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Author Topic: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)  (Read 4548 times)
skykilo
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March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« on: 03/13/05, 12:35 PM »

Corey somehow managed to talk me out of a more reasonable trip that involved ultramarathon hiking distances.  

We cruised WaPass looking for action.  There were just too many people at Blue Lake trailhead; I started feeling claustrophobic.  Let's go look at Cutthroat.

Corey was open to my suggestion to park where one would to climb the South Buttress of Cutthroat.  There was a 2,000' gully that looked mighty tasty heading up Whistler Peak, just to looker's left of Cutthroat.

The gully was very scenic and would make a spectacular descent.  But by the time we topped it, it had lost its sun and would have amounted to skiing never-ending refrozen crust so we hopped over the col and skied down the basin toward Rainy Pass.  The snow was almost corn.

There was a west/southwest facing ridge leading to the summit of Whistler that was getting lots of late sun.  We agreed to make it a go.  The ridge was just getting soft.  I was able to skin a 40 degree gully to about 50 vertical feet below the summit.  It was fun to scramble up the 3rd class rock to the summit in my ski boots while waiting for Corey.  Well I didn't get the death slog I naturally desire, but at least I can bag a 7,790' peak even if all the snow in the state sucks!

We skied the gully in fun conditions.  Once again, not exactly, but close enough to corn.  We followed the line of descent and kept our gradient high while connecting patches of snow to the trees.  After only a small bit of hiking in the trees, we skinned the remainder of the nasty crust to the highway just below Rainy Pass.  A couple miles up the road toward WaPass, in the dark at the end of the day as always, to the jeep and some nice hot food and rum...
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Michael
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Re: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« Reply #1 on: 03/13/05, 05:46 PM »

Nice report! Any pictures?  Wink I think I know which line you guys climbed, looks very nice!
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curmudgeon
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Re: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« Reply #2 on: 03/14/05, 02:53 AM »

Makes me nervous, Sky, having you look at one of "my" chutes.  For the past three years I have been hoping to do that as soon as ther road was open, and for the last three years it had holes in it by the time access was easy.  I had pretty well decided that I would have to sled to it in early March  some year to get that sucker, but since this year had no March, I didn't even go look.  From Kam's photo, it looked like it has held more snow than I expected it would.

BTW -- it's called the "Whistler Glissade Gully". Early season climbers on Whistler commonly descend by that route.
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skykilo
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Re: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« Reply #3 on: 03/14/05, 03:56 AM »

Tim: I don't see it in any of Kam's photos.  Care to enlighten me?  Oh yeah, and which one's the glissade gully?  The one toward WaPass side, or the one toward Rainy Pass side?  I wouldn't want to glissade either one of them.  Those climber guys are badass.  

Michael: I'll have some photos, but not until I get my slides developed.  Maybe later this week.
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kam
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Re: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« Reply #4 on: 03/14/05, 04:18 AM »

Tim, you're probably referring to Chris's photo.  I think the couloir is to the right of Whistler Peak (left peak), starting at the saddle.
« Last Edit: 03/14/05, 04:20 AM by kam » Logged

What do you mean you didn't bring skis?
skykilo
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Re: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« Reply #5 on: 03/14/05, 04:24 AM »

Thanks Kam.  In that photo by Chris, the couloir is the obvious one headed to the col just to the right of Whistler, the peak furthest left.  Do people really glissade that?  I remember reading a story somewhere about Fred Beckey glissading stuff that was making people freak.

I hate glissading.  If I can glissade it, I should definitely have my skis.  And a wet ass is no fun.  And the incidence of cuts and bruises from glissading seems high.  What do you mean you didn't bring skis?

We skied off the summit (50 ft below) on the opposite side of the mountain.  
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kam
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Re: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« Reply #6 on: 03/14/05, 04:55 AM »

realistically, how steep can one glissade?  in addition to slope angle, i imagine snow condition is pretty important.  i once watched a friend try to glissade a benign chute off Mount Ramond in the Wasatch Range and lost control about 1/3-way down.  the angle must have been about 35-degrees.  at first he was sliding in control, but relatively fast, and then he slid over an icy patch and that was it.  he tumbled out of control, then to a stop after bounced over some rocks that were sticking out.  luckily he did not sustain any major injuries.  it scared him though, and me as well.  i down climbed.

Sky: was the snow in the couloir continuous?  in Chris's photo, a tree obstructs a portion of the lower 1/3.  we were looking at it during our evaluation of Cutthroat Peak from HWY20, but i can't remember if was.  just curious.
« Last Edit: 03/14/05, 04:55 AM by kam » Logged

What do you mean you didn't bring skis?
gregL
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Re: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« Reply #7 on: 03/14/05, 05:15 AM »

Quote
 in Chris's photo, a tree obstructs a portion of the lower 1/3.


That's the spot that looked unskiable last year (April 20th) with substantially more snow on the ground . . .

http://homepage.mac.com/mpobrien/bluelake5.jpg
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cascadesfreak
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Re: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« Reply #8 on: 03/14/05, 05:19 AM »

Quote
 Early season climbers on Whistler commonly descend by that route.

Dude, epic!  Grin  

Pretty cool lookin' chute; I recall scoping it from Hwy 20 last Sat. w/ Kam, but also now can't recall if the snow was continuous in the lower portion...it definitely looked tight in places (I recall seeing several bare sections on that chute last year when we viewed it from near the Blue Lake Trailhead on May 1st).
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skykilo
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Re: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« Reply #9 on: 03/14/05, 05:33 AM »

We climbed around a waterfall on some easy class 3 kinda rock for about 50 vertical feet very low in the thing.  Other than that it was all continuous.

Luckily the gully we skied to the SW/WSW off the summit was just as cool.  I got a picture from the road below Rainy Pass, maybe I'll post it in a couple days after I get my slides developed.
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powscraper
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Re: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« Reply #10 on: 03/14/05, 06:24 AM »

Quote
realistically, how steep can one glissade?  in addition to slope angle, i imagine snow condition is pretty important.  


http://students.washington.edu/ashwortj/NWMountains/images/NW/IceCrust.jpg

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curmudgeon
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Re: March 12, 2005, Whistler Peak (WaPass)
« Reply #11 on: 03/14/05, 06:51 AM »

Quote
realistically, how steep can one glissade?  


I have glissaded up to about 45 degrees, with ideal snow conditions. You don't glissade steep stuff on your ass, you have to stay on your feet.  It's just about like skiing with very short skis-- lots of hop turns. Granted, skiing is more secure on steep snow than glissading but, concerning this gully, you can glissade through a narrow section that might be problematic on skis.


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