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| | |-+  August 12, 2010 Elk Mountain, ONP
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Author Topic: August 12, 2010 Elk Mountain, ONP  (Read 2336 times)

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August 12, 2010 Elk Mountain, ONP
« on: 08/16/10, 12:18 AM »

Hiker tells skier,
Who is trudging up the ridge,
"There's no snow up there!"

Sorry I didn't get this up before the weekend.
When does a chute become a patch?   Huh  The great summer conditions and recent TRs from the Olympics locals got me thinking that Obstruction Point would make a good solo tour.  I had the conversation captured above only 100' from the lot at the end of the Obstruction Point road.  Exciting drive! Can't believe I've lived here 21 years and never been all the way out.
With Gary Holmquist's excellent photos and info, I went looking for the "western chutes" of Elk Mountain.  1-1/2 miles and just over 400' feet of simple walking got me to the remnants, which turned out to be 530' of typical killer summer corn.  There were many hikers for a weekday, but as soon as I dropped over to the N. side I was alone in the world.  It was clear that the Oly TAYers had gone past the first bench last week, but the lower slopes weren't worth the carry or the joys of risking stream-collapse. This was the last moderate temperature day before the heat wave.  I got 2 laps, and was glad I had axe and whippet for the booting. 
On the second climb I witnessed an interesting event:  a rushing noise got me looking around for planes or even a running stream, and
saw the left side of a snowfield 150' away collapse and break into slushy blocks and bouncing pinwheels, the biggest of which went hundreds of feet and could have knocked someone flying.  So that's where the snow goes in August!
I hiked Obstruction Peak before leaving, and stopped a lot on the way out to peek at peaks, snow lines and A-frames.  I'm probably not giving away too much of a stash to say that you could ski within 1-200 meters from the  car for another week or two.  Farther E. out Elk there are some barely continuous lines still, but not for long.
Fine, fine day.  I hope the HR road gets opened on weekdays, for there is much adventure to be had out there.

Look for vantage points
Rest while buckling the boots
Carve, unweight and carve

« Last Edit: 08/16/10, 12:44 AM by telemack » Logged

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