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| | |-+  December 31, 2013, Valhalla, a nemesis is born
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Author Topic: December 31, 2013, Valhalla, a nemesis is born  (Read 1357 times)
knitvt
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December 31, 2013, Valhalla, a nemesis is born
« on: 01/01/14, 10:16 AM »

Lake Valhalla has become our nemesis.  One would think, with it being such a nearby and seeminly easy approach, this would not be so.  However, this is now our second, entertainingly failed attempt to reach the lake.  We hope the third time will be the charm.

Our first failure came earlier this year.  The combination of slow trailbreaking through 1.5 ft of new snow (those were the days!), us, never having been there before, having a wide variety of route-finding difficulties, and taking a decidedly non-alpine start, had us reaching our turn-around time far before we reached the lake.  We did enjoy fantastic power turns on shorter slopes far below the lake, though; it was still an excellent trip.  But we wanted to reach the lake, and we didn't.  It stuck in our minds as a goal.

Yesterday, we thought for sure would be our time to finally get to the lake.  We got an early start.  We optimistically thought that the 1-2" the Stevens area was supposed to get overnight would make for some reasonable skiing.  (it didn't - there was almost no new snow)  Since we had learned a better and quicker approach to the lake on our first attempted trip, we thought that we'd have few route-finding difficulties (we had fewer... but we still managed to mess it up a bit)  We failed to think about the fact that the low snow level might make the requisite multiple stream crossings challenging. (it did!  see below)

When we finally made our way across all the streams, we were greeted with 1000ft of semi-breakable crust up to the lake.  Not only did that not seem like much fun to ski, but with the strong desire for all of us to keep all of our knee ligaments intact, we yet again gave in to the lake, and decided to enjoy a lunch amidst the lightly falling snow and return the way we had come.

We made the safer and probably more pleasant choice... but with this, Lake Valhalla has officially become our nemesis.  A mild nemesis, one might say.  But the day we finally get there will be a great day indeed. 

Despite all this, there were a lot of laughs, enjoyment of the snow that started falling in the afternoon, a good time with good people, and a general appreciation for spending the last day of the year out in our beautiful mountains.

But yeah... we wouldn't recommend heading that way until more snow falls.

The picture below is one of the stream-crossing tactics we ended up employing.  It was quite effective!


* IMG_0779-small.JPG (190.26 KB, 800x600 - viewed 788 times.)
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