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Author Topic: July 21, 2015, Adams, SW Chutes  (Read 1551 times)
Jonathan_S.
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July 21, 2015, Adams, SW Chutes
« on: 07/24/15, 05:55 PM »

Pictures here:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.941381792569735.1073741845.137097509664838&type=3

Quick summary here:
- Mainly pretty decent skiing in the SW Chutes for 3,850' continuous vertical (plus a bit more below that after a short portage that we should have done).
- A fast return hike would have taken about an hour and a half.  Figure two hours at a casual pace.

Attempt at informative beta here:
- Crescent "Glacier" is almost entirely gone.  However, hiking here is very easy.  Once you reach the base of the pitch, look far left to see the trail traversing almost entirely flat to gain the ridge. 
- After hiking along the mellow ridge above the bare "glacier" you'll reach skinnable snow.
- Lunch Counter made for surprisingly smooth skinning.  (Better than the middle of last month!?)
- The summit seemed to have barely continuous snow, but we skipped that to drop into the SW Chutes immediately after reaching Piker's Peak.
- The first ~100' was Poor skiing.
- Fortunately though the quality quickly improved to Fair, and then a solid Good for maybe the lower half or so. 
- We stayed in the main chute on the skier's left.  But a better idea to cross over to the chute on skier's right, especially at the very top (portage of only ~10').
- The continuous snow ends at a shockingly high ~7,500'.
- But keep your ski boots on to downhike ~30' through what was once a drainage, since that will lead you to a short steep snow-covered slope of ~80' vert.  (Unfortunately we transitioned too early, and the snow was too steep to comfortable downhike, so we had to traverse through some steep scree.)
- The terrain then looks desolate for hiking, but it was actually quite mellow.  (The walk across that wide open totally flat section was totally bizarre!)
- After that you reach what is usually the final skiable pitch on your right.  Avoid that (scree) and instead hike more to your left down through some open trees on good terrain.
- Then avoid the steeper pitches on your left to stray right a bit to join the usual hiking route down to the RMT.
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