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Author Topic: June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens  (Read 3458 times)
Eckels
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Posts: 62


June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens
« on: 06/16/12, 05:47 PM »

Ever since climbing it in summer, and looking down its SE chute, Hibox mt has been high on my ski list. Jacob and I figured that we were timing the trip just right, to be able to drive to the trailhead and ski continuous snow to the top...



It turned out we had about 45 minutes of road walking and 1000 vertical feet of off trail hiking, (fortunately minimal bushwhacking)


The snow wasn't great for skinning (easy shearing that got worse the higher we got), and our route was not very direct but eventually we made it to our camp at the time we had hoped to be on the summit.


Jacob arriving at camp



Once at our camp we had to decide what we would ski that afternoon and the next day. The SE chute of Hibox and anything off Three Queens were surely quite soft by now, but all the north facing lines I had scoped on google earth seemed unlikely to be filled in. We decided to go for the SE chute despite its softness and save the Three Queens, or north facing lines for the next day.


Hibox from near camp


Jacob booting with Nobox in the background

The snow consisted of 4 to 8 inches depending on our elevation of mush on top of a firm base. It was very difficult to skin, and somewhat frustrating to boot, both for the reason that it was hard to penetrate the underlying hard snow. Fortunately nothing was moving naturally and our booting was only causing minimal snowballing, so we trudged on toward the top.


The SE Chute

The final slope to gain the summit was fun to boot (we got much better purchase on its NE aspect) and it was cool repeating the the scramble with snow patches and ski boots









After relishing the views, and solitude, on our airy perch for some time we decided to drop in. I did a hard ski cut on the top of the chute flushing most of the loose snow to the bottom, leaving us a nice bed surface to turn down. This run would be my first time skiing my new skis bindings and boots (thanks Ron J!!!) which were all narrower, looser, longer, and lighter than I was used to. So I let Jacob go first and attempted to film him. My first few turns were timid but i quickly became very stoked on, and comfortable with my gear and my surroundings and was elated to be realizing my fantasy!

Once out of the chute we were back to the mush. Typically, Jacob (a snowboarder) enjoys this kind of snow much more than I do, but he hadn't waxed his board in some time, while my skis came with an awesome wax, and i found my self hooting and hollering while he experienced the dreaded stop n go snow.

On the way back toward camp we dropped in on the north side of the ridge at a low col and skied the best snow of the day!



After a long day of boot packing we were exited to be back at camp. We had felt almost no wind all day, but at our camp (a significant col) the wind was howling and our tent (which we had staked out and put most of our excess gear in) was nowhere to be seen. We're gonna have to leave tonight, I don't have a tent anymore! or any of the gear that was in it! fuck! fortunately my calamity first reaction was quickly subdued by seeing funny looking tracks leaving our camp. We followed them for about a hundred feet to find my tent pressed against a tree in a weird bowl like formation. Whew!

For dinner we tried to find a place that was in the sun and out of the wind, this ended up being a cave like perch in the rock band above camp where we found comfortable mossy ground to lay on, no wind (but we could certainly hear it around the corner), sunshine, and just enough room for us and our dinner. It was one of the cooler places I've hung out in the mountains.




Our line for the next day just left of the tree



We finished dinner at 8 and knew the sunset was gonna be good, but we had both moved back to seattle from WWU the day before and had both gotten minimal sleep the last several nights. We quickly agreed that sleep was the right and immediate choice. the sunrise will be just as good...

It turned out we had both left our phones in the car and had no alarm. We were too tired to really care and woke up 12 hours later. We knew we were too late to get any of our desired lines in primo corn but we were satisfied with our previous day's accomplishments and while enjoying breakfast on a rock in the sun, we decided that whatever we did today would be fun even if it was only a little skiing, or not the best snow. Originally we had wanted to ski the line that got closest to the summit of Three Queens but it had some serious exposure, and our lack of crampons or good booting snow made us think better of it, choosing instead to ski a shorter, but more aesthetic line with no exposure, if we had time.

While making the final preparations to drop in we both commented on how warm it was. "Andrew, you think now's a good time for a BN?" without hesitation I agreed and started getting ready. I had done a BN twice before, but jacob had never experienced the ultimate freedom and exhilaration that comes from a BN. Now was the time.



What started as steep open smooth corn turned to lumpier snow that with route finding between rocks, but we were having way too much fun to care. It wasn't until I got cliffed out in the trees toward the valley bottom that i thought to put my clothes back on.

