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| | |-+  May 7, 2014, Grouse - CD - Baker Summit
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Author Topic: May 7, 2014, Grouse - CD - Baker Summit  (Read 6063 times)
tabski
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May 7, 2014, Grouse - CD - Baker Summit
« on: 05/08/14, 10:34 PM »

JH, LD and I parked with appx 1.5 - 2 miles of road remaining to trailhead. Two other groups of three departed just ahead of us. Road was 90% snow covered, 8% bare road, 2% skiable pine needles. No TP in the bathrooms. 

Ascended Grouse Creek. Its melting out fast down low but still found excellent travel to Heliotrope Ridge. Noted a pair of Grouse doing their mating dance and some voyeurist Ptarmigans watching along melted-out heather slopes.

Ascended Coleman via standard ski track. Watched a group of two skiers a ways ahead take the far climbers' R line under Colfax's seracs -- not recommended then, now, or ever. Also noted that the serac wall on top of N face/Coleman Headwall looks very broken up, and a substantial debris track stretched about a mile down the glacier below.

From col ascended about 100m of the ridge on foot where it was quite icy. I transitioned back and skinned up tolerable sastrugi on Roman Wall while my team members stubbornly continued on foot through exhausting knee to thigh-deep breakable crust.

Light in-and-out clouds on summit, thick marine layer over lowlands, light to moderate N wind. We dug in a bench on the S side out of the wind and were quite warm, drank some coffee and took some selfies.

Descended Roman Wall into Roman Mustache. Supportable crust made it tough to look like a rockstar but was still a blast to ski. Returned homewards and made one more short climb to the high point of Heliotrope Ridge allowing a fall line ski into the top of Grouse Creek. Things started out great, but the jubilation was cut short when after about 500' the smooth turning conditions turned into the stickiest glop I've skied since last week.

Quick exit to the car and Bellingham with grub, as tradition, at Bayou on Bay.



« Last Edit: 05/08/14, 10:40 PM by tabski » Logged
T. Eastman
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Re: May 7, 2014, Grouse - CD - Baker Summit
« Reply #1 on: 05/08/14, 11:29 PM »

Why didn't your buddies ski up the wall?
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runningclouds
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Re: May 7, 2014, Grouse - CD - Baker Summit
« Reply #2 on: 05/08/14, 11:49 PM »

Tabski, thanks for the TR, looks like corn is still few weeks away?
How thick is the snow on the road?

Strange things happen around Roman Wall:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/runningclouds/496920669/in/photolist-
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tabski
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Re: May 7, 2014, Grouse - CD - Baker Summit
« Reply #3 on: 05/09/14, 08:33 AM »

Why didn't your buddies ski up the wall?

Two were splitboarders, capable of all sorts of weird things. The other two must have copped a contact high.
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cumulus
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Re: May 7, 2014, Grouse - CD - Baker Summit
« Reply #4 on: 05/09/14, 08:53 AM »


thanks for the Grouse/Coleman update!


Aren't Ptarmigan's grouse?  Either way, sounds like a grand time in the animal kingdom all around.
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Stefan
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Re: May 7, 2014, Grouse - CD - Baker Summit
« Reply #5 on: 05/09/14, 07:52 PM »

I've noticed significant changes in the Coleman headwall area over the last several years.  That upper search area definitely seems to be falling apart in a hurry. The final steep bit on the headwall had melted down to rock last fall in the first time that I remember. There was also a large tongue of ice further east before the Northridge that has completely disappeared in the last 10 to 15 years. Would be interesting to assemble a chronology of photos taken from the Heliotrope area to document the changes. 
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