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Author Topic: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb  (Read 9271 times)
Robie
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May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« on: 05/04/05, 03:46 AM »


May 1-3 MT Hood Silcox hut
Even though we also lift skied and used the cat for access I'm putting this in here becuase it `has Bc report of MT hood summit route conditions , a summit ski by one of our group and will be agumented with a report of a side trip to illumination rock.
A special note to Lowell Skoog ,the Geshmozzelers and the "men of men" .A big topic of discussion aound our dinner table and fireplace Was the recreation of the "Silver Skis " We were wishing we could have been there. My personal feeling was that we might have had 3 or 4 contenders, a bunch to fill out the field and for sure a bunch of bodies worthy of adding to the carnage.Perhaps next year.

The story:
  I  got lot's to do unpack ,Catch up with my wife ,go through pictures,Check mail and messages. And relate to you fellow snow hounds this tale of another May trip at the Silcox hut and climb /ski of MT Hood. First off it was a fine crew that gathered at the Timberline lodge's Ram's head pub. Some had spent the night in luxery at the mainlodge,Some drove down early to spend a day  lift skiing and some came more lesiurely.
  After a few beers and orientation by Ron Jarvis we loaded all our skis,packs,suitcases,climbing gear into the big snow cat.Of course with all the prickly things strapped to the outside of the big yella cat. The "whole catastrophy" required two trips  to shuttle all of us to our destination the Silcox hut. Our intent: have a good safe time climbing MT Hood and skiing. Ive been on this trip 4 years now and the 2 of those years we had fair weather for  climbing. The consolation prize for years with bad weather has been the skiing.
   Before dinner is always a little ice axe arrest party for those new to the concept  and a little practice for the rest of us.JW, Dennis and myself headed out the door in a driving rain. "Wait " I says" no point in getting that wet." Rain abates and we head uphill to a little knoll brandishing our gleaming axes. Boom Kabooom boom Kaboom !  Lightning , a scurry back to the hut. Finally we go back out and get the job done  by flinging our bodies into the wet snow that I had been saving our dry clothes for.  I must say that ice axe  arrest is always a little more vigorous, emphatic and less restrained with a mug of beer.  
What a fine dinner we had and not a lot of drinking as people mindful of a early start get ready by packing and repacking thier gear.This topic deserves a couple paragraphs for some and a entire book for others. Rope teams  had been chosen early by thier desire to summit on a basis of 1-3 .Interestly it was more like3, 2.7 and 1.8 . I was particularly intriqued at difference in the mindsets of a 2.3 versus  2.4 . I held my ground as a solid 2  This assault on Mt hood required two cat trips to drop us off at the end of the Palmer Lift. My unit was originally set to go in with the second wave but we got a last minute upgrade to the first landing with a departure time of 5am.
 We startoff by skinning up in a lifting ground fog up a ridge to the east of Crater Rock.It's good thing I had brought ski crampons as the soft snow had been blown off.Fog lifts and  Summit is visible delghting all the 3's down to the 2.1s. The second landing of the faster and younger but not better looking cathes up. I had sumitted before and my solid 2 shrank to a 0 as I spied the 6" powder and nice pitch down towards Illumination rock .It didnt take a lot of agitation to gain a party of six to desert. "Sure would hate to see the sun destroy that snow before it gets skied ".
Well we had a fantastic ski back down from Crater Rock  but the true ski of the day belonged to Dan Larsen who was in with one of the faster rope teams and carried his skis to the summit.
Quite a few others skied/snowboarded from the hogsback or the schrund which was barely open. Dan found soft snow on the summit and ubelievebly also in the Pearly gates.I watched him ski out of the Pearly gates and easily bypass the schrund to south side with a few quick turns and zip it was over. An impressive piece of skiing "just some sluff management up high "  
Most of the Folks who summited were back down by 12 am and for us powder hounds we were back down by 10 snacked,bought a lift ticket and were out skiing the out of bounds to the east till it got syrupy around 130pm.(Corn consoladation is happening down at MT Hood finally.)  It seemed like the day just got longer as we soaked in the tub and pool drank a few pitchers of beer up in the Rams head,So long in fact that I nodded off again and again. The funny thing was that everytime I woke up my glass was full again.Thanks alot Nicole   Shirly,Ed and Dennis! Finally the sno cat came down at four to pick up the stragglers for the dinner party and awards.  
Ok I'll finish this up with With a special thanks To Ron Jarvis for putting it together.JW and And Dan LArson for being good road trip partners and giving me some ski instruction and another day on Tuesday of skiing some creamy corn.
I leave you now to add your versions Thanks all.

