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| | |-+  Dec. 30th, Chair Peak circumnav
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Author Topic: Dec. 30th, Chair Peak circumnav  (Read 2321 times)
Pete A

Posts: 846

Dec. 30th, Chair Peak circumnav
« on: 12/30/15, 05:17 PM »

Departed Alpy around 8:30...only saw a couple other skiers gearing up.  The skin track is now in great shape in the Alpental valley bottom...way better than a couple weeks ago.  The skin track up into Pineapple basin heads up lookers right of the prominent gully draining Pineapple Basin.   Once into the basin proper, wind-drifted snow had obscured most traces of a track from a day or two before. 
As we broke trail for Bryant col, several parties arrived- traversing in from the Alpy backcountry and joined in the trail breaking (sounds like high traverse opened bright and early this morning).  Hasty pit on the climb towards Bryant showed a layer about 18" down that shifted on the 4th elbow tap but didn't completely slide away.   
Once at Bryant Col, all the other parties either continued skinning higher on the shoulder of Chair or descended Wonder Gully.
We dropped down into Denny Creek and found slightly wind affected snow on the upper pitch, and I did get a shallow wind slab about 12"-18" deep to release on the worst of the windboard.  Sticking to the shallowest pitch available, we finally got out of the wind-affected stuff for some really nice turns on the last pitch down to Melakwa Lake.
Out of the wind and in full sun, it was warm enough for t-shirts on the climb to Melakwa Pass.
There was a big, very wide crown (maybe half the slope width) on the north slope above Chair Pk Lake, but the snow was not wind damaged and skied really well. 
Ran into some folks who'd skied the north slope of Chair earlier in the morning- said it was nasty wind hammered stuff, and as the north slope came into view we could see how textured it was.
Nice mellow ski down to Snow Lake, and a cold windy shuffle back to the divide.   The slope back down to Source Lk is tracked out, but still a few good turns off to the sides.
Great day to be hitting the Snoqualmie Pass tours this winter!   

pictures here
« Last Edit: 01/03/16, 12:55 PM by Pete Alderson » Logged

Posts: 325

Re: Dec. 30th, Chair Peak circumnav
« Reply #1 on: 12/30/15, 05:43 PM »

Thanks for the beta, Pete. Am considering this route as an alternate to another tour this coming Sunday. Nice to know about what's up out there! Your sweat equity deserves many beers from the rest of us...

Posts: 69

Re: Dec. 30th, Chair Peak circumnav
« Reply #2 on: 01/01/16, 09:13 AM »

Hi Pete. Nice to see your group and others out on such a nice day. My son and I came past you with fresh legs off the high traverse first - sorry about that  Wink. We found our least wind affected snow in the wonder gully and experienced the wind board you mentioned on the north slopes of chair peak on our second run. Wind transported snow settled into more protected features were relatively reactive but we only observed this up to a few inches deep. I suspect best skiing to be found now would be in lightly gladed, wind protected areas at relatively low elevations.

Here is a short video Per and I put together.

Jan Kordel
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