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| | |-+  May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
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Author Topic: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart  (Read 6630 times)
snow_crystal
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May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« on: 05/09/11, 09:57 AM »

The Cascadian Couloir is PERFECT right now; get it while the gettin’s good. The snow is melting fast.

Victor borrowed a high clearance vehicle from Jake the Brit, which incidentally came equipped with a six pack of lemon marionberry muffins, thanks Jake. We were planning to approach via Beverly Creek but when we reached the turn off to Beverly Creek trailhead the road was snow free so we kept driving until about 3.5 miles before the Esmeralda Basin trailhead, making an approach via Longs Pass feasible. High clearance is definitely needed. When we parked the car at 11:00ish it was raining hard and we contemplated eating the six pack of muffins, listening to 5 hrs and 17 mins of a Wrinkle in Time on cd, and starting a one day ascent at midnight instead. But we waited an hour and the rain stopped momentarily so we went for it; it never rained on us again for the rest of the weekend.

We skinned the 3.5 miles on the road having to portage the skis for only one dirt patch but the road is melting fast. We had to carry our skis across several dirt patches on the way out Sunday. About 1.5 miles before the EB trailhead there’s a large slide that will be slow to melt.

Skinning up to Longs Pass was uneventful. Longs Pass is heavily corniced but there’s an obvious break to drop through. Snow coverage was great all the way down to Ingals creek and back up the other side to the base of the Cascadian where we camped. We left camp at 5:30 am and had perfect cramponing under clear skies all the way to the false summit, which we reached at 9:30. The last 200 ft or so was icy with a little dust on top and some clouds had moved in, so we waited at the false summit for the snow to soften and the visibility to increase.

At noon, we put on our skis and started down quickly realizing that we had waited just the right amount of time. The snow was perfect corn!  Grin We reveled in a FANTASTIC 4000 ft corn run all the way back to our camp! This really has to be one of the best ski descents in the Cascades!

We followed our tracks back to Longs Pass. We were a little worried that getting back up Longs Pass would require deep post-holing but we were able to skin all the way up. Although skinning up the north side of Longs Pass in the afternoon under the cornice was a little nerve racking. We skied another 500 ft or so of good corn and then the snow started to get heavy in the trees.

The only instability we experienced was a few slow wet sloughs in the trees on the way down to Ingals creek late Saturday afternoon.   


* Cascadian_line.jpg (178.67 KB, 1000x663 - viewed 1701 times.)

* Cascadian_034_1.jpg (117.27 KB, 640x425 - viewed 1674 times.)

* Cascadian_042.jpg (136.33 KB, 1000x664 - viewed 1669 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/09/11, 04:04 PM by snow_crystal » Logged
Good2Go
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #1 on: 05/09/11, 10:43 AM »

Nice report.  Coming back from climbing at Vantage on Sat it looked like the mountain was shrouded in clouds.  Great to hear you had good conditions.  Did you see any trace of our tracks from the previous weekend? 
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Pete A
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #2 on: 05/09/11, 11:30 AM »

nice job!   if one didn't have access to a high-clearance car (just a subaru)...any idea how close you could get to the trailhead before you'd have to head up on foot?   
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Lisa
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #3 on: 05/09/11, 11:36 AM »

Glad you guys finally got it Crystal!  Cool  As you know it had eluded Victor and I twice when we attempted it in previous years only to awake to rain or find ourselves at Long's Pass looking at a half melted out route.  I know how much he wanted it.  Glad you had fabulous conditions to boot.

Looking forward to the photos.  I so wish I could have joined you guys.  Oh and Jake, what a good friend you are to trade your high clearance vehicle for Victors Beamer.  What a trade, hope you put some miles on his car.  Grin
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snow_crystal
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #4 on: 05/09/11, 12:43 PM »

Good2Go, we saw very little evidence of your trip, maybe just a little bit of a skin track in the trees below the couloir I think.

Pete A, It's hard to say how far you could get without high clearence. There isn't one obvious bad spot but rather several washouts along the Teanaway road strating pretty early on.  The high clearence also allowed us to continue past the turn off to Beverly creek because we drove through some snow, but that snow should be melted soon.

Maybe Victor can answer better since he was driving.
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Good2Go
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #5 on: 05/09/11, 01:07 PM »

Crystal - That's surprising, as we kicked steps up the top part of the false summit headwall (but skied Ulrich's instead).  We also had pow turns down from Long's.  Gotta love the refresh aspect of the recent weather cycle! 

Pete - Two Subarus made it past all of the washouts on the road when we were out there weekend before last.  A car-to-car strategy should be no problem for a fit party right now.
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jwplotz
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #6 on: 05/09/11, 03:10 PM »

A car-to-car strategy should be no problem for a fit party right now.

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dahu
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #7 on: 05/09/11, 03:12 PM »

Un superbe weekend en montagne!  Here is the link to the pictures:

https://picasaweb.google.com/victormesny/CascadianCouloirStuart#


* Cascadian_016.jpg (57.03 KB, 1000x360 - viewed 1700 times.)

* Cascadian_037.jpg (130.36 KB, 1000x666 - viewed 1752 times.)

* Cascadian_053.jpg (250.81 KB, 1000x666 - viewed 1705 times.)
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BeckyB
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #8 on: 05/09/11, 04:26 PM »

That looks fantastic!!  Well done!
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fresh
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #9 on: 05/09/11, 04:43 PM »

Looks like good conditions, and perfect timing getting in there before it melts out. Nice work, Crystal!

-Doug
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altasnob
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #10 on: 05/09/11, 07:33 PM »

Awesome! Ulrich's couloir still looks pretty filled in.
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dahu
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #11 on: 05/09/11, 08:42 PM »

Yes - all couloirs are open on South Stuart with good snow coverage, and on the North side even the Ice Cliff might still be in condition.  Issue could be the cornice as it seemed quite large and overhanging when we passed by its exit.  Have fun and be safe!  Smiley

Victor   
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Jake the Brit
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #12 on: 05/09/11, 09:12 PM »

This is ridiculous, even my car goes skiing more than I do these days.
The summit photo is peachy. Good work getting in there & up there.
« Last Edit: 05/09/11, 09:34 PM by Jake the Brit » Logged
alecapone
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #13 on: 05/11/11, 01:37 PM »

Much better then last winters ultra fast summit cuddle fest, eh?!?

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scott
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #14 on: 05/11/11, 09:51 PM »

No comparison Alecapone... and choosing your skiing partners is as important as selecting the routes...  Wink

I guess you are referring to 19-21 Feb Mt Stuart. Ice Cliff & Sherpa Glaciers

 
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snow_crystal
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Re: May 7-8, 2011, Cascadian Couloir, Stuart
« Reply #15 on: 05/12/11, 05:36 PM »

For the record, I had nothing to do with the "fast summit cuddle fest". In fact I think I advised against it.  Wink
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