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| | |-+  April 21, 2005, Alpental->Great Scott
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Author Topic: April 21, 2005, Alpental->Great Scott  (Read 1663 times)

Posts: 634

April 21, 2005, Alpental->Great Scott
« on: 04/21/05, 08:37 AM »

Today was Bamboo Day at Alpental, as I discovered on the way down (fortunately I'd beat the crew up the hill - that always sucks to hike somewhere and encounter people who got there on a lift, even if those people have the not-so-hip task of skiing crap snow with a big pile of sticks on their back).
Snow had crusted overnight but on most of ski hill was soft within minutes of being in sun. Coverage on Sessel quite bad, hard to believe this was an open ski hill 4 days ago. Above Sessel cover was better, certainly better than the Alpy hike I took just one day before the storm that reopened the season. Lower I had moderate size bumps and was pretty soft, OK to skin but not ideal, and not exactly screaming out "Ski Me!". Upper I was still in shade as I arrived, and looked less mogully, but I decided for a little more adventure and traversed skins-on basically from the Snake Dance entrance all the way over to Piss Pass, trying to minimize time on the longer-steeper slopes by descending-traversing these and ascending where safer. Much of this was very soft, occasionally sluffy, even though it was just past 9 AM. From Piss, could see many small-medium point releases from Bryant, Not Bryant and Chair, no surprise there. Once over Piss Pass, there was a more apparent rain crust with light runnels. The Bowl was still in shade, so the crust was even more intact. Given the choice between Too Hard (GS Bowl) and Too Soft (Stokes) I took the former. As noted in Amar's report, poles really sink into this stuff even when your skis stay on top, making jump turns on the crust a challenge. The gullies leading out to Source Lk were soft bonchy fun, and the traverse out was still viable with no dismounts needed until the creek just 50 ft from the parking lot (it goes slow tho, fortunately in trees was crusty which increased my speed). Anyone that wants to climb Tooth should definitely bring skis, or snowshoes at least, you would NOT want to have to posthole up here right now there is no consolidation.

This thin-hard-crust-on-bottomless-soft-junk phenom was also noted on a short run I took down Granite last Sunday AM, although there it had just a skiff of new snow on it that made it slightly easier to turn. Also, gullies had lots of hard slide debris (but thankful for it; climbing anything that wasn't slide debris was posthole hell). Granite South face at least still went Sunday but as I looked up above driving today a whole lot of it had melted; several of the ridges are all rock now, leaving really just the cross load zones with any snow.
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