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| | |-+  June "Pow" in the SW Chutes, Mt Adams 06-14-14.
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Author Topic: June "Pow" in the SW Chutes, Mt Adams 06-14-14.  (Read 3336 times)
Mofro
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June "Pow" in the SW Chutes, Mt Adams 06-14-14.
« on: 06/16/14, 03:53 PM »

Despite a somewhat soggy outlook to the weekend, it appeared we had a small window of opportunity on Saturday to go down and ski the SW chutes. In past trips this has resulted in 3K+ of fabulous corn snow, but this time we were given some June pow. Well, kind of. Buffed, lumpy, dense-ish, wind affected pow. Maybe not on par with the corn i've previously skied in the SW Chutes, but it was a nice surprise to ski fresh snow in one of the greatest ski runs around. We might have nailed the weather window with blue skies, but we still had to contend with the wind.

A late Seattle departure, traffic, and logistics meant an early morning arrival at Cold Springs CG.  2 hrs of sleep later we were awake just before a car alarm went off and woke everyone in the CG @4:30am. The snow starts ~20-30mins up the trail around 6K, the hard freeze overnight making for easy up hill travel. 



Looking up at the mountain, it was evident there had been some new snow up high Thurs-Friday. Heading up the South climb from the lunch counter, it was also clear that the wind had blown much of the snow off the slope to parts unknown, making ski crampons or boot crampons required, unlike the tennis shoe hike the South climb often is. The frozen chicken heads decorating South climb also meant the plan to make a quick lap and reconvene with my slower paced companions changed to a lengthy nap on the false summit, with sheltering from the persistent strong winds being a necessity.

good morning weather window


South climb looking not-so-prime @9:30am
 

Summit looking less than ski-worthy as well.
 

Sleep. Eat. Drink. Wait. The wind refused to die down and if anything strengthened. Since the South climb didn't appear to be softening, how would the SW chutes fair? We finally dropped in just before 12pm and the top 200 ft were brittle wind scoured turns, but soon gave way to  6" pockets of dense fresh snow and shelter from the gale.

Pow turns? We'll take it.






The new snow eventually gave way to beautiful smooth corn below 8K, becoming overly soft for the last 500 vert to the round the mountain trail.

Carnage


I hadn't been down to Adams since the burn, impressive. We would have kept staring at this tree for hours but the beer was calling.
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not always bad
kciari
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Re: June "Pow" in the SW Chutes, Mt Adams 06-14-14.
« Reply #1 on: 06/16/14, 04:57 PM »

Heading down for a summit/SW chutes attempt on Wednesday. Thanks for the awesome TR. Laughed out loud at the "carnage" caption.

How was the traverse back to the car? Last time I skied the chutes we overshot our traverse point and had to hike 500ft through slide alder. Not my idea of a good time.
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I love skiing in a tutu. Find me via #tutusallyear.
Mofro
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Re: June "Pow" in the SW Chutes, Mt Adams 06-14-14.
« Reply #2 on: 06/16/14, 05:30 PM »

Heading down for a summit/SW chutes attempt on Wednesday. Thanks for the awesome TR. Laughed out loud at the "carnage" caption.

How was the traverse back to the car? Last time I skied the chutes we overshot our traverse point and had to hike 500ft through slide alder. Not my idea of a good time.

The trail crosses over right about where the "carnage" picture is taken @6500ft,  then trends upward ~100vt or so and was still under a couple of feet of snow much of the way back to the S. climb.  When debating where the trail is supposed to be, the answer is always "up a little higher than you think".
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not always bad
silaswild
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Re: June "Pow" in the SW Chutes, Mt Adams 06-14-14.
« Reply #3 on: 06/16/14, 10:36 PM »

How was the traverse back to the car? Last time I skied the chutes we overshot our traverse point and had to hike 500ft through slide alder.
Adams locals like to ski as far down Morrison Creek as there is snow, then hike the open timber to the campground.  Of course that requires a car shuttle, or hitch hiking back up to Cold Springs parking.

Not my idea of a good time.
Right.  You and ND prefer "Rain?  Sleet?  Snow?  Climbing in a cloud?  Sounds like a good time"   Smiley
« Last Edit: 06/17/14, 09:00 AM by silaswild » Logged
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