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| | |-+  April 17, 2005, B-day tour
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Author Topic: April 17, 2005, B-day tour  (Read 2052 times)
ski_photomatt
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April 17, 2005, B-day tour
« on: 04/18/05, 06:17 AM »

An excellent day in fine powder with fine weather.  Our early start was thwarted when one party member remembered he forgot his skins in Arlington, so didn't arrive at the (empty!) Blue Lake trailhead until after 10.  Two other parties soon arrived, one to climb SEWS and the other to ski.  There is a breakable rain crust below 6500, gradually vanishing by 7000 ft leaving consolidated powder on shaded slopes.  We skinned up until the bench below Blue Lake col where the other party that had taken a more efficient route up from the trail head passed us and began breaking trail up towards the col.  We relaxed and ate lunch while they proceeded to tunnel through the cornice (really) then followed their excellent track and boot pack (thanks guys!).  Madison Ave was great - the top thin, easily breakable crust and the bottom a 2-3 inches of recent snow turned slush over a hard crust (skied like corn).

Skiing down from the second col was pure delight.  Faceshots on my skinny skis (107 shovel), but not for our friend on fat skis (~125 shovel).  We yo-yoed a few runs on the surprisingly tracked out slopes near Kangaroo Pass then headed home.

North facing slopes are still very unconsolidated and might get slushy if it heats up this week.  There were obvious wind slabs in places;  a few shallow (< 12") natural slab releases on steep slopes below cliffs, probably from Saturday.

Snow squaws to our west threatened to make it over to us, but always dried out leaving us with a mix of sun, clouds and great views.  Surprisingly very few people over there.  The entire day felt comfortable and relaxed, unlike other sunny weekends when the birthday tour develops a literal ski train of tourers.
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kam
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Re: April 17, 2005, B-day tour
« Reply #1 on: 04/18/05, 12:58 PM »

nice report, Matt!  i'm glad you guys found great skiing, as well as good weather.  i can't wait to see your photos.

-kam
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What do you mean you didn't bring skis?
ski_photomatt
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Re: April 17, 2005, B-day tour
« Reply #2 on: 04/18/05, 05:49 PM »

I didn't take a camera, but John took a few photos.  It would have been a good day for them though;  the light was nice.  Or perhaps I appreciated its subtleties a bit more.  The shadows on the cornices, the back lit powder turns, the huge shadows cast by the changing cumulus clouds and snow squaws across the way.  Our relaxed pace allowed time for this sort of contemplation.  Or perhaps I've had one too many martinis tonight Wink
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cascadesfreak
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Re: April 17, 2005, B-day tour
« Reply #3 on: 04/19/05, 04:37 AM »

Quote
I didn't take a camera
  Huh  Huh  Wink   The lighting must've been nice with those breaks in the clouds.  Glad you had a good day out on the bd tour, and lucked-out with the weather!
--Chris
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