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| | |-+  Feb 10, 2013, Lichtenberg Point 5737
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Author Topic: Feb 10, 2013, Lichtenberg Point 5737  (Read 2468 times)
Jim Oker
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Feb 10, 2013, Lichtenberg Point 5737
« on: 02/11/13, 12:08 PM »

Given recent ski reports, I managed to con Yanna and Skip into heading up to Lichtenberg - mostly a nice "hike on skis" with a few pitches of hopefully good turns thrown in. The "Lichtenstep" shortly below Lichtenwasser Lake took more energy from our crew than expected, but we still made it up to point 5737 with plenty of light left. Beautiful views from up there, and it was nice to top out in the sun after a chilly climb on well-shaded slopes. We could see that a layer of clouds was drifting over Stevens Pass, and was shrouding Jove and starting to drop a layer of gauze over Union Peak as well. But we had clear views out to Rainier, Glacier, Stuart, and countless other peaks. Soon enough we dropped down for a suprisingly (based on recent reports from other locations) great descent to the lake - no firm base beneath the 8+" of powder from earlier in the week (except on my first turn off the ridge which was a little windblown), and even though a handful of folks had already skied this route, the three of us found clean lines the whole way down. We skinned back up briefly to get to the ridge just west of the lake, and dropped from there to the upper reaches of Smith Brook, chaining together nice open glade stretches that were holding good powder (it was a little bombed and crispy right under trees down there), though I will admit that I was starting to feel the bottom down near the creek level. I took us a little too low and right so it was a bit of a slog to get back up onto the road, but after that minor torture it was a fast cool breezy glide back to the car. All in all, a very nice tour for the day.

There is a bit of a "road tax" and the Lichtenstep is slightly annoying, but these defenses simply served to preserve some nice skiing from the hordes who otherwise would have descended on the well-preserved powder we found. Though I will say that this was the first time I've followed someone else's uptrack from bottom-to-top - in past years I've always been breaking my own trail most of the way, even a handful of days after a snow event. A trend, or just an unusually busy day yesterday?

Sorry, no pics, as I didn't bring a camera yesterday (and all the downhill skiing was on well-shaded slopes which don't tend to photograph all that well). Skip may post  photos eventually...
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andyski
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Re: Feb 10, 2013, Lichtenberg Point 5737
« Reply #1 on: 02/11/13, 01:16 PM »

We didn't see any other skiers there on Saturday, but that could have been the lack visibility Smiley. We didn't pick up a clear skin track until we got SW of the lake, but from there it was a good one. Not sure how the other party got in there, which must have been on Friday, as we didn't see any other uptrack. Had similar conditions to what you describe. Pretty nice.
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Jim Oker
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Re: Feb 10, 2013, Lichtenberg Point 5737
« Reply #2 on: 02/11/13, 02:19 PM »

Thanks for your skin track and the nice bucket-sized boot prints over the Lichtenstep that we followed. You guys have clearly been there before.

I saw a bunch of tracks over on the south side of the ridge crest - perhaps the track you picked up was from folks skiing up from the Yodelin cabins area and dropping over onto the shady side before riding the crust and/or mank back home. My first time up there, we saw a crew that had been doing just that.
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RossMac
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Re: Feb 10, 2013, Lichtenberg Point 5737
« Reply #3 on: 02/12/13, 07:20 AM »

We were responsible for some of those tracks from the S. Ridge, doing labs from our Yodelin cabin on both Saturday and Sunday. As you found, surprisingly nice conditions. Beautiful skiing in boot deep powder down to the meadows just above the lake on both days -- much more fun on Sunday when the fog gave way to glorious sunshine. The descent down toward the highway was better than expected. On Saturday, we did a couple laps down the main rib and face in stiff powder with only a few short stretches of sun crust that you could power through. Sunday, we did the west side of the South rib.  Very nice on top.  Started setting off tons of snow wheels as we went down and the snow warmed.  Probably 300 vertical feet warranted the description of "mank". 

All in all, a great weekend on our backyard mountain.
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watsonskipsmith
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Re: Feb 10, 2013, Lichtenberg Point 5737
« Reply #4 on: 02/20/13, 09:41 PM »

a few belated pics from the day:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/11723786@N06/sets/72157632814969117/
(last 2 pics are from pres day crystal mnt)
(:skip
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andyski
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Re: Feb 10, 2013, Lichtenberg Point 5737
« Reply #5 on: 02/21/13, 10:17 AM »

Thanks for your skin track and the nice bucket-sized boot prints over the Lichtenstep that we followed. You guys have clearly been there before.
Actually, we blindly guessed correctly. Sorry for the mess of a bootpack, but my partner and i disagreed on the best approach Smiley.

I'm incredibly envious of the people who have places up there. About that lottery ticket...
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Jim Oker
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Re: Feb 10, 2013, Lichtenberg Point 5737
« Reply #6 on: 02/22/13, 09:47 AM »

It was easier to have that bootpack than to make our own. FWIW we chose the left fork  Smiley

I wasted a good while and some calories exploring whether there was a reasonable skinnable route to the left (not really, at least at the level of the step). Have gone to the right on a few prior trips and actually managed to reasonably skin on one powder-filled outing, but the other times still ended up booting, so I think the direct line that you took there is now my choice. Descent route is a whole other matter though.
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andyski
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Re: Feb 10, 2013, Lichtenberg Point 5737
« Reply #7 on: 02/22/13, 10:47 AM »

Our descent was actually very smooth sailing. Only side step on the other side of the creek required any side-stepping. Cool area.
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Jim Oker
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Re: Feb 10, 2013, Lichtenberg Point 5737
« Reply #8 on: 02/24/13, 07:57 AM »

It's just that the open glades around the corner are too much fun for me to pass up for descending...
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