A short up climb, some bushwhacking, and a quick decent brought us to the valley floor. At this point it was 11 and we knew that going for Three Queens would probably mean slushy snow and getting out late, but our stoke was reinvigorated so we decided to go for it. After an exiting stream crossing we were at the fan of our desired chute. I convinced Jacob the right side would have less bushwhacking. After half an hour of bushwhacking we ended up on the left side of the fan which had a brush free snow line the whole way up.



Our long sleep had both of our legs feeling great and we both thoroughly enjoyed boot packing up the chute, enjoying the sun and our surroundings, exited to ski!


Our camp was on the col just left of Rainier





At the top of the chute we were rewarded with incredible views of Lemah, Chimney Rock, and Summit Chief, and fun scramble to a small summit


my camera died after taking this picture

after enjoying the views and our lunch we got ready to descend. This chute wasn't as steep as the one on Hibox and my ski cut sent a slow river of snow crawling down the mountain. We waited as long as we could stand for it to get towards the bottom then dropped in. the chute had  a big east wall making for better snow than we anticipated on the skiers left, and we shralped the hell out of it. By the time we got to the mellower bottom of the chute we had caught up to the river, which was now quite shallow, narrow and slow. Jacob rode next to it then linked several turns within it. "Its like surfing dude!" I tried to do the same and quickly bailed back to static snow. skis are not like surf boards. We skied all the way to the creek following fingers and dodging brush completing one of the more fun descents I've done in the backcountry.

We toyed with the idea of going for another line on the Hibox side of the valley but time was not on our side. We went a slightly different way back to the trailhead and found snow much lower than we had on the way up. With some adventurous skiing I connected the snow all the way down to a couple hundred vertical feet short of the trailhead.

We got back to the car at sunset satisfied with an awesome trip. We didn't see another person the entire time and felt like we had been on a true wilderness adventure.
« Last Edit: 06/16/12, 06:31 PM by Eckels » Logged
chieftaffy
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Re: June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens
« Reply #1 on: 06/16/12, 05:56 PM »

Nice adventure and pics!
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Alpental aspirant...
Eckels
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Posts: 62


Re: June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens
« Reply #2 on: 06/16/12, 07:22 PM »

Thanks! does anybody know a good way to get rid of the black blip thats in every picture? I've tried cleaning (rubbing with a shirt) the lens but it didn't make a difference
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chieftaffy
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Posts: 101


Re: June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens
« Reply #3 on: 06/16/12, 07:59 PM »

If you use picassa or similar post process, you can use the retouch and blend with adjacent area.  That is what I do when a bunch of pics get rain or snow spots.
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Alpental aspirant...
jcocci
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Posts: 161


Re: June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens
« Reply #4 on: 06/16/12, 08:28 PM »

Thanks! does anybody know a good way to get rid of the black blip thats in every picture? I've tried cleaning (rubbing with a shirt) the lens but it didn't make a difference


What kind of camera? Is it a DSLR? If so that is dirt on your sensor and need to clean your sensor.
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JPH
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Posts: 305


Re: June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens
« Reply #5 on: 06/16/12, 08:41 PM »

Thanks! does anybody know a good way to get rid of the black blip thats in every picture? I've tried cleaning (rubbing with a shirt) the lens but it didn't make a difference


Have you tried banging it on a rock?
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Eckels
5Member
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Posts: 62


Re: June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens
« Reply #6 on: 06/16/12, 08:49 PM »

its not an slr its a fuji xp 100. I don't know why I haven't hit it yet, that's usually my go to solution with electronics, I'll give it a shot.
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rootsman
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Re: June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens
« Reply #7 on: 06/16/12, 08:58 PM »

Nicely done, with 10 out of 10 for originality in destination selection.
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Outsiders, in an outsider's sport, doing in outside. That's like...rocking the triple entendre!
jhamaker
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Posts: 257


Re: June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens
« Reply #8 on: 06/17/12, 08:48 AM »

I aggree w/ the above.  My kind of trip.  Awsome!
Sun, corn, wind, self-flushing slopes, a little brush III, BN . . .
What more could you possibly ask for?
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cchapin
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Posts: 315


Re: June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens
« Reply #9 on: 06/17/12, 08:55 PM »

Thanks! does anybody know a good way to get rid of the black blip thats in every picture? I've tried cleaning (rubbing with a shirt) the lens but it didn't make a difference

I'm sure any major image processing software does it.  I know Lightroom does.
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ron j
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Posts: 2580


Re: June 10-11, 2012, Hibox & Three Queens
« Reply #10 on: 06/18/12, 08:21 AM »

Impressive trip, Andrew.
I'm happy for the exploders that they have been reborn from the "retired" bin and get to see some new ground. Wink
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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
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