telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
www.turns-all-year.com
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
05/19/19, 07:24 PM

Become a TAY Sponsor!
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
 
FOAC Snow
Info Exchange


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  January 2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Jan. 23, 2012, Snoqualmie Pass, Phantom Cliff Out
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: Jan. 23, 2012, Snoqualmie Pass, Phantom Cliff Out  (Read 3173 times)
andybrnr
5Member
Offline

Posts: 92


Jan. 23, 2012, Snoqualmie Pass, Phantom Cliff Out
« on: 01/23/12, 01:56 PM »

After a fantastic day of touring around Steven's Pass on Sunday, the promise of fresh, fluffy powder had me looking for partners with a dawn patrol in mind. I coerced GMark into coming along with the promise that we'd get a quick lap or two on the Phantom in and be back for class at UW by 0900. After an 0315 wake up, we were on our way by 0400 and made it to the pass from Fremont by 0515, and departed the lower Alpental lot by 0530. Fresh powder and darkness largely concealed the usual skin track in the trees looker's left of the Phantom, and numerous downtracks criss-crossing the ascent route confused the issue. Apologies to anyone who follows our skin track up, as while it comprises parts of the usual route, I'm pretty sure I incorporated a few sections of downtrack that left something to be desired for uphill efficiency.

Combination of routefinding issues and trail-breaking meant a relatively slow climb and top out below the upper ridges of Mt. Snoqualmie around 0700. Plan was to check the slope for stability and ski the right edge of the Phantom down, with a duck back into the trees if anything moved. Several ski cuts produced only surface sloughing of the top 2" of powder, so we leap-frogged down the right edge of the upper glades in faint pre-dawn light. 8-12" of light new powder over denser, supportable base skied like a dream. Unfortunately, I forgot the discontinuity between the border of the upper glades and the lower slide path, and following the edge of the trees shifted our descent line ~75m skier's left of the open slopes of the Phantom. In short order, we found ourselves snarled in the cliff band that lies ~100m over from the left edge of the Phantom... initially, we thought we could follow the gully out between cliffs, as I had seen a snow deposit bridging them in one or two spots, but this merely served to seduce us lower, where we became quite convinced that getting down without a rope was not happening. With morning light and clearing skies yielding beautiful views of Chair Peak, Alpental, and the rest of the valley, we struggled to skin and boot our way back up our line of descent, finally extracting ourselves and traversing into the left edge of the Phantom two hours and change after halting our descent. Powder turns in the bottom of the Phantom were partial solace, and we were down to the car in short order, albeit two and a half hours beyond our desired departure time.

Mentally debriefing this, I recognize that while I had an inkling about halfway down that we weren't quite where we should be, I continued in the hopes of finding a familiar landmark or thinking we could pick our way out. In retrospect, taking a minute to look at google maps on my phone would have shown the error before correcting it necessitated a great deal of extra work in exposed terrain. When in doubt, check the map/gps/stop and think. For the SW slopes of Mt. Snoqualmie, if I were to err in any direction, skier's right would be infinitely better, as it merely yields a steep tree run, and we would encounter our uptrack, anyway... left yields cliffs. Wanting to get down quick to get back to the car and return to Seattle for class contributed to a mindset that didn't encourage careful assessment of the situation, and a false sense of familiarity with the terrain meant I had done less route prep than was clearly required, including carefully reviewing the topo and sat photos to clarify the route in my mind ahead of time. Internalizing these lessons will hopefully decrease the odds of a similar screw-up in the future.

Approximate route for our "adventure" tour: http://www.hillmap.com/m/agtzbG9wZW1hcHBlcnIQCxIIU2F2ZWRNYXAYucMODA



* day_breaks.jpg (161.85 KB, 700x524 - viewed 1382 times.)

* mark_reskinning.jpg (169.52 KB, 524x700 - viewed 1372 times.)

* chair_pk_from_phantom.jpg (207.27 KB, 525x700 - viewed 1401 times.)
« Last Edit: 01/23/12, 03:11 PM by andybrnr » Logged
RonL
Member
Offline

Posts: 536


Re: Jan. 23, 2012, Snoqualmie Pass, Phantom Cliff Out
« Reply #1 on: 01/23/12, 05:51 PM »

I have had to re-learn that lesson on the cliff band there a couple of times now. Good choice to climb back up and over. I am sure there are some ways to survive that cliff band but from below it looks like there are a lot of other possibilities as well.
Logged
TBill
5Member
Offline

Posts: 39


WWW
Re: Jan. 23, 2012, Snoqualmie Pass, Phantom Cliff Out
« Reply #2 on: 01/23/12, 09:13 PM »

Thanks for the first half uptrack Andy!
Suncrust has formed on exposed slopes.


=tahoma


=lemah, chikamin, stuart


=Glacier


=Guye


=back up for seconds


Logged
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Contact turns-all-year.com

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.