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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  February 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Feb 3, Esmeralda Basin - Killer POW
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Author Topic: Feb 3, Esmeralda Basin - Killer POW  (Read 2844 times)

Posts: 21

Feb 3, Esmeralda Basin - Killer POW
« on: 02/04/14, 11:07 AM »

We parked at Teanaway/29 Pines Snow Park and snowmobiled the 10 miles along the closed road to Esmeralda Basin Trailhead. We weren’t sure what to expect but we were stoked to see the snow coverage increasing as we got deeper we got into the Teanaway. When we got to Esmeralda Basing we parked the snowmobile and started skinning up to longs pass in about 1 foot of blower powder on top of some soft stuff (the making of an awesome day). We took a conservative up route through the trees and stopped at the first “terrain shelf” just south of the Ingalls Tr and Long Pass tr. Junction to dig a snow pit. The blower quality snow had increased to about 2 feet.  Unfortunately there was an ice layer about 30” down with what looked to be buried surface hoar on top that released on the 2nd elbow hit during the isolated column test (SW aspect). With this new information we decided to live to see another day and egress down through the trees. As we descended down through 2+ feet of blower we hit a few pockets of blower that were over 3’ deep which to a Washington boy feels bottomless. All in all a fun trip to a beautiful area. I am definitely going to head back out there next Monday if Avi conditions get better.

Live Hard and Die Old

Posts: 266

Re: Feb 3, Esmeralda Basin - Killer POW
« Reply #1 on: 02/05/14, 09:00 AM »

Gotta love the Teanaway!  That side of the basin typically has great stability.  Been there many times to sled and ski, and I've never seen evidence of any slide activity in the basin proper (but the basin just to the east that drains across the approach trail slides big).  i think it's a combination of constant solar bombardment and sledder compaction (gets pounded by sleds pretty much weekly).  The south side of that valley (north face of Esmeraldas) has great skiing as well, and sleds pretty much can't get in there.

We were skiing and sledding just west of there all weekend.  Found solid stability everywhere we went.  Best conditions of the year so far.  Here's an edit from Saturday:

Posts: 443

Re: Feb 3, Esmeralda Basin - Killer POW
« Reply #2 on: 02/05/14, 09:25 AM »

any pics?
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