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| |-+  April 2005 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 20, 21, 2005, Mt. McCausland
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Author Topic: April 20, 21, 2005, Mt. McCausland  (Read 1600 times)

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April 20, 21, 2005, Mt. McCausland
« on: 04/22/05, 12:51 AM »

Smith Brook Road again, and this time spring like conditions. Almost. The snowpack has not caught up with the date. I got a fairly early start on Wednesday which was a good thing because by about 11:00 am the snow had slushed up to the point where it was just not possible to even side step slopes over say 30 to 35 deg. But I got to my favorite campsite in time (barely) and had my first taste of real spring snowcamping. Short sleeves and shorts all afternoon with the temperature in the tent with the door open up to 92 deg.

On Thursday I started up at 6:30 on a one inch freeze, thinking that I would be at the summit of Mt. McCausland early and could wait until the snow was just right from the morning sun. Opps, see comment about snowpack above. After about an hour of taking new digital pictures to replace the current shots in my Mt. McCausland labeled panoramics, I started down a bit before 9:00 am. Too late! I got a few turns off the top before the hill gets steeper, at which point I could ski-check off rather nice slush slides with maybe the top 4 or 5 inches going. And going. So being a chicken, I just muddled down the slide paths.   Smiley    A bit further down there are some wonderful glades, but they were all slushed out by now. Oh well, it's a super place for touring anyway.

On the way out I got lazy and thought I could do both of the small creek crossings with skis on as I had done when skiing in. The first was OK, but on the second I almost fell head first down the 4 foot snow bank into the creek. Note to self: don't do that again!   Smiley  After got re-organized I made a mental note to do this type of crossing without skis on in the future, so took the skis off, walked a bit and promply went right up to my hips in a hidden snow pocket, compliments of our strange spring pack. Second note to self: stay away from small trees in conditions like this. So even though this is a mellow tour, be careful after the morning crust is melted.
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