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Author Topic: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees  (Read 3360 times)
Susan Ashlock
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December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« on: 12/23/15, 06:55 PM »

'Twas two days before Christmas and all around the Pass,
The snow was still dumping (see: Cliff Mass).

The plan was Alpental - some laps on our skis,
But with power still out, we were back to Kendall Trees.

Since Sunday the skin track had been completely ablated --
Our appetite for breaking trail quickly was sated.

Compared to the weekend, the snow was *crazy* deep!
Even downward progress was tough, unless it was steep.

The new snow was a bit denser on top,
But we triggered no slides where we chose to drop.

We got a bit cold and wet as it came down at an inch an hour --
We're quite happy to be home to hot dinner and a shower!





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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« Reply #1 on: 12/23/15, 07:49 PM »

Great to meet everyone forging upward on the skintrack. The still-missing skier and hazardous/unfamiliar conditions made the whole endeavor seem far more serious than usual. There's a lot of snow at the pass, and things are extremely unconsolidated.

As someone who likes to ski alone, now's not the time to ski alone. Breaking trail, we crossed over plenty of totally-buried trees. Tree wells are hungry. We shared the trail with friends and family of the missing skier -- we hope you guys navigated home okay! Beacon searches throughout the day turned up nothing.

Susan's poem has the snow conditions all wrapped up. The most-recent upside-down storm snow was cracking readily between our skis, and failing on storm slab layers 2-12" down. Visibility was so poor due to dumping snow, we couldn't see any other slides on open slopes. Tree bomb fusillades were intimidating; one came down with an embedded branch.

Snow was deepest in the open; knee-deep breaking trail on fattest skis, hip deep on steeper slopes. It's been years since I've used downhill kickturns while breaking trail uphill in powder. Used two or three today.  The skintrack low on the PCT is now thigh-deep with respect to the surrounding snow.

May the gods of electrodynamics favor Alpental; it'd have been more fun and perhaps safer to be gobbling up powder inbounds with the masses.


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« Last Edit: 12/23/15, 09:10 PM by Charlie Hagedorn » Logged

Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« Reply #2 on: 12/23/15, 08:03 PM »

And, if you're feeling starved for telemetry, here's today's trip. The earliest points, above freezing, are almost due to residual heat in the backpack.

We hit snow below Exit 45 driving up, and dropped out of the snow driving down at milepost ~37. An epic traffic backup stretched from Exit 47 down to milepost 36 just before 5 pm.


* SnoqualmieSoundingDecember232015.jpg (146.49 KB, 927x577 - viewed 1607 times.)
« Last Edit: 12/23/15, 08:07 PM by Charlie Hagedorn » Logged

cumulus
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Re: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« Reply #3 on: 12/23/15, 08:49 PM »

thanks for the report and the phat xmas poem!
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Stefan
jtack
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Re: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« Reply #4 on: 12/23/15, 10:27 PM »

Now, that's the ticket! Wonderful, thanks for the post!
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swartzie
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Re: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« Reply #5 on: 12/24/15, 07:58 AM »

You definitely didn't miss anything inbounds Charlie ... in the Alpy parking lot Tuesday at 0730 (before the pass closed) and no power. PSE said maybe noon so we went over to Central, did get some amazing laps in --- until the pass opened and the flood gates of Lexus and Audi AWD's pulled in. Called er' quits for lift accessed terrain at 1100 and went to Alpental for beers to wait. Never opened, and hasn't seen tracks since the initial dumping Monday morning. With the pass closed indefinitely I doubt there's any action on the hill until Saturday at the earliest.
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« Reply #6 on: 12/24/15, 08:15 AM »

We heard plenty of control work; how much was on the hill at Alpy, and how much from DOT?
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cumulus
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Re: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« Reply #7 on: 12/24/15, 08:49 AM »

We were going to head up today but -

Snoqualmie Pass is closed today (Dec. 24) both E and W all day... overhanging snow laden trees and avi danger...
http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/passes/snoqualmie/

Last year we couldn't ski because there was no snow and this year we can't ski 'cause there's too much snow...
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Stefan
AlpineRose
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Re: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« Reply #8 on: 12/24/15, 08:56 AM »

Recent snow situation is a fine example of "being careful what you wish for, because you might get it".
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cumulus
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Re: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« Reply #9 on: 12/24/15, 09:04 AM »

Recent snow situation is a fine example of "being careful what you wish for, because you might get it".

yeah, but I'm still grinning. Totally willing to take a days hit for many good days to come.
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Stefan
Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« Reply #10 on: 12/24/15, 09:33 AM »

Last year we couldn't ski because there was no snow and this year we can't ski 'cause there's too much snow...

Next year might be just right!

Recent snow situation is a fine example of "being careful what you wish for, because you might get it".

When the AIARE blue-book asks "Do we have experience w/ these conditions?", almost all of us have to answer "not much" and dial things back accordingly. It's hard to dial it back when the skiing's this good and ephemeral.

It's impressive that there's been little observed instability deep in the snowpack; this is a huge snow load.
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swartzie
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Re: December 23, 2015, Kendall Trees
« Reply #11 on: 12/24/15, 05:36 PM »

We heard plenty of control work; how much was on the hill at Alpy, and how much from DOT?

Heard half dozen from Central that had to be WSDOT because they seemed pretty close. Sitting in the alpy lodge we saw and felt another 3-4. Nothing propagated on the face under chair one (that we could see).
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