was fairly sticky. Preferred the higher snow. Wished I did have time/energy to get to 10K. With the sticky snow, somehow the off fall line character of this run was a little bit more of a negative than I remember from other trips too.

Magic carpet snow ribbon from Cateye into Park still goes but has two short disconnects, both at points near stream crossings.

Sticky snow aside, being up there that late had a few advantages:
* The light. Being up on the snow after about 5PM everything just looks prettier under the angled-in light than in the glare of midday.

* Ice worm party! Had not ever seen these on Russell or Flett before. On the way up I did not see them at all; on the way down (5:30 PM?) they had emerged in great numbers on the lower Russell near the cross to Flett (would estimate 100 per meter square). Weird beasts, how they have that one window of time in the evening when they pop out to the surface.
* Front row seat for watching party of 5 descend Edmunds Headwall, around 3:30. Seriously bad ass, especially watching the pair who chose to end run the schrund rather than go into an adjacent gully. I'd also seen them ascend, tiny dots on the slope as seen from Eagle Cliff stretch of the SP trail in.
Find the skiers!
« Last Edit: 07/16/10, 09:01 PM by wolfs » Logged

Posts: 1722

Re: July15, 2010, Russell Glacier
« Reply #2 on: 07/16/10, 01:57 PM »

watching party of 5 descend Edmunds Headwall, around 3:30. Seriously bad ass

We met them in the parking lot---sure hope they do a TR!

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
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