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| | |-+  June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale
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Author Topic: June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale  (Read 5212 times)
Rowan Stewart
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June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale
« on: 06/24/14, 03:50 PM »

Its a rare treat when work schedules between friends coincide with weather windows. Alex and I lucked out with sunday through tuesday off and high pressure hanging around through monday. Once I got off work saturday night, we headed for the cascade river road with ambitious plans. We made it to the parking lot in time to catch three hours of sleep before the 530am wake up call, and started skinning by 8 after a leisurely breakfast.



You can still make cascade pass on snow either by a sketchy traverse or a short booter followed by a short 3rd class alder move.


We chose the latter


Stoked on my first visit to cascade pass.

The ski down to Pelton basin was suncuppy and sticky, but still fun. We surprised a marmot and rode a short chute with a mandatory glide crack hop. The skin up the yawning glacier was a bit more of a slog than I expected, and alex left me and my splitboard in the dust with his tlt5s and ski crampons.


some glacier ice showing on the yawning



We made to Alteration col by 1130 and spent half and hour eating and being indecisive. Alex had told me about a north facing couloir on Trapper mountain he had spied a week ago while sking the S glacier. This was had been our objective so far, but it now seemed very far away, and a little more runnelled and rocky than we had hoped for.



We went back and forth between the nearby nw gulley of Pelton, and the striking and far-away Trapper line. Lets go for It was the consensus. We rode quickly down and across the avy debris chaos below the s glacier towards Trapper lake, and started climbing to the base of the couloir by 1230.


Alex again leaving me on his ideal spring setup


I led the first section

The snow was perfect for climbing. Firm corn on top with a hard base that made for confidence inspiring steps with crampons, and solid ice axe plunging. Alex was more confident and faster with his hardboots and whippet than me with my softboots and axe, and led the rest of the climb.


The runnel wasn't too bad, but not too nice either.

I didn't bother to dig the inclinometer/compass out of my pack, but our best guess as to the pitch of the couloir was sustained 45 with brief steeper pitches. The last 500vert was a struggle for me. I almost had one of my strap crampons come off, and I was beginning to worry about the decent. By the time I topped out it was past 2, and I was worked. We quickly transitioned, I ate a snickers, and alex drop first in style.



I strapped into my board, cranked the binders tight, and dropped in tentatively with ice axe still in hand. The top 4 turns were beautiful smooth corn, and not super steep, but after that the couloir rolled over, the runnel began, and the snow got a bit fimer.
I have been struggling with my splitboard setup due to my big feet. I have tried to dial out the heel overhang, but haven't been figured it out. I have experienced trouble heelside edging on steep corn before, and this was definitely the steepest line I have ridden in corn snow.
I couldn't hold my heel edge at all once in the business section of the line, which was doubly a problem as there was a slight double fall line which would keep me mostly on my heel edge. I resorted to a lot of toeside sideslipping and axe belaying. It wasn't pretty. I got "rode" down to where alex had stopped, and got a few sweet toeside turns in on a right to left inclined slope. Here we had to cross the runnel which Alex again did in style and I managed, barely. We both got down past the big moat/shrund at the bottom of the chute and ripped the mellower angled sun cups down to the Lake.

Alex was stoked on the line, and I was more relieved to be down safely. We skinned back through the avy debris to a safe spot by a waterfall and rehydrated for while before continuing the slog back up to Alteration col.
The turns back down the Yawning glacier were some of the best of the trip, and thorougly enjoyed the mellower terrain.


I was exhausted climbing back to cascade pass, but still enjoyed every step. We took took in the views from cascade pass for a few minutes then dropped in to the suncupped run back to the car. straightlining over suncups is quite a massage on the legs after more than 8k of climbing! We were back to the car before 7 to enjoy cold beers and bratwurst for dinner.



I didn't ride our line as well as I hoped to, but i got up and down it safely and learned some valuable lessons about my gear. It was a great way to spend the second longest day of the year.
--
Monday morning we met this dude Rob who had arrived late the night before. We chatted over breakfast and invited him to come ski sahale with us. We started skinning by 930. Alex and I were tired from the big day before and made slow but steady progress. Rob was happy to move at our pace and take in all of the scenery. He had wound up on the cascade river road just by chance and had no idea was was at the end of it. Needless to say he was stoked.


alex and rob

another friend.

