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| | |-+  Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
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Author Topic: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27  (Read 3889 times)
PetraSkis
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Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« on: 01/27/13, 08:20 PM »

We decided for a short tour out of Alpental today. Since we got a late start, we just skinned out to Source Lake and then up the ridge towards Chair Peak. It was snowing continuously and visibility was not great, but we were rewarded with some great turns in untracked chest deep powder.
Really nice and fairly light snow. We had a blast! Smiley

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Griff
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Re: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« Reply #1 on: 01/27/13, 09:00 PM »

Chest deep?Huh
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PetraSkis
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Re: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« Reply #2 on: 01/28/13, 12:20 AM »

There were some deep pockets...but I actually meant to write waist deep...got a little carried away there.  Now, if you are 6' 5" or taller that would only be thigh deep since I'm really short. ;-)
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mc
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Re: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« Reply #3 on: 01/28/13, 09:37 AM »

deeper than expected yesterday.  almost made the call to stay home but you don't know til you go.  great turns in the snoqs area.  welcome back ullr!

dumped all day.  i.e. rapid loading resulted in 30-40' shooting cracks at the end of the day and 6-8" soft slabs mixed with sluffs.  sluffs had some weight and were entraining lots of snow.

a little before dark on my way out the steep chutes and slopes above source lake were letting go resulting in impressive powder clouds and large debris fields.  no hard slab but the sluffs would have been enough to sweep you off your feet with the potential for partial burial.

got a nice reminder that even if you're cognizant of your own group's spacing you still have to watch for others above / below you.  Had some folks sending sluffs on us while in a really steep uptrack that usually isn't very frequented.  serious floundering going on above us so we pulled out and went elsewhere.

ciao,
mc
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lrudholm
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Re: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« Reply #4 on: 01/28/13, 09:54 AM »

Whaaaaaaaaatttt!
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Leyland
Griff
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Re: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« Reply #5 on: 01/28/13, 10:34 AM »

Cool, I get carried away all the time when skiing great snow. I was gonna guess you are a tele skier and just were really dipping down low. LOL.

Either way, great to hear the good conditions report. Thanks!!

Sad to hear of people sloughing other people. That, me thinks, is only gonna get worse until one day there is a tragedy and a group gets killed because of the actions of someone above.

Learn your sport people............
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CascadeClimber
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Re: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« Reply #6 on: 01/28/13, 12:42 PM »

Sad to hear of people sloughing other people. That, me thinks, is only gonna get worse until one day there is a tragedy and a group gets killed because of the actions of someone above.

Learn your sport people............

It's hard to avoid sometimes...I saw a guy get partially buried in a big slide just below The Turtle on Rainier a few years back. He was going up on foot and two skiers came over a roll above him and triggered it. The climber was swept several hundred vertical feet down the slope. Somehow everyone walked away with only some missing gear.

Seems to me that there is a LOT more people on skis in the backcountry and on the volcanoes in the last 5-6 years. More people usually means more incidents, unfortunately.
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Not all who wander are lost.
meleady
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Re: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« Reply #7 on: 01/28/13, 01:00 PM »

i.e. rapid loading resulted in 30-40' shooting cracks at the end of the day and 6-8" soft slabs mixed with sluffs. 

What aspect did you see this activity on? east? Thanks.
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Qui ne risque rien, n'a rien.
mc
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Re: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« Reply #8 on: 01/28/13, 02:06 PM »

there wasn't much the group above us could have done with respect to the sluffing.  they were just trying to get up over a really steep section.  not sure they quite knew where they were though.  being that we were coming up from below we just made the call to get out of that area since we were directly below and the only way up was staying below them.

aime--- yes, east.  sorry about that.  approx 4500'.  a couple of the big chutes between chair and bryant were the ones releasing....
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counterfeitfake
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Re: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« Reply #9 on: 01/28/13, 02:50 PM »

We saw the same soft slabs on some north facing aspects.  Curiously it didn't get better as we descended, it seemed to get worse.  I was surprised by how wrong the NWAC forecast was, NWS had it right.
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Griff
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Re: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« Reply #10 on: 01/28/13, 03:30 PM »

It's hard to avoid sometimes...I saw a guy get partially buried in a big slide just below The Turtle on Rainier a few years back. He was going up on foot and two skiers came over a roll above him and triggered it. The climber was swept several hundred vertical feet down the slope. Somehow everyone walked away with only some missing gear.

Seems to me that there is a LOT more people on skis in the backcountry and on the volcanoes in the last 5-6 years. More people usually means more incidents, unfortunately.

Agreed, a lot more people out there these days. And the more people the greater chance of an incident overall. Yet I would surmise that we can avoid that tragedy with education.

My only concern is the ease of which people find themselves in the BC these days. With it being so easy  (wide skis, better snowshoes, better outdoor gear) and popular, the level of skill and knowledge of the folks participating has seemed to decline.

Its that inversely proportional equation that scares me. Sure being in a tight area making it tough to not slough or be sloughed is a resonable reason, other then why be in a terrain trap in the first place. And why ski in to terrain with people below you.

Perhaps I am too old school. But I was taught that you dont hurt other people, like throwing rocks off a trail or cliff below you, cause you just dont know who is down there. No matter what.
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Dom
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Re: Source Lake - Chair Peak, Alpental January 27
« Reply #11 on: 01/31/13, 11:58 AM »

We decided for a short tour out of Alpental today. Since we got a late start, we just skinned out to Source Lake and then up the ridge towards Chair Peak. It was snowing continuously and visibility was not great, but we were rewarded with some great turns in untracked chest deep powder.
Really nice and fairly light snow. We had a blast! Smiley



It must have been your tracks then that my partner and I followed up and over the back side of Chair Peak and then down to Snow Lake.  By about 2:00pm we definitely were experiencing the 30-40' shooting cracks that mc had mentioned.  We chose not to hug the wall like you guys had, but at the end of it all I wish we had.  We instead chose to ski over the rolling berms into the bottleneck to the right and we were setting off 12" slabs all over the place.  The visibility was downright awful, complete white-out.  After gingerly making our way to the bottom we were standing on the edge of a 20' glacier but wouldn't have known it until I side side-slipped over the edge.  My partner still couldn't see the ledge had I not been standing at the bottom of it.  Beautiful march back across the lake, though.  Pretty sketchy day overall but a good learning experience.  From now on I'll definitely stick to known routes on 0% visibility days.


* Dom_Chair_Peak_1-27-13.jpg (41.82 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 965 times.)
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