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| | |-+  Nov 18, Mazama Ridge
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Author Topic: Nov 18, Mazama Ridge  (Read 2794 times)
Don Heath
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Nov 18, Mazama Ridge
« on: 11/18/13, 11:02 PM »

Cliff notes: Good snow in protected bowls.  Wind scoured on west and north facing. Rainy start, but finished with snow.  No instability noted in spite of 15-20 mph wind, and some obvious loading. 

The TAY van left home at 6 AM, picking up four more skiers on the southbound journey.  We hadn't locked in our destination, but with the temperatures forecast to rise throughout the day, we opted to get as high as we could.  We tempted fate by heading to Paradise, without knowing when the gate would open.  Turns out, about 9:30, which wasn't too bad, I thought, although there was not a speck of snow on the road all the way to Paradise.  Why not open at 9?

Question - why can they not make a prediction at 6 AM?  The plow drivers must be out working and be able to report to some body who could access their keyboard and post a 20 word twitter update. Wouldn't you think?  I would give them my cell and do it, for free, for cripes sakes.  Anyway it worked out today for us.

Raining and blowing (10 to 15?) as we geared up.  We crossed Edith Creek, and headed up the summer trail past Sluiskin Falls.  Sleeting and pelting us 20+ mph.  There was enough to skin on, but it promised to be a bony trip down if we retraced our steps.  So once on top of the ridge we turned right and found much improved conditions.  Just past the top of the ridge the wind died down, and we found a couple of inches of soft snow on a solid base. The new snow was well bonded to the lower snow, and nothing moved all day.  Even though I vigorously engaged the surface with my full body stability tests.  It's a little more vigorous than the elbow and shoulder taps.  Also, poor visibility had me, at least, falling down with vertigo.  Always a hoot, which is what I also say about throwing up. 

David was literally bubbling over with enthusiasm all day.  He'd get hit by a gust or pelted with ice pellets, and say something like "I LOVE this!"  Falling backward due to vertigo he said "This is SO much fun!"  You gotta love hanging out with Newbies. 

My son Ben spent the day on our homemade split board.  So... heh-heh... who knew yo-yoing small slopes is not so good on a splitboard.  He thinks he transitioned 10 times.  He is a trooper, though.  And both of us are looking forward to getting out where he can climb a long time and then enjoy a long continuous fall line glide.  And not climb out of creeks.  And not crash through brush.

Alex, Craig and David lapped the steepest stuff, nicked a few rocks, and in general bombed every slope we hit.  We skied 4 or 5 laps in Christmas Bowl, I think it's called, and then exited down to 4th crossing.  I think we found all of the creeks, although there may still be one left untracked.  By that I mean without my butt print.

Beers at the TAY van, and a note from Robie when I got home saying he'd seen it on the parking lot cam.  That's why I parked there.

Modified to add a few pictures.
« Last Edit: 11/19/13, 02:56 PM by Rusty Knees » Logged

The best part of summer skiing is napping on a warm rock.
MtnPavlas
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Posts: 125


Re: Nov 18, Mazama Ridge
« Reply #1 on: 11/18/13, 11:11 PM »

Sorry I missed this party, Don, and hope we'll catch up on some other adventure soon. Mainly I wish I had a chance to check out the homemade splitboard.
Glad it all worked out... been thinking of you, guys, all day at work ;-)
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kneel turner
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Posts: 631


Re: Nov 18, Mazama Ridge
« Reply #2 on: 11/18/13, 11:33 PM »

Thanks for the excellent report. Reminds me of my first outings. -Getting so wrecked, and as soon as I got back to the car, I couldn't wait to do it again (actually, that hasn't changed at all). So true. Funny how the bug bites some of us, and not others.
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No, I'm not a telephone solicitor.  I ski with my heels free.
Andrew Carey
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Re: Nov 18, Mazama Ridge
« Reply #3 on: 11/19/13, 07:11 AM »

... Turns out, about 9:30, which wasn't too bad, I thought, although there was not a speck of snow on the road all the way to Paradise.  Why not open at 9?

Question - why can they not make a prediction at 6 AM?  The plow drivers must be out working and be able to report to some body who could access their keyboard and post a 20 word twitter update. Wouldn't you think?  I would give them my cell and do it, for free, for cripes sakes. 

They seem to have no sense of "customer" service and no clue about how people use the backcountry--why it is beneficial to open asap and on time.

I spent 1 hour in the Longmire parking lot, last year I believe, waiting for the LEO road inspector to show up for work and drive to Paradise and back to say it was o.k. to open the gate; the road crew were long finished by 9 a.m., but I think he was just late to work (I queried one of the junior rangers about the delay).  I normally do not leave home until I could see the parking lot had been cleared and that morning it had been cleared and there was no low snow, no bad weather.
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
blackdog102395
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Posts: 307


Re: Nov 18, Mazama Ridge
« Reply #4 on: 11/20/13, 09:18 PM »

Don-did you wind up using one of those boards I upcycled to you a while back?  If so, it does my heart good to know they've been reborn.
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Don Heath
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Posts: 825


Re: Nov 18, Mazama Ridge
« Reply #5 on: 11/21/13, 12:20 PM »

If so, it does my heart good to know they've been reborn.

Hi Jake, your heart should feel good.  We learned on one of the boards (you can read that as 'we ruined one with a sloppy cut down the middle') but slowed down and succeeded on the other one.  With all the brackets and hardwire, it's a little on the heavy side, but it all works.  It skis pretty well in walk mode, plus it gives my son a good workout, and slows him down a bit, which helps me out.
Thanks for contibuting to our family addiction.
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The best part of summer skiing is napping on a warm rock.
blackdog102395
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Posts: 307


Re: Nov 18, Mazama Ridge
« Reply #6 on: 11/21/13, 12:31 PM »

Fantastic!  Let me know the next time you head to Rainier.  I'd love to hook up for a tour and see the board in action.  Might bring me right back 1995!
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