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| |-+  May 2005 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 8, 2005 Blue Lake Col, Washington Pass
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Author Topic: May 8, 2005 Blue Lake Col, Washington Pass  (Read 3135 times)
Alan Brunelle
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Posts: 383


May 8, 2005 Blue Lake Col, Washington Pass
« on: 05/09/05, 03:32 PM »

I got to the Blue lake park at 8:30, with only one other car with climbers who were about to leave.  I guess the forecast scared everyone else away.  Ended up not being so bad.

Bottom line is, sketchy snow in the trees for skinning, though the trip up went well.  Yes it was cloudy with snow starting just as I was getting ready to head down but the conditions were very nice with the snowpack up high consolidated enough for good turning in corn-like snow.  Pretty good through the larches, but once I got a little lower my skis suddenly disappeared under the surface and released!  From that point on the snow was extremely difficult.  What I eyed as a fun ski through the woods as I was skinning up, turned into a slow series of straight runs until the skis had to be removed.  Then it turned into a series of demoralizing postholes until thinner snow cover was found lower down.

Still a fun day and the postholing gave me the exertion that I have needed this year.

My guess is the crud lower down is snow that mostly fell at the end of winter and never had a chance to consolidate into what I am most familiar with in a typical year.  This snow will not consolidate before it goes.

There were skiers there the day before, and it would be nice to see if they confirm my conclusions.  What amazed me was the huge cornice releases from the col.  Car sized chunks that obliterated climber and skiers tracks that seemed very fresh.  Hopefully no one was hit.  Maybe these were set off from the climbers from up on top?

Just curious, is the experience of the snow conditions the same at HLP?

Alan
« Last Edit: 05/09/05, 03:45 PM by BigSnow » Logged
alpinedave
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Re: May 8, 2005 Blue Lake Col, Washington Pass
« Reply #1 on: 05/10/05, 07:06 AM »

drove past spiral gulch on Saturday. Nice swooshing ski tracks down to the hairpin. snow was crusty then slushy on sun-exposed slopes. needed crampons for going uphill predawn though. North facing slopes have a lot more snow, and I'm guessing decent ski conditions. Probably not worth the drive up there though for just skiing.
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Joedabaker
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Posts: 1816


Re: May 8, 2005 Blue Lake Col, Washington Pass
« Reply #2 on: 05/10/05, 03:55 PM »

Quote
Probably not worth the drive up there though for just skiing.

..,so bring your mountain bike, hiking boots and/or golf clubs.
Was there snow all the way up Spiral Gully from the hairpin?

Joe
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alpinedave
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Posts: 46


Re: May 8, 2005 Blue Lake Col, Washington Pass
« Reply #3 on: 05/12/05, 03:48 AM »

Yep, there was. That whole aspect looked decent for skiing. The upper bowl was starting to melt out, but the run is all there.
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