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NWAC Avalanche
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| | |-+  5th July 2013 The Turtle via Comet Falls
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Author Topic: 5th July 2013 The Turtle via Comet Falls  (Read 2056 times)
Jake the Brit

Posts: 362

5th July 2013 The Turtle via Comet Falls
« on: 07/05/13, 10:08 PM »

In the never ending quest for something new I hiked up to Comet Falls this morning and then GPS'd my way up to Van Trump Park.
My original plan was not to ride the glaciers, as I was solo, but the non glacier terrain looked steep, really steep in places and discontinuous, so I skinned up the easiest Van Trump glaciers to the top of the Turtle, where the Kautz glacier route does a wiggle, ate many oatcakes & belted back down.

The snow is continuous from just above Comet Falls. The very end of the trail has been blitzed by blow-down before the falls but if I can work it out....
The snow is mostly white, with some penitents forming high up, but it was soft enough to smack around, not many sun cup things.
I did use the dreaded GPS to mark the trail so I could get back out as it's really easy to end up in the wrong drainage, and in a river bed, upside down.. blah blah blah
More pics: Wilson headwall, finger, thumb, Kautz Cleaver etc:

* Turtle_via_Comet_Falls-101.jpg (179.78 KB, 1000x668 - viewed 900 times.)

* Turtle_via_Comet_Falls-100.jpg (178.11 KB, 1000x668 - viewed 888 times.)

* Turtle_via_Comet_Falls-102.jpg (154.99 KB, 1000x668 - viewed 891 times.)
« Last Edit: 07/06/13, 05:57 PM by Jake the Brit » Logged

Posts: 634

Re: 5th July 2013 The Turtle via Comet Falls
« Reply #1 on: 07/06/13, 10:49 AM »

Re: the non glacier terrain I went up one of those snow lobes in foggy disorientation about 5 years ago. Probably the one just one rib to the W of the correct snowfield but walled off from it. Was indeed steep, getting steeper, couldn't skin. Along the way there were rocks all over the snow, hmmm. Popping up out of fog in what I then knew to be Not The Turtle I could see why, the whole snowfield is headwalled by crazily unstable choss of the disintegrating Wapowety Cleaver. On way back down into fog a TV size specimen rolled down near enough to see in the 50' viz, approximately matching my pace. So, I have no plans to do THAT again. As far as I can tell the glaciers are really just stagnant ice now, only deep into into fall is there visual evidence that they have even the smallest cracks in them.

Posts: 102

Re: 5th July 2013 The Turtle via Comet Falls
« Reply #2 on: 07/07/13, 05:22 AM »

The first photo and comment "blitzed by blow-down before the falls" looks like it could be avalanche debris.
Jake the Brit

Posts: 362

Re: 5th July 2013 The Turtle via Comet Falls
« Reply #3 on: 07/07/13, 11:36 PM »

Thanks Wolfs for the affirmation, it looked knarly lookers left & mellow & stagnant on the right.
And BC', you wouldn't want to be there if the avi poured off the slopes above/ left/ right of the falls. Powerful stuff.

Posts: 340

Re: 5th July 2013 The Turtle via Comet Falls
« Reply #4 on: 07/08/13, 07:17 PM »

The downed trees are from a monster avalanche that occured sometime in the spring of 2012 and caused the trail to be closed all summer.  We walked by those downed trees on Labor Day 2012 and there was still 40' of snow covering the creek.  Also, on that weekend we tried climbing the Kautz and realized the further climbers left you get the worse the rockfall is.  Just stay east once you gain the alpine.
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