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| |-+  December 2011 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  December 31, 2011 Stevens, Skyline, Nason CK & Pk
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Author Topic: December 31, 2011 Stevens, Skyline, Nason CK & Pk  (Read 1755 times)
GerryH
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December 31, 2011 Stevens, Skyline, Nason CK & Pk
« on: 12/31/11, 11:52 PM »

Arrived at Stevens Pass to clearing skis, no wind, shortly after 8:00 AM.  Skimac, DaveS and I toured up and past Skyline Lk to the saddle.  We were amazed to find minimal evidence of any wind effect (minor surface texturing), despite the previous evenings telemetry indicating strong average and gusts to 60 mph +.  And even more surprising, the 24 to 30" of new snow was unsettled yet, unconsolidated, and well bonded to the underlying crust and denser snow.  Our several hasty pits, a multitude of snow punching and penetrating yielded nothing to concern all the way to the saddle.  We ran into a fine group from Leavenworth heading to Moonlite Basin.  Big smiles of anticipation on all.
So we dropped over and  into the Nason Ck drainage, experiencing great skiing.  The boulders, small cliffs and down trees in the drainage were pretty well filled in. 
We then toured to the northwest, up to the ridge and to Pk 5476.  Even on the last exposed 3-400 ft of the ridge little wind effect were noted.  Small wind drifts, or exposed crust that couldn't keep new snow.  After a quick bite on top, marveling at the great views, largely clear skis with no winds, temps in the low 20's, the 10 or so people that had collected on the summit bailed off, both ways!  Not only was it stable on the east facing slope back down into the Nason Ck drainage, but stable & sweet skiing directly west off the top down to Tye Lake - which several folks took ala a Valdez couloir start.  We dropped back down to Nason Ck, whooping and swooping down and across the more open upper slopes and into the well spaced trees, to the bench,  as powder contrails drifted behind.  Then back up and out to Skyline, and down the well traveled uptrack, with the usual snowplay sliders and tubers arrayed along the trail the final 2-300m to the parking lot.  Back to the car at 2:18.  What a fine day.  Sorry, no pictures.  Gerry
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Zap
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Posts: 2345


Re: December 31, 2011 Stevens, Skyline, Nason CK & Pk
« Reply #1 on: 01/01/12, 07:29 AM »

Great tour. I assume you and Mac allowed young Dave to break trail in those new light skis with the unique bases.  Wink
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