telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
www.turns-all-year.com
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
11/17/17, 10:09 PM

Become a TAY Sponsor!
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
Second Ascent
Second Ascent
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
 
FOAC Snow
Info Exchange


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  January 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  January 25, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: January 25, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge  (Read 4973 times)
thatoneguydave
5Member
Offline

Posts: 92


January 25, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge
« on: 01/26/14, 10:28 AM »

I've been wondering why I haven't seen a lot of trip reports lately for the Baker area and now I know why.  It's horrendous out there. 

Myself and two others were going to attempt to summit Baker this weekend via the Coleman Deming Route, but didn't make it past Heliotrope ridge.  We took the winter route, which is more like some snow patches in the woods until you get out onto Grouse Creek.  At Grouse Creek we had to put on crampons, not ski crampons, but boot crampons because you can't really skin on sheer ice apparently.  We ran into a group of four who were coming back from the base of the ridge who had aborted their attempt.  They let us know it was shit and not worth the time and effort.  We took note of it, but thought we would continue on and maybe just turn the trip into a fun overnighter and enjoy the stars and chill since we were already out.

Following the decision to carry on we booted up one of the gullies to hopefully gain a ridge and setup camp.  After toe pointing a 1000ft we gained a ridge where we realized we couldn't dig out a tent platform, anything you placed on the snow...errr ice...slid down the mountain (if you find trail mix, caribou sausage, and a bunch of other goodies all about the base it's because a food bag exploded while trying to stab it with a ski pole.  It was quite the sight to see an entire bag of food explode and accelerate down this bobsled run.), and we realized it was not going to be safe to pitch a tent on this shit.  We had images of a tent with three people on slipping down the hill. 

Let the side slipping begin.  This was the most horrendous ice i've ever side slipped.  It was a white knuckling and diamond puckering experience.  You literally could hardly find any edge at all on this crap.  I wish I had an edge sharpener in my pocket at the time.  Any fall would result in a 1000 ft plus of uncontrolled sliding at very incredibly fast speeds.  After spending a half hour or more of side slipping we finally got to a point to get our crampons back on and boot out.  Even transitioning on the smallest degree of slopes was challenging because everything would just take off if not staked down or looped on a tree.

To say the least our best turns were on the road on the way out and we were mentally and physically beat. 

You can get to 1.5 miles from the TH with only one small carry right now.  The ice is about 3 inches thick  on the ridge and in the valley and would tell anyone to just avoid it for now.  It will be interesting to see how the new snow bonds to this....whenever that is.
Logged
lrudholm
Member
Offline

Posts: 374


Re: January 25, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #1 on: 01/26/14, 11:13 AM »

That sounds rough. I wonder how the south side would be. Maybe ok as long as you ski down when its corn vs an ice sheet?
Logged

Leyland
thatoneguydave
5Member
Offline

Posts: 92


Re: January 25, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #2 on: 01/26/14, 11:18 AM »

I think anything south facing and getting a lot of solar radiation are the only viable options right now..nisqually chutes.  In the case of Heliotrope ridge (not an expert at weather and such), but we thought that maybe the warm air currently in the area is slowly melting the snow during the day and then freezing during the evening.  Especially on north facing slopes.  Repeating this process everyday creating essentially a sheet of ice with nothing to grab an edge on.  Just a smooth sheet of ice.
Logged
Radar
5Member
Offline

Posts: 31


Re: January 25, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #3 on: 01/27/14, 10:10 AM »

We made it up to about 9k feet on Saturday after bailing on Shuksan via WS the night before. Turned around due to time (we slept in...oops). Good styrafoam snow above the usual bench where everyone camps and skinning wasn't terrible with the ski pons on. Found a few pockets of wind deposit on the upper Coleman which made for about 5 nice turns; the rest of the descent was on some pretty amazing shine pow.

The saying of the day was "I bet Index is really nice right now...". Still, it was a nice day out for some exercise at least.
Logged
Jason4
Member
Offline

Posts: 266


Re: January 25, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #4 on: 01/27/14, 12:32 PM »

The saying of the day was "I bet Index is really nice right now...". Still, it was a nice day out for some exercise at least.

Squamish was really nice on Saturday. Cheesy
The rock was warm in the sun, climbing was comfortable in long sleeves as was belaying but it was a bit crowded.  The only downside was the sun setting at 445.
Logged

Free your heel, free your mind.
Fix your heel, fix your problem.
- Pred, 2013
dberdinka
Member
Offline

Posts: 152


Re: January 25, 2013, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #5 on: 01/27/14, 12:42 PM »

Index was amazing on Saturday.  T-shirts and bone dry rock!  Cheesy

On a more somber note there was serious (but not fatal) accident on the north side of Baker Saturday near the Hogsback.  A long uncontrolled slide on ice was what I heard.
Logged
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Contact turns-all-year.com

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.