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| | |-+  March 2-4, 2015, Northern 1/2 Bugs-Rogers Attempt
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Author Topic: March 2-4, 2015, Northern 1/2 Bugs-Rogers Attempt  (Read 1289 times)
Skier of the Hood

Posts: 175

March 2-4, 2015, Northern 1/2 Bugs-Rogers Attempt
« on: 03/05/15, 03:50 PM »

We set out with the intent to traverse the northern half of the bugs to rogers from McMurdo but a sequence of malfunctioning/broken gear turned us around at the Sugerloaf Mountain cirque.

Currently you can drive your car with ease on the groomed snowmobile trail till the road washout which is the summer trail head for the McMurdo Cabin. This will likely change with more snow or warmer temperatures. We bit off more then we could brap and made it to the turn around at the top of the groomed snowmobile trail for silent pass but in the process of turning around we wondered into an uncompacted area and it took us about an hour to get the car unstuck. After dropping our packs off we drove the car back to km 45 (the bridge/end of plowed FSR) and skate skied 10ish km back to our packs. We made camp in the burnt trees on the other side of silent pass around dusk.

The first night we encountered our first and most fatal setback. We had packed two stoves but to save weight we brought two different stoves, a whisperlite and a pocket rocket. Our whisperlite was having trouble getting going and it took two hours of fiddling to get her working properly. We now realize it was a rookie mistake to bring stoves that use two different fuel types. This setback got us to bed around 11:30 which led to a late start the next day that we couldn't recover from.

We started our second day at 9am which was two hours later then when we would have needed to set off at to pull off getting over sugerloaf with a reasonable amount of time left to deal with the unforeseen. We knew we were in trouble at the bottom of the beaver valley but we went up and gave it a go anyway. We ended up turning around at 2800m in the cirque of Sugerloaf at 3pm. The amount of time available and our misgivings about our stove led us to turn around. During the descent despite tightening all the screws on my boots before the trip i blew the canting rivet on my sportiva spectres causing my left boot to essentially be stuck in walk mode. This caused a few tumbles when we skied through the band of breakable crust. During one of the tumbles i punctured my thermorest. At the valley bottom we decided it was faster to return to our old camp rather then digging a new snow trench. We got back to camp at 8pm. The last mistake of the trip occurred when my buddy put a mountain house packet down his jacket to enjoy the warmth. Of course it ended up bursting spewing hot water all over his base layers. Luckily we had packed an extra set. When all was said and done we climbed a total of 2200m with full packs.

Our last day out was uneventful with minimal vert back to silent pass and a nice cross country ski back to the car.

Lessons Learned: Bring two stoves of the same fuel type, locktight everything, dont put re-hydrating mountain houses down your jacket, and bring a foamy as well as an inflatable.

Conditions: Mondays 5cm of new snow refreshed the snow surface a bit above 2000m but also created small windslabs in the alpine. The burnt trees down to the Beaver Valley were dust on crust skiing. The east slopes of Mt. Duncan consisted of supportive crust till 1650m, breakable crust till 2100m, and shin deep pow above 2100m on top of a hard crust. The beaver glacier was wind rippled pow till our turn around point of 2800m. Touring back to silent pass through the burnt trees was slippery but I managed without ski crampons using 95mm waisted skis.

Some friends of friends got rad the day before us base camping on the beaver glacier.
If my boots hadn't been broken we would have salvaged the trip with a base camp at valley bottom and maybe we would have gotten rad(ish) too?

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« Last Edit: 03/05/15, 04:03 PM by Skier of the Hood » Logged

"As we all know, the true driving force behind every early morning wake up is not necessarily safety, but the overpowering drive to be sitting on a patio by 1 pm, intoxicated, and spraying loudly about the morning's adventure."

-Andrew Wexler 2011
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