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| | |-+  July 28, 2014, Goat Cirque-us, Fryingpan fail
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Author Topic: July 28, 2014, Goat Cirque-us, Fryingpan fail  (Read 3106 times)

Posts: 634

July 28, 2014, Goat Cirque-us, Fryingpan fail
« on: 07/29/14, 11:41 PM »

Fryingpan Glacier has usually been a good August destination. So would have thought it would still work for late July even in this somewhat more melted out year. Well ... not so much as I had hoped. The good steep lines in the Goat Cirque are all discontinuous now, broken by a slabby cliff band. There was still a way up the Cirque that goes as snow, far lookers left, far enough that you can't even see it from trail until you commit to entering the lower part of the Cirque. But, once upon the crest, there would be at least 3 different places where you'd have to take the skis off and scramble around in the loose rock, in order to get to the meltwater pool atop the waterfalls, and the start of the Fryingpan proper.

Snow on far left is only viable way out of the Cirque

Now mind you, from that point on the ridge you can see a lot of the Fryingpan. And it looked plenty good up there, would have been home free easy skinning on nice snow surface from pool on up. But somehow, the prospect of walking all that ridge choss both way up, and then way down too, flipped some kind of switch. Blew out my usually fairly stolid determination to attain the objective. Dehydration didn't help my resolve nor did fact that the particular place I topped the ridge was especially tottery choss on a knife edge. Argggh!

Fryingpan as viewed from Goat Cirque exit. So close and yet ...

So, if life gives you goats, make goat cheese? Spent the remaining time before turnaround dropping back into the Cirque and taking a few laps. And the snow here was actually much better than it had been on many previous trips (when it usually was big cups, runnels, icy hard, just something to get down after  better skiing above). On this day it was an inch soft on icy base with only slight cupping, turned nice. Explored various aspect snowfields within the Cirque that would never otherwise ski, because they all eventually head-end under waterfalls, slabs etc. To make these ski tracks suitably enigmatic when viewed by the hoi polloi of hikers on their way up to Panhandle Gap, laid down a rather inexact set of selfie 8's with the skintrack up the middle, kinda like a caduceus.

While skinning up, I observed the goats and the goats observed me. Otherwise I was the only clown in this particular Cirque-us.

Could not even see any evidence of other ski tracks at all, other than Don's down from Panhandle Gap. Didn't get to 50% JOM today but probably managed 2K vert with several short and long laps. Good turns but all in all probably should have bitchslapped myself, toughed it out, and gotten up on the real Fryingpan where the vistas are better. (Did see older tracks down the frontside Meany Crest way. But that line is even more melted out, would have meant 1000+ vertical of talus. So not really a good alternative way to go.)

Weather: pretty hot, negligible wind to cool. Bugs: not bad at all, didn't even spray. Traffic: suck! The 410 construction one-ways cost me 20-30 minutes at least. At least I did luck out and get an actual striped parkingspot in otherwise full Summerland lot.

Parting shot: goat highway, indented in the snow
Pete A

Posts: 846

Re: July 28, 2014, Goat Cirque-us, Fryingpan fail
« Reply #1 on: 07/30/14, 09:26 AM »

sad how the goat cirque coverage has receded in recent years.  I can remember going up there in the late 90's and still being able to ski continuous lines into the cirque in September-  maybe the year I visited was a particularly fat snowpack year but that area used to have some fun, steep, late-season yo-yo terrain.   

Posts: 398

Re: July 28, 2014, Goat Cirque-us, Fryingpan fail
« Reply #2 on: 07/31/14, 10:50 AM »

Thanks for the report  Smiley
You just saved me 10 miles of skis on my back.
Skied 3grand of smooth corn on the cow yesterday!
It's going quick but should be good for early August turns.

Posts: 155

Re: July 28, 2014, Goat Cirque-us, Fryingpan fail
« Reply #3 on: 08/01/14, 09:16 PM »

Quite a difference in snow coverage from 8/3/2012 (compare with the 3rd picture above).

* 2012_08_03.jpg (186.43 KB, 800x600 - viewed 414 times.)

Posts: 634

Re: July 28, 2014, Goat Cirque-us, Fryingpan fail
« Reply #4 on: 08/02/14, 09:42 AM »

Or 7/27/13

* 72713.jpg (249.71 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 395 times.)
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