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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  January 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Jan 4: Bluebird, By Jove
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Author Topic: Jan 4: Bluebird, By Jove  (Read 5604 times)
Susan Ashlock

Posts: 50

Jan 4: Bluebird, By Jove
« on: 01/04/14, 10:20 PM »

Charlie is testing out the theory that it might be possible for him to *not* post a trip report, so the job falls to me this evening.

No big surprises here:
  • Dust on crust in the trees
  • Some pockets of windslab up near the ridge
  • Didn't ski the big open face or fear of running into a larger pocket
  • Lots of snowmobilers (angry bee machines) out there
  • 2" of new near the TH, ~8" up high
  • Significant sun effect on south-facing stuff, plenty of pinwheels in the afternoon

The most surprising observation we made was that we didn't run into any other skiers or snowshoers out there until we were skiing down the road on our way out (despite seeing lots of snowshoers and skiers at the trailhead).  We did notice when we returned to Rainy Pass on our way out that some other skiers had roughly followed our route down Jove, but we never saw them.

Another surprise was how much the new snow was sliding on the old when skinning across steeper slopes (> 20 deg).  Which made for some frustrating skinning but wasn't otherwise concerning.

My photos:

* Coming_down_the_ridge_resized.jpg (246.27 KB, 577x431 - viewed 1275 times.)
Charlie Hagedorn

Posts: 1921

Re: Jan 4: Bluebird, By Jove
« Reply #1 on: 01/05/14, 11:27 AM »

I guess I'll compromise a bit to chime in and say that we saw quite a bit of surface hoar (~1/2" on the flats below the face of Jove, see photos). Stevens telemetry isn't warming up much today, so that stuff might survive the warming.

A couple afternoon ski cuts on sunny slopes got all of the new snow moving. It was a little different making a cut that felt wet/springlike, but seeing powdery chunks moving downhill. Bed surface was firm but easily edgeable.

A big thanks to Susan for breaking all the trail for this desk jockey, and for her continued emphasis on good backcountry decision-making. Our shared agreement that we weren't certain that the main face was safe to ski made it much easier to traverse out of the fall line after a few good turns on the ridge at the top of the face. That slope is delectable, but there's nowhere to run if it fails.


Posts: 1011

Re: Jan 4: Bluebird, By Jove
« Reply #2 on: 01/05/14, 01:37 PM »

Good restraint staying on the ridge and not diving down that big steep slope.  Beautiful photos, both of you.

Posts: 325

Re: Jan 4: Bluebird, By Jove
« Reply #3 on: 01/05/14, 04:34 PM »

looks beautiful.  great way to deal with uncertainty, embrace it, change the terrain and poof the pressure is off !

Lytt til erfarne fjellfolk!

Posts: 35

Re: Jan 4: Bluebird, By Jove
« Reply #4 on: 01/05/14, 07:53 PM »

Great pictures, beautiful day out there. I was in the party behind you two. We did Union and then Jove, hitting the top about 20 mins after you skied off. Definitely liked the left line as the safer option, and from what we saw skinning up the sunnier ridge it was probably better snow too. Awesome conditions up top, and even the tight stuff coming down to the road was pretty fun.

Btw - was up there nearby but at lower elev today and there was alot of hoar from the last couple cold nights. Could get interesting if it snows on it.
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