Robie ("I bought my rope at Wal mart cause it was cheap and it matches my harness " ) Pruden
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Mad_Dog
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #1 on: 05/04/05, 05:29 AM »

With Ron and I organizing this trip for the past 8 years, it just keeps getting better all the time.  This year was no exception, we had an awesome group!  It was another great Mt. Hood Silcox adventure.  Grin  

As Robie stated, some of us went down on Saturday to ski, some came early Sunday to ski before meeting at the Rams Head for briefing, and snowcat ride up to the Silcox Hut.  After dinner on Sunday, the Hut exploded into a real hubbub of activity as 18 of the 22 of us prepared our gear for "summit" day.  What was so great about this particular trip is that everyone was able to do just what they felt like doing.  Some stayed back at the hut to downhill ski, while others rented snowshoes, and the rest of us were on our way to the top, at the crack of dawn.  Nothing better than seeing that sun rising over the mountain.  While skinning up from the top of the Palmer lift to Crater Rock over the fresh fallen, light, beautiful, snow from the night before, Ron, myself, Andrejs, Robie, Jerry and Denis decided that our summit motivation was soon to drop from a 2 to 0 and skiing the 6 inches of freshies was going to be our plan of attack Grin.  Wow Grin did we make the right choice, for us Grin.  Cold fluffy snow, clear skies, and plenty of sunny light to make our decent to the Hut one of beauty and grace.  It was also a perfect climb day for those that decided to head to the summit  Cheesy.  Congratulations to those of you who made your first Mt. Hood summit climb!

It's always nice to see old friends and meet new faces.  Ron and I are already looking forward to next year, same time, same place.  Thanks to all who joined in our adventure and made the fun happen.  Andrejs and Shirley Dimbris, Jon Epstein, Jim Burke and April Gerlock, Robie Pruden, Jerry White, Elli Bemis and Kelvin Wu, Dan (our summit skier) and Jaymie Larsen, Katie Manning, Daniel Tomko, (Daniel's wife Sara, was home this year with their new baby) so his brother Mark Tomko took her place, Ed Wicklein and Nichole Wymaster, Mark Harfenist, Phil Johnson, Denis Bogan from Virginia, who has been joining us for the past 4 years, Ted Burke from Albuquerque, and of course Ron Jarvis and myself  Grin.

I've got photos for later and Jerry had his video camera, so I'm sure he's busy missing work  Wink and editing his film, so check back later for more fun  Grin  Cool
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Jeanette
Daniel
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #2 on: 05/04/05, 07:02 AM »

It's always hard to be back at work on Wednesday after this trip. It was no surprise that the trip was a blast yet again with friends new and old, some climbing and skiing, and good food too. Thanks to Ron and Jeanette for organizing the trip.

The mountain was quite a sight in the early morning. I was in the second cat load to the top of the Palmer and looking up at the string of skiers headed toward Crater Rock was pretty impressive. It's so much fun to be out climbing with so many friendly faces.

The choices were all good on Monday. The stories of fresh powder below Crater Rock were almost enough to make me envious, but I was just as happy to be climbing good snow on the upper mountain. After hitting the summit we skied good corn on the way down. It didn't turn to unpleasant slush until nearly back at Silcox.

I took loads of pictures (~230) and some of them will find their way onto the web this evening. I'll post links when I do.

Thanks again everyone for making the trip so much fun. We'll see you again next year and hopefully before.

[added 4 May] I've begun editing down my set of images, but there are a lot of them so it is taking a while. I don't have a gallery up yet, but in the mean time, here is the group portrait:

The Wild Hearts Mt Hood Crew

[added 5 May] I've finally worked my shots down to these twenty. Enjoy!

