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| | |-+  18-19 April 2014, Glacier Peak via White Mountain
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Author Topic: 18-19 April 2014, Glacier Peak via White Mountain  (Read 1921 times)
runningclouds
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18-19 April 2014, Glacier Peak via White Mountain
« on: 04/21/14, 07:14 PM »

The weather forecast was not favourable but it also seemed to be rather uncertain and changing quite a bit so we tried for a lucky break. It did not happen.

The NF-49 road is drivable to 300 m (1000 ft) before it forks to the North Fork Sauk River Trail. The last bit is covered by about 40 cm (16 in) of wet snow, should be gone pretty fast. At one point between mile 5 and 6 there is a spot the Forester just barely cleared (washout, water over the road surface). There is lots of fall down branches and debris on the road.

The North Fork Sauk River Trail #649 has intermittent dirty snow all the way to 1300 m (4300 ft). We skinned from mile 1 but there was a lot of walking, lot of crossing the short bare ground patches on skis. On the way back we had skins on from Mackinaw Shelter back to where we stashed hiking boots, this worked well for the terrain and conditions (rain on wet, dirty snowpack).

Continuous snow from around 1300 m (4300 ft). Made it to about 1850 m (6100 ft) on the S side of the ridge between White Mountain and Red Pass before turning back. Around 1800 m (5900 ft) the snow changed quite a bit from spring isothermal pack to 6 cm (2 in) crust buried under 5-10 cm (2-4 in) of new snow. The new snow was forming proto sastrugi on the spine of the rib we were skinning up. In the depression between the ribs a weak wind slab (possible cross loading). The storm snow was not bonded uniformly, it was sliding here and sticking there.

Several natural avalanches on S side (size 1-2, estimated 1-2 days old, likely from solar radiation, the biggest run about 250 m (800 ft), debris field 20 x 20m (70 x 70 ft) seen. No natural avalanche observed on Saturday.

Skiing the steep part sucked, the mellow terrain in the treed avy path bellow was much better but woefully short. A long way to get so little skiing done, good physical and mental workout though.

Slideshow and google earth screenshots:
Attempt at skiing Glacier Peak via White Mountain.
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ErikT
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Re: 18-19 April 2014, Glacier Peak via White Mountain
« Reply #1 on: 04/21/14, 08:23 PM »

Nice!! I love reading about bold (but safe) objectives shot down... gotta try it! We tried a Fri-Sun Chiwaukum traverse, but ended up making it a Friday day trip with lots of training weight. Given what you guys saw on Saturday - glad we were sleeping in town Smiley
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runningclouds
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Re: 18-19 April 2014, Glacier Peak via White Mountain
« Reply #2 on: 04/21/14, 09:09 PM »

Erik, you made the right decision 24 hr before we did Wink

I had to google Chiwaukum traverse. It looks very nice, I am adding it to my ever expanding list. Thanks for the pointer and good luck next time.
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