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Author Topic: June 11, 2014, Muir and Nisqually Chute  (Read 3999 times)
wolfs
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June 11, 2014, Muir and Nisqually Chute
« on: 06/12/14, 02:52 PM »

Late start on the trip due to heading into work for a couple of morning meetings and only then driving up to Paradise. Only got started up the mountain at about 2PM. Getting through the midweek construction happening in the Kautz parking area wasn't too odious, only a couple of short oneway flagging stretches involved.

A few clouds in vicinity but none over the mountain when I started. That changed as the day went on, eventually mountain above 11K was clouded along with some cumulus west. Temps pretty warm, shirtsleeves and shorts the whole way up until getting into the colder wind at Muir itself.

Saw perhaps half a dozen other skiers, none synchronized on my evening shift, more (40+ climbers on foot) throughout the day. So a decently quiet day on the snowfield. Topped out at 6:15, still warm (except for the wind), still plenty of light available for the descent.

Snow on the main snowfield was OK but not great. A little bit slush, a little bit corn. (Corn on East side of mountain last weekend was better.) Wasn't necessarily sticky thankfully, but the degree to which you'd sink in and how that dictated your turning was a less "free" skiing experience than when you get that nice corn on a firm base. Still, fun.



Note however that in the Pebble Creek part, the cattle have pretty much stampeded that snow wall to wall. Even while way out on the west side near the Chute entrance there were still a few random deep-sunk boottracks wandering around. Ain't no wilderness experience that's for sure. For non-Chutegoers might recommend going PG to avoid.

More so than in past years there is a sort of pitting effect happening on the main Snowfield. Looks like it is due to fine dirt being blown in from the west side like from Wapowety or the big new scar and resultant debris slides of the thing cleaving the Nisqually. This dirt settles into little nests on the snow, these will eventually make a hella suncup. There was also evidence that deep trench ski/board tracks from when snow was softer would catch this same dirt, the result being that the track melts bigger and deeper, rather than the usual morphology of clean tracks becoming raised.



Looking down from ~9.5K far west, shows pitting effect I am talking about


Nisqually Chute itself, also had this sorta corn, sorta slush consistency. Pole pen here was nearly a foot, had it been a really warm day not sure would have dropped it. But test ski cuts showed hardly any entraining happening, so went for it. Not really that many recent tracks in the Chute. Fun skiing here, the softness was fine for big turns with speed even on the steeper angles of the Chute. Snow actually got better further down (the apron part), closest thing to corn encountered. Just before flatter moraine part, snow got even softer and also runnel channeled, may have been some historical snowline here? Now it did get really sticky. Enough so that could get out of the moraine and onto the slopes below Pan without even skinning up.




The Chute mostly in shade


Mystery of the day: observed party of 8 just finished crossing Nisqually Glacier and heading up the Wilson ramp - at 7:30 PM. How was that going to work? At least 2 probably 3 more hours to a safe camp on ridge from there, and not that much daylight. And even when there - what then? Would just have to get up predawn and climb more, just 4 hours later. Seemed like a really strange timeplan for climbing the mountain.

« Last Edit: 06/12/14, 05:44 PM by wolfs » Logged
bfree32
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Re: June 11, 2014, Muir and Nisqually Chute
« Reply #1 on: 06/12/14, 09:24 PM »

Looks like a nice day!


Mystery of the day: observed party of 8 just finished crossing Nisqually Glacier and heading up the Wilson ramp - at 7:30 PM. How was that going to work? At least 2 probably 3 more hours to a safe camp on ridge from there, and not that much daylight. And even when there - what then? Would just have to get up predawn and climb more, just 4 hours later. Seemed like a really strange timeplan for climbing the mountain.


There is a good camping spot when you first gain the ridge at 7500'. As far as the stormy weather for today, who knows.
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Zap
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Re: June 11, 2014, Muir and Nisqually Chute
« Reply #2 on: 06/13/14, 10:16 AM »

Nice TR of the conditions to the Chute, the Chute skiing and the exit out. Wink
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ron j
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Re: June 11, 2014, Muir and Nisqually Chute
« Reply #3 on: 06/13/14, 01:28 PM »

Nice report, wolfs.
Thanks.
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