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| |-+  May 2011 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 1, 2011: Mt Garfield NW Side
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Author Topic: May 1, 2011: Mt Garfield NW Side  (Read 2108 times)

Posts: 116

May 1, 2011: Mt Garfield NW Side
« on: 05/01/11, 11:22 PM »

Today I skied a chute off the NW side of Mt. Garfield 374 Feet from the summit. My original plan was to ski the NW Face off the summit but it was too late in the day and the slope was spitting snow off as the day warmed.† This trip should be done in March rather than May because of snow conditions and accessing the area.

I havenít skied since my friend and ski partner Monika Johnson died on February 1st this year. I was also out skiing solo just two ridges that day.† I normally didnít have Tuesdays off so we didnít connect.

A couple of years ago Monika and I attempted this route but the bush whacking was so bad we turned around well before we got to any snow. Timing on this one seems to be key to keep the suffering down. Too early and you will be skiing the road for miles and miles. Too late and you get what I got today.

I parked my car at the Otter Falls Trail head at an elevation of 1177 ft. I put my boots on my feet and skis on my back and immediately started to bush whack my way up the south side of the Taylor River.† It stays relatively flat for the first mile until you cross the second stream. It took me an hour of dealing with downed trees, boulders, slide alder and devils club to get there. I think someone needs to come up with folding skis or I am going to use snow blades mounted with Dynafits on my next attempt.

Once I crossed the second creek I started up a rib through some second growth forest so the going wasnít too bad. After a bit of talus and more slide alder I eventually hit some snow that I could skin on at about 2,200 ft. From there I made my way up to the base of my objective. It was simply too late the try and ascend the slope in the condition it was when I got there. I was bummed after all that work but decided that the chute might grant me access up there.

I was able to skin about Ĺ the chute before booting up. Once at the top I discovered that there was no way I was making the summit today. So I topped out at 5,145ft I snapped a few shots and put my skis on and I realized I havenít skied anything in 3 months. I got a little nervous but after the first turn I knew all was good and could open it up a bit. The chute skied great because it was shaded but the 2,500 ft below it skied mushy.

I made it back to my transition spot in no time and put the skis back on my back and walked out. It took me seven hours car to car. It is a little over 5 miles round trip and just under 4k of elevation.†

Same TR with pictures here:

Posts: 506

Re: May 1, 2011: Mt Garfield NW Side
« Reply #1 on: 05/02/11, 09:44 AM »

Glad you're able to get back out there. 

So is this the solution to the middle fork puzzle?  The pics of the upper mountain look pretty nice.  Way to go!

chill people, skiing is fun

Posts: 362

Re: May 1, 2011: Mt Garfield NW Side
« Reply #2 on: 05/02/11, 10:07 AM »

Glad you got that Dave, and glad you're back on snow. Nice job.

Posts: 198

Re: May 1, 2011: Mt Garfield NW Side
« Reply #3 on: 05/02/11, 10:35 AM »

Nice Dave! I was just looking at that on the map 4 or 5 days ago thinking about your bushwhack story. Glad you got some skiing in this time.

Posts: 538

Re: May 1, 2011: Mt Garfield NW Side
« Reply #4 on: 05/02/11, 05:51 PM »

Thanks for a good mid fork report. I am hoping to get in there soon for some more folly so it was nice to see the snow level reported. I messed around on a couple of smaller chute on the other side side of Garfield from the green ridge lake trail but none of them looked as nice as that one.

Posts: 605

Re: May 1, 2011: Mt Garfield NW Side
« Reply #5 on: 05/02/11, 06:54 PM »

Nice everything (accept the approach..).  Beautiful pics!
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