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| |-+  March 2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  March 23, 2012 - Shuksan - NW Couloir
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Author Topic: March 23, 2012 - Shuksan - NW Couloir  (Read 3426 times)
Tundra X

Posts: 36

March 23, 2012 - Shuksan - NW Couloir
« on: 03/23/12, 09:50 PM »

Having ones head in the snow for a bunch of days in a row can actually pay off.

Easy travel through the White Salmon valley (no massive debris piles) and mostly easy skinning up the White Salmon, Upper Curtis and Hanging Glaciers. Biggest hassel is surmounting an old crown face most of the way up the White Salmon. One crevasse higher made me dig out the probe to really see what was going on down there and find a decent bridge.

Mostly right side up pow with shallow and shortlived pockets of wind slab throughout the terrain. No pits but ski pole tests and hand shears produced nothing that made us want to dig deeper - if we were concerned with deeper instabilites we wouldn't have been up there in the first place. Minor sluffing in the NW Couloir, just enough to take your feet out from underneath you if not careful.

Total pow from 8400' feet at the N Shoulder to 2800' at the tree line in the valley bottom. A few sections of ice under the pow to remind you your're still on Shuksan, but nothing serious.

Very dramatic ice fall from upper climbers left side of Hanging Glacier while we were midway up the White Salmon. Big powder cloud filled the upper portion of the valley but little debris to speak of.

Should be good the next two days - go get it. All the lines on Shuksan are fat and filled in.

More pics/video after done skiing this weekend at

* IMG_0096_1_3_1.JPG (141.39 KB, 600x800 - viewed 1812 times.)
« Last Edit: 03/26/12, 11:37 AM by lazzara » Logged

Posts: 323

Re: March 23, 2012 - Shuksan - NW Couloir
« Reply #1 on: 03/25/12, 09:48 AM »

Nice one Lee!

Lytt til erfarne fjellfolk!

Posts: 201

Re: March 23, 2012 - Shuksan - NW Couloir
« Reply #2 on: 03/25/12, 09:52 AM »

Thanks for the uptrack. We followed it to crown face, above which it was mostly blown over/away!

We also had a great day! Powder and steeps!

We were the first ones (left the car at 8:30 or so) but there were at least 15 people headed out towards Shuksan. They were always in the distance though so I'm not sure where they all skied...

I thought it would be cloudy today, should be skiing right now... oh well, chores are backed up and it's going to get snowy again so I'll survive.

Lynden Don

Posts: 111

Re: March 23, 2012 - Shuksan - NW Couloir
« Reply #3 on: 03/25/12, 11:09 PM »

I was up on the 24th scouting a new up track up the arm for a different approach to Lake Ann.  I saw your up track and man was it tempting to go play over there.  However I was solo and got a late start so I stayed with my original plan. 


If you're not falling down you're not skiing enough.
Tundra X

Posts: 36

Re: March 23, 2012 - Shuksan - NW Couloir
« Reply #4 on: 03/26/12, 11:36 AM »

Sounds like Shuksan got a ton of traffic over the weekend, even after the ski area heli-bombing mission kept folks out of the White Salmon valley until 9am or so Saturday (they were dropping shots on the Arm).

Sounds like many different lines skied including another descent of the Hanging Glacier Headwall and a a first descent somewhere else.

Pics and vid on blog, if you're into that kind of thing . . .

Posts: 113

Re: March 23, 2012 - Shuksan - NW Couloir
« Reply #5 on: 03/29/12, 01:56 PM »

nice job on a beautiful line, lee!

you must have been the one that my party talked to in the white salmon lot on saturday morning while we were waiting for baker to let us onto the mountain.

a couple skiers got by somehow, they got to the couloir way ahead of us.  one from our party made it through the crux, barely.  the traverse was all pretty much ice at that point so the rest of us climbed back out...  it was a little disappointing, but still an exciting and fun first day on shuksan for me!

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