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| | |-+  January 28, Tatoosh Range Glue Factory
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Author Topic: January 28, Tatoosh Range Glue Factory  (Read 1925 times)
andyrew
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Posts: 274


January 28, Tatoosh Range Glue Factory
« on: 01/28/12, 05:55 PM »

Unfortunately, Robie's warning about conditions was posted after we set our destination last night.  When we read it this morning, inertia triumphed over discretion, and we steamed vainly ahead towards the rocks of wind-hammered snow and rain crust.

Initially, conditions looked promising on the skin up towards the Castle-Pinnacle saddle: 3 or 4 inches of fluff on a denser base.   However once we entered the upper bowl it was apparent that the wind had not spared the Tatoosh.  It was not even 11AM when we skied wind buff between ribbons of ice, and decided to turn to port, and tack across the flats towards more protected skiing towards Denman.

However, in the hour between setting the skin track lower down, that beautiful fluff in protected glades had turned incredibly slow and grabby.  It felt like skiing on bad springtime pollen: point your skis down a good slope and move hardly faster than walking pace.  I had freshly waxed my boards, but snow still stuck to my skis in giant clods.  We took a circuitous route back to the car, completely baffled by how bad the snow had gotten in the course of an hour. 

I figured it had warmed above freezing, and the upper snowpack had water in it that was freezing when we sank through to the lower, colder substrate.  This seemed like a reasonable theory until I checked the telemetry, and saw that at Paradise, the same elevation as we were in the Tatoosh, it stayed below freezing until noon.  The winds were humid (RH =99%) though, so maybe the heat of condensation on the snowpack was enough to begin melting it.  Anyone else up at Rainier experience similar?  Very strange.  Some of the worst, weirdest soft snow conditions I've encountered.




 1-28-2012
    Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center
    Paradise, Mt Rainier National Park, Washington

     MM/DD  Hour  Temp    RH  Wind  Wind  Wind  Hour Total 24 Hr Total Solar
             PST     F     %   Avg   Max   Dir Prec. Prec.  Snow  Snow  W/m2
                 5400' 5400' 5380' 5380' 5380' 5400' 5400' 5400' 5400' 5400'
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      1 28  1700    34   100    20    34   269   .01   .01     0   121     4
      1 28  1600    34   100    19    25   269     0     0     0   122    19
      1 28  1500    33   100    19    27   269     0     0     0   122    40
      1 28  1400    33   100    17    23   269     0     0     0   122    61
      1 28  1300    33   100    18    26   267     0     0     0   122    89
      1 28  1200    31    99    18    28   266     0     0     1   122   141
      1 28  1100    31    98    17    26   265     0     0     2   122   154
      1 28  1000    27    97    12    18   274     0     0     0   122   119
      1 28   900    26    97    13    20   276     0     0     2   122    38
      1 28   800    23    96     9    16   286     0     0     0   122     2
      1 28   700    22    95     8    16   296     0     0     0   122     0
      1 28   600    20    95     9    15   281     0     0     0   123     0
      1 28   500    20    95     8    18   287     0     0     0   123     0
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lrudholm
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Posts: 374


Re: January 28, Tatoosh Range Glue Factory
« Reply #1 on: 01/28/12, 06:09 PM »

What temperature was your wax?
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Leyland
vogtski
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Posts: 756


Re: January 28, Tatoosh Range Glue Factory
« Reply #2 on: 01/28/12, 06:38 PM »

I've seen snow as gluey as today at Paradise, but can't recall it ever changing so much, so fast.  The morning's tolerable old powder on NW treed aspects at about 5K became almost non-kinetic in the time it took to skin up less than 500vf after the 3rd run.   Sad
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I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
andyrew
Member
Offline

Posts: 274


Re: January 28, Tatoosh Range Glue Factory
« Reply #3 on: 01/28/12, 07:55 PM »

What temperature was your wax?

Warm.  Pretty sure it wasn't the wax, since partners who hadn't waxed yet this season were just as bad off or worse.
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