Mt Hood 2005
« Last Edit: 05/05/05, 05:35 PM by Daniel » Logged
mjt
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #3 on: 05/04/05, 02:15 PM »

What a great trip!  I have some pictures posted here:

Sunday & Monday:
http://homepage.mac.com/mark.tomko/PhotoAlbum35.html

Tuesday:
http://homepage.mac.com/mark.tomko/PhotoAlbum36.html

Sorry if I haven't identified you all correctly.  Send corrections and I'll update them.

Thanks everyone!!!
« Last Edit: 05/04/05, 03:06 PM by mjt » Logged
mjt
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #4 on: 05/04/05, 03:22 PM »

Here's a quick rundown of the Illumination Rock tour.

Tuesday morning was clear and beautiful; Mt. Hood looked tempting,  but Daniel & I initially decided to descend with the rest of the crew until Mark Harfenist mentioned that he was considering a tour up to Illumination Rock.  We reconsidered and rigged to go.

We ascended in a long, traverse across the crusty surface of the Palmer glacier.  The snow stubbornly stayed hard as we climbed.  A small plastic object would have careened seemingly interminably down the glacier unless stopped by some ripple in the snow.  Hypothetically, at least.

Finally, at about 11:00 AM, as we approached Illumination saddle the snow relented.  From the saddle, we were treated to tempting views of the Reid glacier.  After a brief break, we geared up and prepared for the descent.  In the meantime, the snow had softened up nicely.  We headed down the steep slope adjacent to Illumination Rock and continued through seemingly endless quantities of 'superhero snow'.

Our descent ended at the Timberline parking lot, where we packed in our skis and headed home.  As we left, we noticed that clouds had descended over Mt. Hood within a matter of minutes. The blue skies diminished the whole way home.

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kam
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #5 on: 05/04/05, 05:26 PM »

Mark and Daniel: beautiful photos!  i especially liked the images of the morning clouds. thanks for sharing.  i can't wait to see photos from the others...
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ron j
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #6 on: 05/05/05, 05:18 AM »

Thanks to all who attended, for another fun and successful Trip.  This was the best group of people we've had in the entire 8 years we've been doing the trip.  Everyone was  fun, cooperative, congenial, and self sufficient -- not much more to ask for, from an organizer's point of view.  It is because of great folks like all of you, that organizing this trip is so much fun.

Should be a lot of links to a lot more fun pics (thanks, Daniel and Mark, for yours) and a viddy or two showing up here in the next few days.

High-five to Dan for being our first to ski off the summit... and thank you, Dan, for not asking me to do it with you :-)

Robie - Thanks for for doing such a fine job presenting the Certificates, contributing the single-malt to the group, and presenting Jeanette and I with the great prints (suitable for framing, I might add).  And also, thanks Robie, for taking the time to post the trip report.  Time is pretty scarce for everyone upon returning from a trip like this; it helps to have someone else step up and help.  

Many thanks to Andre & Shirley for bringing copious amounts of wine, smoked salmon and crackers.  And Shirley, thanks for tirelessly bailing water off the floor.

Thanks to Jayme and Katie for having the courage to attend the event without having any way of knowing what they were really getting into. (you can never trust guys to give you ALL the facts, now, can you ;-).

Daniel - Your home made Mead certainly hit the spot.  I certainly embrace your suggestion of a home brew pony keg next year... great idea!
And many thanks to Sara Tomko (home taking care of baby Reid) for dong the great job producing the certificates.

On cursory overview I saw some interesting Event Improvement ideas on the feedback forms:
Both Dan and Jerry suggested some sort of larger screen video displays so that we can review everyone's digital pictures and clips with a display that everyone in the room can see... awesome idea! -- I say "make it happen" guys.  
Jeanette has suggested that we all adopt name tags of either "Elegance" or "Grace" next year.  It seems that Mark has requested that we arrange for him to ski with those named folks next year -- so I guess we'll have to wear those name tags whenever skiing around Mark.
Jayme has volunteered to bring some board games for us -- Great Idea, Jayme, Thanks.

Jeanette - Thanks for bringing an entire CASE of wine and taking the responsibility of selecting and ordering the memento jackets.  They turned out great.

