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| |-+  December 2011 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  December 3-4, 2011, Winchester and Goat Mtns.
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Author Topic: December 3-4, 2011, Winchester and Goat Mtns.  (Read 4597 times)
andybrnr
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Posts: 92


December 3-4, 2011, Winchester and Goat Mtns.
« on: 12/05/11, 07:41 PM »

Left SEA with gmark around 0500 on Saturday morning to check out the Winchester lookout. Mark got his Subie 2 miles up the road without chains, which shortened the slog in. Passed quite a few pockets of nice snow along the road on the way up to Twin Lakes, which raised our hopes for the skiing quality. Followed a few day old skintrack half way up the SE face of Winchester and booted the rest of the way up to the fire lookout. Spent the afternoon mainly soaking in the lovely view, though made a brief sortie down the NW/N aspect to recon the route over towards Larrabee. While the SE aspect we had ascended up to the lookout held very nice powder over a firm crust, all other aspects we encountered were severely wind scoured/iced/crusted. Based on the conditions, and the not-entirely-filled cliff bands on Larrabee, we spent the evening contemplating a change of objective, and decided on Goat Mountain as a more conservative option given the conditions.

As we settled in for the evening, two other skiers showed up for the night, and it was nice to have some company. They headed out for their objective at 0500 the next morning with the wind gusting quite a bit more than forecast (thanks for prepping our snowmelt, btw!), while we chose to be lazy and wait for dawn. Since we'd binned the plans for Larrabee, we packed everything up and headed for Goat. While the first 50ft of descent on icy crust gave us pause, the remainder of the ski down to Twin Lakes was fantastic, with 8" of medium density powder providing for lovely turns. Skiing the road down, we dropped across the drainage to join the uptrack of those who had joined us the night before, picking our way up the Swamp Creek gulley towards the saddle of Goat. I was incredibly glad to have brought ski crampons, as they added much confidence when sidehilling and ascending the crusty and variable conditions we found, even more so with 105mm under foot. We arrived up at the saddle between the two peaks of Goat Mountain before noon, and I decided to take a few turns on the SW face of the E Peak while Mark ate his lunch. He had the better idea, as what looked like good snow turned out to be pockets of 1" deep heavy powder over a thick ice crust, which made for an entertaining skin and boot back up to the saddle (did I mention I was glad to have brought ski crampons?). We decided to call it a day and head for the car, with variable conditions on the run down Goat and into Swamp Creek drainage. The road ski out was pretty quick, and we were back at the car before 1430. Fantastic scenery, good company, and at least one pitch of fine skiing made for a great weekend.


* tay_winchester1.jpg (203.23 KB, 600x800 - viewed 1306 times.)

* tay_winchester2.jpg (108.14 KB, 800x600 - viewed 1339 times.)

* tay_winchester3.jpg (159.54 KB, 600x800 - viewed 1308 times.)
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gmark
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Posts: 6


Re: December 3-4, 2011, Winchester and Goat Mtns.
« Reply #1 on: 12/05/11, 08:34 PM »

Here are a few more pics of Winchester, Larrabee, and Baker:


* P1160271csmall.jpg (166.29 KB, 941x722 - viewed 1294 times.)

* P1160274csmall.jpg (74.76 KB, 922x559 - viewed 1248 times.)

* P1160305csmall.jpg (128.15 KB, 638x447 - viewed 1257 times.)
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VerticallyInclined
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Posts: 67


Re: December 3-4, 2011, Winchester and Goat Mtns.
« Reply #2 on: 12/05/11, 08:41 PM »

Awesome photos Andy! 
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trees4me
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Posts: 506


Re: December 3-4, 2011, Winchester and Goat Mtns.
« Reply #3 on: 12/06/11, 09:45 AM »

The Larrabee shot is fantastic

How many does the lookout hold comfortably?  Looks like a great base for the weekend!
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chill people, skiing is fun
Ldawson
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Posts: 16


WWW
Re: December 3-4, 2011, Winchester and Goat Mtns.
« Reply #4 on: 12/06/11, 01:28 PM »

Nice pictures. Cool to meet you guys up there. We headed over towards Tomyhoi, had a mellow day exploring. The views were amazing, even if the snow wasn't. Thanks for lending us your stove!
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andybrnr
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Posts: 92


Re: December 3-4, 2011, Winchester and Goat Mtns.
« Reply #5 on: 12/06/11, 02:42 PM »

Hey Louie, no prob, was nice to meet you guys, too. Glad I topped my fuel off before leaving home; pasta and instant potatoes are really much better when they're cooked.
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Atraslin
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Posts: 155


Re: December 3-4, 2011, Winchester and Goat Mtns.
« Reply #6 on: 12/06/11, 08:23 PM »

Cool shots of Larrabe.Looks like a fun ski.
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