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Author Topic: January 19, 2015, Stevens  (Read 2483 times)
Charlie Hagedorn

Posts: 1886

January 19, 2015, Stevens
« on: 01/19/15, 10:01 PM »

After yesterday's sodden visit to Summit West, our expectations were low. Rock skis were selected. Expectations were surpassed.

With plenty of uncertainty about what we'd find, coverage-, stability-, and snow-quality-wise, we ruled out pretty much everything above treeline before we left the car. The plan was to go from the Pass to Lake Valhalla and back via Tye Lake. We hit our turn-around about 1km from the lake, thanks to tough trailbreaking.

Snow at Stevens has a rain crust 6-12" down sitting atop lots of soft/soggy snow. Near and below 4k, it's quite wet below the crust. The snow was remarkable for its lack of rebound; the first trailbreaker does all the work, and there's little bounce to powder turns. Pole penetration went all the way to the pre-storm base, making trailbreaking trickier.

Still a lot of small trees on normally-open slopes at all elevations.

Snowed all day, with extended bouts of moderate+ intensity. Wore shells all day, got wet anyway.

The only prominent sign of instability was a mom-sized block that pulled out between us on a test slope just over the saddle from Skyline Lake. It ran on the rain crust. Nothing else meaningful moved for us all day, even when we ventured a couple of 40 degree turns below treeline on the way home.

Skiing was good, but not excellent; heavy and a little risky for the knees below 4500', better higher.

No need for rock skis. It's winter.

* susanPowderGauge.jpg (166.98 KB, 800x574 - viewed 1214 times.)

* susanSkisStevensPow.jpg (187.6 KB, 800x700 - viewed 1205 times.)
« Last Edit: 01/20/15, 10:33 AM by Charlie Hagedorn » Logged

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