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| |-+  December 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  December 28, 2013, Nachaktsen Peak
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Author Topic: December 28, 2013, Nachaktsen Peak  (Read 1962 times)
ebeam
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Posts: 123


December 28, 2013, Nachaktsen Peak
« on: 12/31/13, 05:27 PM »

There are pluses/minuses of early season skiing and snow years that lag behind normal. On the plus side, low snow years afford you access up roads further than normal - adding variety to your normal winter travels. The minus side is: even though you have access, the lack of snow often means the terrain doesn't offer you an easy trip.

This early year, I have spent a lot of time up the Ruth Creek valley and thought I should report that ski conditions up high are pretty good. But work is involved. It might even be a chance to use some of that pointy metal stuff in your gear closet.

We climbed the route mentioned in the Beckey Guide via a slanting couloir. The couloir still has two uncovered chock stones making it more challenging than a steep boot pack. In the steeper, and 2 short vertical sections, we got to use our tools but about half of couloir was a wallow fest. Once above the couloir the terrain is made for skiing. Many of the steep slopes had slid to the valley but not all. There was about 6 inches of fun snow on top of a crust with rotten snow underneath. We wiggled our way up a mellow line, either where slides had already occurred or where the slope was too low to break with any consequences.

We didnít end up climbing Nachaktsen Peak proper because we didnít like the conditions that day for the most direct route. One could easily climb the way we went, but it would have added another hour of up time and we werenít sure how long it would take to get out. It wasn't a simple ski out. We turned around by 2pm. After 2,000 ft of surprisingly good skiing, we did a double rope rappel to get down to a ramp we could ski out on. The ramp was sketchy avy track and water ice; glad we didnít go for the summit and end up doing that in the dark. The ramp led to a chunder highway, which led to the slide alder zone, which led to the trail.

Good day of earned turns. Pictures here: https://picasaweb.google.com/ebeam50/NachaktsenPeakDec282013?authkey=Gv1sRgCOvf2ei0nr2TkQE#


« Last Edit: 01/01/14, 09:39 AM by ebeam » Logged
dberdinka
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Posts: 152


Re: December 28, 2013, Nachaktsen Peak
« Reply #1 on: 12/31/13, 05:36 PM »

You are a badass.  Nice work.   Some great looking turns.
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scottb
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Posts: 17


Re: December 28, 2013, Nachaktsen Peak
« Reply #2 on: 12/31/13, 05:43 PM »

Thanks for inviting me on the trip Eric, always great to get out with you and Chuck! Nice to meet Owen also( and thanks for the photos!). See you guys this Spring, and hopefully will have a good snow pack to slide on when I get back from AK !
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mikerolfs
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Re: December 28, 2013, Nachaktsen Peak
« Reply #3 on: 12/31/13, 06:13 PM »

Great trip!  I really enjoyed the photos.  The gulley ascent looked serious.
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danpeck
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Posts: 504


Re: December 28, 2013, Nachaktsen Peak
« Reply #4 on: 12/31/13, 07:06 PM »

Very cool!

I agree that the advantages to a late winter with lots of clear weather is climbing and access opens up adventures that are normally unsafe.  Nice work.
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Rowan Stewart
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Re: December 28, 2013, Nachaktsen Peak
« Reply #5 on: 12/31/13, 08:38 PM »

way to earn those turns, looks awesome! great photos too
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Walking makes the world much bigger, and thus more interesting.
-Edward Abbey
lrudholm
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Posts: 374


Re: December 28, 2013, Nachaktsen Peak
« Reply #6 on: 12/31/13, 09:21 PM »

Looks like a fun adventure.
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Leyland
Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: December 28, 2013, Nachaktsen Peak
« Reply #7 on: 01/01/14, 12:04 PM »

Beautiful photos, and an inspired trip.
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trees4me
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Posts: 509


Re: December 28, 2013, Nachaktsen Peak
« Reply #8 on: 01/02/14, 08:47 AM »

Very cool.  That couloir looks like a nice mix of mountaineering.  Keep exploring!
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chill people, skiing is fun
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