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Author Topic: January 4 2013, Longs Pass  (Read 4263 times)

Posts: 17

January 4 2013, Longs Pass
« on: 01/05/14, 09:23 PM »

Although you would need a vehicle with high ground clearance and chains (or 4-wheel drive) to get out there, the road to the TH is still open to cars.  My buddy Devin and I started out from the TH about 4:30am with the plan to do a ski descent on Stuart via the Cascadian, conditions permitting. The other 2 members of our party were nice enough to lay in a skin track for us as they set out the day before to make camp on the other side of Longs Pass. We were at the top of the pass before sunrise, and opted to take a break and wait for daylight to get a good look at our objective.  We quickly concluded that the coverage on Stuarts South face would make for an overly sporty ski descent, regardless of the route.

As it was a beautiful bluebird day, and we were sitting on top of a ridge line with faces covered in 7-8" of untouched light fluffy powder, the decision to abandon an arduous summit bid in order to subject ourselves to a thoroughly epic day of lapping pow, was not difficult to make. 

Our first lap was down the North face of the ridge line, a little East of Longs. The first ~300' was a little spicy; glare ice, with small pockets of 2-3" of light wind deposited snow. As wind slab was a concern, we opted to stay on the lower angle terrain into the trees. The final 900' down to the creek was 8in of light powder, and made for great tree skiing.

We skinned/boot packed back up to the ridge and had a bite to eat. We then noticed the other 2 members of our party setting in a skin track on the South side of the ridge en route to the top. Apparently after getting a look at Stuart the previous day, they came to the same conclusion we did, and abandoned their summit bid (great minds think alike!). The snow showed no major signs of instability, and as we had our pick of the lines, we took advantage of our centralized skin track (well thought out by Todd and Kyle). We did 5 laps, working our way along the ridge before finally heading back to the car around 3:30pm.

Although you can skin from the parking lot, coverage near the bottom (~4600') was a little to low to ski, so we opted to boot it the last 1/2 mile or so to the car. Made it back to the lot around 4pm for celebratory beers and snacks; smiles all around, a solid day of skiing to say the least.

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« Last Edit: 01/05/14, 11:03 PM by TAndrewSki » Logged
Jim Oker

Posts: 1552

Re: January 4 2013, Longs Pass
« Reply #1 on: 01/05/14, 10:43 PM »

Wow, nice job taking advantage of the unusual lack of snow to drive out to that TH!! And also of having the good judgment to "ski here now."

Posts: 910

Re: January 4 2013, Longs Pass
« Reply #2 on: 01/06/14, 07:09 AM »

Thanks for the photos, both of the mountain and of your tracks!  Amazing to be able to drive to the trail head in January.
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