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| | |-+  February 17, 2013 Sparkplug Mtn, Surprise! Cr.
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Author Topic: February 17, 2013 Sparkplug Mtn, Surprise! Cr.  (Read 2826 times)
John Morrow
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February 17, 2013 Sparkplug Mtn, Surprise! Cr.
« on: 02/17/13, 08:16 PM »

What to say but so very much terrain up Surprise Creek!  Armed with only a Green Trails Map and 500 foot visibility we luckily picked our way past the Little Plug and Sparkplug Lakes to the summit.
Top third: 6300' to 5300': great light powder, a bit firm from wind at times.  Beautiful open basin down to the big lake.  Tough flat light, but a neat ski back to the Plug lakes.
Middle Third 5300' to 4300': incredible 12" plus of fine powder!  Even in flat light.  Down a cool series of broad gullies.
Bottom third 4300' to 3600': a bit heavier but quite turnable!  Short traverse, skiers left, to the top of the last big slope down to Surprise Creek.

Trail ski: exciting in the snowshoe track all the way to the summer Trailhead parking lot.

Flat out, so much to do up there!  Special thanks to alecapone and Kenji for the inspiration.

More pics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/23557848@N03/sets/72157632789910623/


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« Last Edit: 02/17/13, 09:05 PM by John Morrow » Logged
lrudholm
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Re: February 17, 2013 Sparkplug Mtn, Surprise! Cr.
« Reply #1 on: 02/18/13, 09:02 AM »

Awesome! Skiing that in sunset powder last year made for a lasting memory.

How was your route up through the gully area? I remember that being a bit of a pain. I'm curious if you found a smooth route.
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Leyland
avajane
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Re: February 17, 2013 Sparkplug Mtn, Surprise! Cr.
« Reply #2 on: 02/18/13, 11:08 AM »

I'm impressed, John. That thing leaves the road and just climbs! Very nice long open powder runs. I've already gotten it mapped out! Basically 1,000 per mile.  Lots of snow in that area.
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
avajane
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Re: February 17, 2013 Sparkplug Mtn, Surprise! Cr.
« Reply #3 on: 02/18/13, 11:45 AM »

Did you have any problem catching the right turn to go up the correct drainage that led to the lakes and Sparkplug?
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
John Morrow
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Re: February 17, 2013 Sparkplug Mtn, Surprise! Cr.
« Reply #4 on: 02/18/13, 01:03 PM »

Did you have any problem catching the right turn to go up the correct drainage that led to the lakes and Sparkplug?

I'm impressed, John. That thing leaves the road and just climbs! Very nice long open powder runs. I've already gotten it mapped out! Basically 1,000 per mile.  Lots of snow in that area.
Hi avajane,
It should be easy to spot with ridgetop visibility because it goes up and right before the main valley cirques out.  Look for that giant wide avy path we have pictured from the bottom and top.  It is a neat exploration for sure.  Expect the occasional aerobic double poling on the trail out!
John


Awesome! Skiing that in sunset powder last year made for a lasting memory.

How was your route up through the gully area? I remember that being a bit of a pain. I'm curious if you found a smooth route.

Hi lrudholm,
With the low visibility we were not able to spy an easier uptrack than the gullies.  They went easier for us because the deep light snow (and very good snowpack depth) allowed for a very steep skin track.  But it was difficult to conserve the slope for the descent avoiding it with the skin track.  I'd like to find something more intuitive next time.
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alecapone
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Re: February 17, 2013 Sparkplug Mtn, Surprise! Cr.
« Reply #5 on: 02/19/13, 09:34 AM »

Awesome john!

Amazing that as much as you get around locally, that you are still able to find yourself new and interesting terrain to explore. Stoked you made it back there and found it enjoyable. Even the silly ice luge out can be fun in a weird way.

After trying to gain that steepish section a few ways, I think its easiest from the north margin. At least it mellows out a lot quicker. The gulley on the south is hard to exit to the mellow terrain to climbers right once you are in it..

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scott
jcocci
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Re: February 17, 2013 Sparkplug Mtn, Surprise! Cr.
« Reply #6 on: 02/19/13, 12:16 PM »

Was up there yesterday, thanks for the track. It was definitely steep in a few places. We had great viz until just before we were drop in and then in socked in on us. We waited for a few but it wasn't getting much better so we decided to just go. Had to make some semi cautious turns because of no viz, but it was still fun. Once down the the lake it was clear all the way to the bottom. Wanted to go up for a second run but with no viz we decided it wasn't worth it.

That luge run out actualy was kind of fun in a way.
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John Morrow
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Re: February 17, 2013 Sparkplug Mtn, Surprise! Cr.
« Reply #7 on: 02/19/13, 01:43 PM »

Was up there yesterday, thanks for the track. It was definitely steep in a few places. We had great viz until just before we were drop in and then in socked in on us. We waited for a few but it wasn't getting much better so we decided to just go. Had to make some semi cautious turns because of no viz, but it was still fun. Once down the the lake it was clear all the way to the bottom. Wanted to go up for a second run but with no viz we decided it wasn't worth it.

That luge run out actualy was kind of fun in a way.

Did you notice all the craters from the s__t show of a descent I had, not recognizing the rolls in the flat light!  We tried waiting, too, to no avail.
Since the snow under the forest was soft we enjoyed the luge also.  Good to know that double poling the flats is possible so long as a well packed snowshoe trail exists.  If we could only teach snowshoers to go straight, now!
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jcocci
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Re: February 17, 2013 Sparkplug Mtn, Surprise! Cr.
« Reply #8 on: 02/20/13, 01:40 PM »

Did you notice all the craters from the s__t show of a descent I had, not recognizing the rolls in the flat light!  We tried waiting, too, to no avail.
Since the snow under the forest was soft we enjoyed the luge also.  Good to know that double poling the flats is possible so long as a well packed snowshoe trail exists.  If we could only teach snowshoers to go straight, now!

Yeah it was little more challenging down low.
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