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NWAC Avalanche
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| | |-+  April 23, 2005, The HLP
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Author Topic: April 23, 2005, The HLP  (Read 1722 times)

Posts: 287

April 23, 2005, The HLP
« on: 04/26/05, 04:05 AM »

Hidden Lakes Peak
After deciding aginst Eldorado Peak in a day, we drove to the TH and I started skinning around 9am. Patchy here and there, especially the creek crossings, and then had to take the skis off after 1/2 mile and hike in the bare forest for about 1 mile.

Able to putr skis back on once we got out of the trees and skinned up through avy debris and hugged the right side of the basin. Very sloppy, even at 10am, and I seemed to have the advantage over the snowshoeers in the steeper sections.

Got back on the summer trail on the traverse beneath Sibley Pass and saw dozens of avy sluffs and crown fractures that took out some of the traverses. Decided to head straight to the pass and go on the backside towards the summit from there.

As we ascended the 35 degree slopes, we saw lots of avy activity on the north and south facing slopes and decided to turn around at that point. This makes me 0 for 3 attempts on the HLP, a worse percentage than Rainier for me. The first 500 Vert were nice turns, and then it got real heavy and sloppy. Decided to descend skiers left of the basin and head down through the steeper section in the trees. Interesting survival skiing for the rest of the way down until the trail enters the trees.

Weather was decent the entire day, no sun, just overcast.

Life is short, spray hard

Posts: 149

Re: April 23, 2005, The HLP
« Reply #1 on: 04/28/05, 02:45 PM »

I went up HLP today with Don Portman and it was quite a different trip than yours just a few days earlier.  In fact there were completely different snow conditions than yesterday at Table Mtn. There, it was nice mush with a good base all day. Today, even though valley temperatures were not cold at all (47 at 7 AM) the snow above was frozen and stayed that way through much of the day (as forecast, but I didn't believe it). There must have been cold air moving in aloft. This is the first time I've been in the bright late April sun and not had the snow thaw right away. Crampons were not necessary but would have been appreciated.  Skis on at 4200 ft; easy snow free hiking below. We dawdled and ate lunch and snacks several times waiting for the thaw and didn't start down till after 1.  By then, there was nice corn on the infrequent southern exposures and just minor softening on the other exposures (up high).  But even that was very welcome.  Lower down there was more softening and near the bottom some of the snow became punchy.  Oh yes; Don skiied the whole thing with half edge, nearly straight, waxless Karhus, with his usual hard-to-match grace. This was the first time I've been to HLP and I was impressed with the ease of access and quantity of quality ski terrain. As for timing, clouds built up suddenly as we came down, and it was raining before we reached Marblemount.
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