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| |-+  January 2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  January 15, 2012, Crystal area, Norse Peak
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Author Topic: January 15, 2012, Crystal area, Norse Peak  (Read 1958 times)
patrick
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January 15, 2012, Crystal area, Norse Peak
« on: 01/15/12, 09:06 PM »

After a long, traffic-choked drive, we climbed east from the Crystal parking lot around 10am.  Gained the ridge on an established skin track.  Maybe an average of 8" fluff over crust.  We did 5 small laps on N through E facing slopes, finding generally stable snow.  For the most part, lee slopes seemed stable: they had plenty of powder, some wind-transported, but not slabby or at all cohesive.  We saw no debris from natural slides, and our travels didn't reveal any weaknesses.  One exception: we triggered a tiny wind slab right at the top of a NE face.  Very non-threatening, but it did establish that cohesive slabs exist in places.  Also, one caveat: we stayed on fairly low angle slopes.  Maybe 30 degrees plus or minus.  So loose slides weren't a problem, though I could imagine the powder sliding on the crust on a steeper and deeper slope. 
And of course it all skied nicely, with crust only occasionally evident underneath. 
A cold day with very little sun, so not much consolidation due to heating.  In dry spells in the early afternoon small amounts of hoar (.3") developed and were quickly buried as snow returned.  There were two distinct but small hoar layers in the top inch of the snowpack when we finished at 4pm. 
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