While we're on the subject of memento clothing items... several have suggested that we step up to an even nicer piece of clothing for 2006 to keep the upward  trend going... maybe something of a more technical nature.  I just wanted you to know that I think it's a great idea.  In fact we're working on a deal for those NorthFace Electric Heater Gore-Tex Jackets (retail at $899.00 but I think we're going to get a break on them with a quantity discount -- they don't really make the jacket any more so we may have to settle for whatever sizes they have left.  But even if they don't fit, they will be really cool jackets to own... proly turn into a collector's item of sorts).  So right now, if I can make the NorthFace deal happen, it is looking like our costs for next year will be coming in at around $875 - $950, per person, for the two night/3day trip.  Or if you prefer, we could just start back with T-Shirts, which was the original plan, and keep the cost somewhere in the neighborhood of what it was this last time.  I guess I need some feedback from those of you that are going to participate next year.  Let me know which way you would like to go on this.

Thanks, again, to all of you for participating in this fun event... and please forgive me if I have forgotten to give any of you the specific recognition you deserve -- it's my dementia kicking in again :-)

We'll see you next year, if not before in the mountains!!
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Mad_Dog
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #7 on: 05/05/05, 08:51 AM »

This is the reason our group decided to pass on the final summit pitch.  Here is Andrejs having his way with the morning freshies.  Grin
zM!Yh65lSd6vZ!GTwS8A8FrdSw/DSC01912.JPG?dc=4675521128104975783" alt="" border="0" />

You can see more photos HERE.  Cheesy  Cool
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Robie
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #8 on: 05/05/05, 02:32 PM »

My pictures of the gang can be seen here


http://groups.msn.com/RobiesBackcountrySkiers/mthood2005.msnw?Page=1
« Last Edit: 05/05/05, 02:34 PM by Robie » Logged

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JW
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #9 on: 05/05/05, 02:47 PM »

A very cool and very fun trip Cool What a way to spend your birthday! Thanks to Ron and Jeanette for putting together an awesome package. Great hanging out with you all! Video production is in full swing but with over 125 clips to sort, plus some special segments to create Wink it may be a few days
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andrejsd
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #10 on: 05/05/05, 03:22 PM »

At the risk of being repetitive, thanks to Ron and Jeanette for organizing another outstanding trip.  Shirley and I truly had a great time recreating with old friends and new!  I've added a few pictures to:

http://groups.msn.com/WildHeartsSkiing/mthoodclimbski522005.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=2619

Now as for this commerative item issue, it's time to switch from softgoods to hardgoods.  I recommend immediate negotiation with Kelvin for a 22-pair run of limited edition "Mount Hood 06 Wild Hearts megafats".
« Last Edit: 05/06/05, 11:27 AM by andrejsd » Logged
markharf
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #11 on: 05/07/05, 06:00 PM »

Quote
....The second landing of the faster and younger but not better looking cathes up.....


And who in particular are you calling "not better looking?"

Quote
The snow stubbornly stayed hard as we climbed.  A small plastic object would have careened seemingly interminably down the glacier unless stopped by some ripple in the snow.  Hypothetically, at least.


Yeah, if a hypothetical skier were to drop an entirely hypothetical FRS radio it prolly would have rolled and tumbled all the way to Government Camp unless it chanced to lodge against a hypothetical wee little smudge of remnant powder after a half mile or so....

Our descent from Illumination Saddle was about as flawless as it gets: perfect carving on miles of groomed-by-god slopes.  Quite a change from the day before, when, having neglected to eat anything for several hours, I bonked abruptly about a third of the way down and found myself unable to execute more than four turns at a time for the final 2000 vertical feet.

I'd like to add my voice to the swelling chorus of appreciative attendees.  Ron and Jeanette: thanks immensely!

