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Author Topic: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade  (Read 4608 times)
Marcus
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5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« on: 05/30/11, 09:47 PM »

Back in the saddle.  This was my first real tour since the Phantom avy in April and it came together with a burst of "let's just do SOMETHING" from Anastasia.  Our original weekend plans of a two day climb/ski of Big Snow had been skunked by the crappy weather forecast -- Stuart seems to have been the correct choice if you wanted to use your sunglasses for something other than tree branch protection this weekend -- so we decided to see if we could condense it into a single day, despite lingering sore throats and lung issues.

Well, turns out Big Snow is a long way in.



We left Seattle at 5 a.m. and started uphill from the Dingford Creek trailhead at 7:30 in our light hikers.  The first couple of miles of trail went quickly, until we ran into some enormous blowdown which ate a ton of time.  It also put us off of the summer trail, which is definitely the most "shenanigan free" way of getting through those woods.  We switched out of our boots a few hundred meters after finding the trail again and left them -- thoroughly soaked from punching through the rotten snow -- waiting for us on a tree branch. 



The going was a bit easier from there, but still tedious with lots of stream crossings.  It was like a stream crossing clinic.  SC101.  There's still a ton of snow up there, but we walked for probably 4 miles before we finally put on our skis.

After that, travel was much smoother (except for the, no kidding, four streams we had to cross not two minutes after finally putting our skins on).  We had thus far been socked in clouds the entire day and that, combined with the slow travel on the approach, did not make it appealing to try to get up the mist-wrapped flanks of Big Snow.
 

Towing me uphill

We made it to Myrtle Lake and decided to use the rest of the time before our 2 p.m. turnaround to get actual, fall line elevation gain, scraping together a little skiing to complement our long traverse along the valley.  Four inches of newish mushy snow in the more open spots and firm bumpy corn in the trees made for enough of a reward and, after a lunch break and a little snow melting, we squeezed the lemons of Myrtle and drank our brief lemonade, before skidding, side-stepping, splashing, leaping and ultimately hiking our way back out.


Leap of faith

It was a fantastic day and a wonderful return to skiing -- I owe the motivation for it, as usual, to Anastasia.


Fully geared up for tree protection


Sleepy puppy
« Last Edit: 05/30/11, 10:00 PM by Marcus » Logged
Zap
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #1 on: 05/30/11, 11:24 PM »

Glad to see that you and Anastasia were on snow again.  You guys are in great shape.  That was quite the approach - true dedication.  Smiley
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trees4me
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #2 on: 05/31/11, 09:50 AM »

Way to get back out there, sounds a bit brutal but fun!
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chill people, skiing is fun
Joedabaker
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #3 on: 05/31/11, 10:38 AM »

E gad... good to see that you are slowly breaking in. Roll Eyes
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Marcus
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #4 on: 05/31/11, 10:41 AM »

Thanks y'all... heh.  Go Big or Go Home, right Joe?
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Joedabaker
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #5 on: 05/31/11, 12:56 PM »

Yeah the picture of the down trees would have gotten me stoked for getting firewood, probably not skiing.  Wink
I think your pooch says it all in the picture.
Where's the machete?
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Marcus
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #6 on: 05/31/11, 12:59 PM »

She was a total trooper and had a blast -- kept up with me full-tilt-boogie going down, barking all the way, but she was pretty wiped by the end.
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blitz
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #7 on: 05/31/11, 01:52 PM »

gee marcus, your backpack looks like it is full of all kinds of stuff, a regular mary poppins tote Cheesy. welcome back!
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alisa
RonL
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #8 on: 05/31/11, 06:06 PM »

Great effort. I have a similar fail on almost the same route a few weeks back. I crossed the creek much earlier and head up slope to enter the NW Col which offered more vert than continuing to Myrtle tho more of a traverse. I miscalculated the time of the approach in almost the same way and had to call it before heading up for the summit. The mid fork is a character builder.
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Marcus
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #9 on: 05/31/11, 06:16 PM »

Good to know it's not just us!  We were planning on crossing earlier but ended up going to Myrtle when we realized that weather/time wasn't on our side this time -- we just wanted to get to a known geographic location Smiley 

Blitz, we had a full kit -- we would've been pretty cozy if we'd had to bivy, with our stove, big puffies, bivy sack and two tarps.  Figured it was a good day to take a little extra insurance.  It's all training weight anyway, right?
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Splitter
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #10 on: 05/31/11, 07:11 PM »

Nice Marcus

With a little enthusiasm, all things are possible... eventually.

We attempted a quick slot trip and while the weather was fine (mostly filtered sun), we turned around when the upper slopes turned into a shooting gallery.  As we transitioned through the recent freezing level from last week, we first saw a slow wet slide started from warming rock.  We thought, no problem, stay well below the start zone and we have time to react.  As we rounded the corner, a fast wet slide exploded through some trees and covered our 3 minute old tracks.  Time to go.  Surprised that no one else has mentioned instability Sunday, was everything solid above Myrtle?
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Marcus
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #11 on: 05/31/11, 08:25 PM »

Everything was solid above Myrtle, but I may have oversold the "skiable terrain" we were in -- we mostly just climbed up through the trees to try to find something we could point downhill on and move without poling...
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Gary_H
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #12 on: 05/31/11, 08:28 PM »

Glad to see you back out in the mountains Marcus.

Looks like you had the best two partners a guy could ask for on a character building trip like this!  Wink

Gary
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There is no such thing as too much snow............... Doug Coombs
telemack
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #13 on: 05/31/11, 09:44 PM »

Way to go for the full-value sufferfest.   
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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
alecapone
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Re: 5/29, Myrtle Lake Lemonade
« Reply #14 on: 06/01/11, 08:23 AM »

welcome back Marcus!

Dogs don't like lemonade, but seem to love them type of condtions.

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scott
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