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NWAC Avalanche
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| |-+  April 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 17, 2013, Kendall: Dawn patrol, lost ski
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Author Topic: April 17, 2013, Kendall: Dawn patrol, lost ski  (Read 1611 times)

Posts: 1

April 17, 2013, Kendall: Dawn patrol, lost ski
« on: 04/20/13, 12:49 AM »

A beautiful morning out in clear weather, including a lost ski fiasco. Four of us began skinning at 5:45a from the Commonwealth Basin trailhead. We broke trail in wet snow through Kendall Trees (apparently the weekend's avalanches kept people away for a few days) which turned to a 3-4" breakable crust as we exited the trees below Kendall Peak.

We traversed skiers left below the most prominent rock buttress. We entered a debris field from what appeared to be wet slab avalanches, and switched to booting shortly thereafter. The crust layer showed some propagating cracks, and broke free in switchbacks near the summit. The layer was thin and stable enough to not be wildly concerning, but certainly did lead to a thoughtful terrain choice conversation up top. Visibility was tremendous and we had views of a huge swath of peaks: Thomson, Lemah, Stuart, Rainier, etc.

We descended skier's right of our bootpack on lower angle snow (25-30 degrees?). The crust kept every turn interesting, and some entertaining crashes ensued. Traversing back over the avalanche debris (roughly here: ), one of my skis prereleased. A half-hour search came up completely dry; the ski seems to have rocketed down a rollover (possibly a cliff band). It's likely next to a tree somewhere near the treeline in Commonwealth Basin; if you happen to see a BD Kilowatt with a TLT Speed binding, I'd certainly love to get it back and would buy you many beers for your trouble!

The ski out involved lots of one-legged posthole, with an occasional full-body posthole, and lots of "light is right" jokes.  We got to the trailhead at around 11:15a, a bit over 2 hours later than planned. Lost ski notwithstanding, a glorious morning of ski mountaineering before work!

Posts: 72

Re: April 17, 2013, Kendall: Dawn patrol, lost ski
« Reply #1 on: 04/20/13, 08:39 AM »

Wow. Sorry to hear about the ski! Will definitely keep a lookout as that's one of my favorite areas to go. Way to keep it fun despite the adversity!
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