Mark  
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ron j
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Re: May 1-3 , 2005, MT Hood Sicox Hut SKI /Climb
« Reply #12 on: 05/30/05, 05:28 AM »

Denis Bogan, our eastern seaboard contingent and one of our most loyal participants of this trip, posted this report of the trip on the Vermont Sking Discussion and Telemark Tips, and asked if I would cross post it for him here.  Denis created such a great read (it was almost like being there) that I jumped at the chance.
------------------------------------------------------
"It was my 4th trip to the Silcox Hut, a backcountry hut at the 7000 ft. level on Mt. Hood.  
It has become a tradition, organized by Ron and Jeanette, stay in the hut, climb, ski, hang out, whatever.  This reputation of being laid back & doing your own thing is genuine but seems at odds with the roots of the folks who go there.  As we went around the room on Sun. evening, each person stating their background and summit motivation level, I was humbled, if not intimidated.  
All the others were credentialed with the Seattle Mountaineers, an icon of American mountaineering.  More than half of all the Americans ever to set foot on the summit of Everest, starting with Jim Whittaker, the first, have been trained in whole or in part by the Mountaineers.  It seemed that everyone had taken The Mountaineers basic course, advanced course, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, etc.  Several, like Robie, teach ski mountaineering with the Mountaineers, although he claimed he was, "just a skier who owns an ice axe."  It was all the more impressive because among backcountry mates
you understate your skills and background, knowing that to do otherwise is folly, because sooner or later everyone is humbled by the backcountry.

I am drawn to the northwest volcanoes like a moth to a flame.  They are behemoths, so different from the forested knolls of the northeast; even the Rockies are pipsqueaks by comparison.  Hood rises from a 2000 ft. coastal plain to a summit of 11,200, 9000 feet of vertical relief.  The mountain is encircled at the 6000 ft. level (roughly the timberline) by
the Timberline trail.  It is 25 miles around.  Rainier and Shasta are even more massive with vertical relief of 12,000 feet.  Here is a picture of Hood that I took from the town of Hood River 25 miles away in Oct. 2004.

I arrived late on Sat. and stayed in the Timberline Lodge.  
The Silcox Hut, where we stayed, is in the same tradition,

The snowcat ride to the lodge was scheduled for 3 PM so earlier a bunch of us bought lift tickets and skied.  The lower lifts begin at about 5000 ft. and the highest, the Palmer snowfield lift, goes up to 8500.  It is rarely open this early in the year, but was open on this day and we enjoyed it.
Ron & Jeanette; Denis.

After unloading gear it was time for assignment to a rope team for the morning's climb, and snow school.  The latter was outdoors and consisted mostly of refreshing one's skill at arresting a fall with an ice axe, thus convincing the others on your assigned rope team that you could arrest yourself and stop their fall if need be.  A decent pitch was needed to do this so we walked a little way from the hut to a good slope.  A light mixture of rain, hail, and graupel began to fall.  Suddenly a flash and the instantaneous boom of a close lightning strike.  We skedaddled to the hut and waited out the strong leading edge of the storm and then resumed practice, falling headfirst downslope on our backs and rolling over to the pick side of the ice axe, digging it in and arresting the slide, until everyone was satisfied.  Then we retired to the hut for dinner, libations, and stories,
Andrejs;

Summit day, May 2, 3:30 AM.  An "alpine start"; get to the summit before it warms up because midday sun softens snow and ice, leading to a daily bombardment of rock and ice fall.  We enjoyed a delicious breakfast prepared by hutmaster Steve, boarded the snowcat and disembarked at 8500 ft. at 5:00 in the dark and fog.  That't right, fog.  On the only "big" mountain with which I am familiar, Mt. Washington, NH, heading up into fog
would be inviting disaster, the weather can worsen so fast up there.  However, those who call the Cascades their home mountains were sure it would burn off.  I put my trust in them, donned climbing skins and headed up.  They proved to be right.

The long slow climb;
climbing 1; climbing 2.

The background of this picture is the Steel Cliff.  Unseen, between the skiers and the cliff is the entrance to White River Canyon.

Above the Clouds; Mt. Hood is a sleeping volcano gashed with huge canyons.  The cornice in this picture is the edge of White River Canyon.  From this point you can ski a 7000 vertical foot descent to the highway and hitch back to the mountain.  Better not try it without a reliable partner, knowledge of the route and avalanche gear.

Picture of the summit at 11,200 feet.  I am standing about 1000 ft. lower and it is 7:20 AM.  This is as high as I would go.

The crater is surrounded by high walls that wrap about 270 degrees around.  The south wall, where I am standing has been blown out by some past eruption.  Here are a couple of pictures of the "Devil's Kitchen" the hot steaming ground in the crater.  The sulfurous fumes were strong.
Kitchen 1; Kitchen 2.