We got to the base of the sahale summit by 3 and breifly contemplated soloing the summit pitch in ski boots. that thought passed quickly. Due to the late hour, the south slope of sahale was boot-top corn and sluffing readily. Rob turned out to be a sponsored semi pro skier and happily skied down to the glacier in about 3 turns. Alex and I followed in his tracks, but made many more.


Rob and the sluffed slope.

It was a great first trip to Cascade Pass for me, and I'm stoked to go back!
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Walking makes the world much bigger, and thus more interesting.
-Edward Abbey
ryanl
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Re: June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale
« Reply #1 on: 06/24/14, 04:07 PM »

Congrats and well done! Pretty impressive first time visit to the Pass!
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Kenji
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Re: June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale
« Reply #2 on: 06/24/14, 06:08 PM »

We chatted with your guys at the lot after coming back exhausted hauling our overnight gears around.  Your tracks looked mighty impressive!
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Bird Dog
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Posts: 89


Re: June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale
« Reply #3 on: 06/24/14, 06:42 PM »

Nice! Well written TR, enjoyed reading it.
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Dr. Pow
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Re: June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale
« Reply #4 on: 06/25/14, 12:42 AM »

Spoonde is a beast.
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Aleksey
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Re: June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale
« Reply #5 on: 06/25/14, 01:31 PM »

We chatted with your guys at the lot after coming back exhausted hauling our overnight gears around.  Your tracks looked mighty impressive!

you fellas picked quite a spot to spend the night! would be stoked to see your photos if you brought the camera along. the space is a beacon to a talented photographer im sure. nice to meet you guys!


strong work on a calm and collected descent rowan! (and the open throttle turns down the never boring yawning!)

couple notes about the couloir...
The snow is very well protected due to the height and orientation of the surrounding walls. barely any sun at all and this was the day after a solstice.  The rock of Trapper Mountain on the other hand is less than inspiring in quality. we lucked out and did not see rockfall in the couloir, though it was certainly on our minds.
the Trapper lake basin is home to an impressive collection of debris. a plethora of variety too....anything from big ole pines to giant boulders to chunks of ice. lots of stuff that could catalyze a person to experience an unexpectedly short adventure. again we did not see or hear any rumblings, though Pelton Basin did show evidence of a recent shedding.
as rowan points out, the average angle is in the mid 40's, but the middle has sustained sections of 50's with consequence.
« Last Edit: 06/25/14, 01:39 PM by Aleksey » Logged
christoph benells
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Re: June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale
« Reply #6 on: 06/25/14, 01:59 PM »

did this trip make this happen?

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=31943.0

just some thoughts from a hardbooter... the f1's arent gonna quite as good for kicking step up steep cause of the bellows, those lasers are too much boot.

also, the board youre riding there, while great probably for powder isnt gonna be the best for steep corn. you'll want something with more effective edge and a longer radius sidecut.

an ideal setup for that kind of line (in my opinion) would be a chimera mace or a furberg board, phantom splitboard bindings, and tlt 5's or 6's.

loved the photos! and thats a pretty steep line!
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rlsg
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Posts: 516


Re: June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale
« Reply #7 on: 06/25/14, 08:34 PM »

WOW--S0 COOL!!!
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bcjunkie
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Posts: 72


Re: June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale
« Reply #8 on: 06/26/14, 08:55 PM »

Nice TR, Rowan! Nice to meet you and Alex an Saturday AM. Way to get the goods!
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Rowan Stewart
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Posts: 108


Re: June 22-23rd, Trapper Mtn North Couloir + Sahale
« Reply #9 on: 07/01/14, 07:51 PM »

Good to meet you too, bcjunkie. Thanks for the kind words everyone, heres a little video
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Walking makes the world much bigger, and thus more interesting.
-Edward Abbey
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