Now it was time to ski.  From here it was a 4000 vertical foot descent to Timberline Lodge, where we could catch a lift ride back up to the Silcox Hut.  The thunderstorm that passed over the previous evening left just a dusting of snow down at the hut at the 7000 ft. level.  The depth had increased steadily as we climbed and here there was a good 6" of new powder.  The half dozen of us who decided to forego summiting and ski got
first tracks.  The summiteers later reported that it was getting wet and heavy when they skied it.
Skiing 1; Skiing 2; Skiing 3; Skiing 4; Skiing 5.

We took our time skiing down and arrived about 9.  My tank was empty and I took a nap in the hut, followed by a little lift skiing, a little hot tubbing, and had a long leisurely lunch with reebs in the company of others.  Life was good.

Summit day being over, everyone was relaxed and jovial at dinner and plans were made - - - to spend the second day with no plan.  We would all do whatever the spirit moved us to do.

Most decided to ride the lifts and I was going to do that too but it was such a beautiful day that I began to think about climbing again.  Mark, Mark, and Daniel had decided to climb to Illumination Saddle and wait for it to corn up.  I followed behind them.  After a very slow start I made surprisingly good time.  Perhaps altitude adjustment had kicked in.  I skinned alone but knowing that the others were ahead, and it was clear and cloudless.  Yesterday afternoon's wet corn had turned to hard frozen porcelain overnight.  There were climbers ahead as well and at one point I noticed one sliding at high speed straight at me.  Holy $#@%.  It looked like he wouldn't stop until he reached the town of Government Camp down in the valley.  As he pulled alongside he slowed and stopped by leaning on the spike of his ice axe.  He had just been practicing his glissading technique.  I continued up to the saddle between Crater Rock and Illumination Rock.

A few white puffy clouds began to appear to the west, but the sun was strong and I knew the surface would turn to perfect corn snow if I just had a little patience.
Self portrait;

The few clouds came closer, but still looked benign.  They moved very slowly and I would wait until they passed to ski down.  The corn wasn't cooked yet.  The other guys had radioed a few minutes before.  They were headed down since one had to be at work in Seattle in the afternoon.  This was going to be perfect.  I had no concern at all about staying there alone.
Illumination Rock; Zig Zag Canyon.

The goal;
Note that the sky is now almost completely gray.  Within seconds of taking this picture I was in a white out.
I had taken off the climbing skins and had been sitting on the snow, testing it for readiness every few minutes with my hand.  I thought it was almost ready.  Now, the plan had to change.  Waiting a few minutes more just led to an even stronger disorientation.  I stood up to ski and had trouble keeping my bearings.  If you haven't been in one of these things it is impossible to really understand.  I could see my feet and skis clearly, even the graininess of the snow at my feet, but looking downslope was futile; everything merged seeamlessly into gray/white nothingness.  No definition, no depth perception, and only a vague idea of up and down.  I was directly above Zig Zag Canyon with its huge cornice above a steep entry interspersed with big cliffs, not a good idea to ski blindly over the edge in a whiteout.  I pushed off and fell after one turn and attempt to stop.  I stopped but the mountain kept moving.  In truth it was the opposite of course but this is what it feels like.  I was in trouble.  I got up and got headed left, back where I had come from and began a long careful traverse.  There were no tracks because it had been frozen hard
when I skinned up.  Further left I found our group's tracks from the previous day.  Aha!  I'd crossed these tracks an hour before and knew where they came from and where they were going.  Like magic, keeping the tracks in my vision, skiing among them, the vertigo disappeared.  If I ventured out of their midst it returned.  It was just as good as a tree line, or a group of skiers leapfrogging one another.  Soon I was safely back to the top of the Palmer snowfield lift at 8500 ft.  This too was socked in and I skied close to the lift towers for the next 2500 ft. down to Timberline lodge.

Here is my last view of the mountain from highway 35;

The 2005 Silcox Hut Crew;

Thanks to all, especially organizers Ron and Jeanette.  My spot is already reserved for 2006, which is booked up."
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Thanks, Denis, for the great report and fantastic photos.
I hear, through the grapevine that we have, yet, some other surprises in store from this trip.  Stay tuned.  Smiley
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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
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