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Author Topic: January 9-10 - Koma Kulshan  (Read 2754 times)
ErikT
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January 9-10 - Koma Kulshan
« on: 01/11/16, 09:13 AM »

Had a few friends from the southern regions of Cascadia join for some climbing or skiing… we actually crashed google’s gmail servers trying to decide if we were going to climb or ski, in the end I think we did both.

Plans coalesced around a Coleman-Deming attempt on Koma Kulshan. Glacier Creek Rd is gated at 1mi in, so we just decided to get up earlier. Evidently its also a snow park because they plow that first mile of road? So our early start became gear shuffling and waiting to buy a pass in town. We skinned up the 7ish miles of road to the trailhead, and were relieved to find tracks behind the outhouse… I was not looking forward to side schlepping my way along the summer trail. Crossings were in – we followed the tracks of what appeared to be two previous skiiers thanks for the track - we particularly enjoyed Lombard Street.

We set up camp atop the ridge, and then plunged back down on the backside for a 1500’ evening lap. Snow was fantastic.

Woke early on Sunday, skinned up to 9,000’ saddle and booted up the ridge and the Roman Wall. Mostly supportive until I handed over boot-packing duties, then it got a bit softer…perfect. We topped out on the first hump, looked at the summit, then decided the sastrugi on the Roman Wall wasn’t going to stay in such fine condition much longer, and promptly flipped it. There were actually a dozen great turns as the slope started to roll over, but once it was on the wall, it was firm but skiiable. I was surprised to find proto-proto corn in places…. You could slash right through some of the softening sastrugi quite nicely. Trouble is you couldn’t really tell what was proto-proto corn and what was frozen chicken heads until you threw your skis at it. Fun times. Skiing on the Coleman was good to very good. Slopes off the backside of Heliotrope were epic still. Crust came back right before the major drainage of the winter approach, and made the ski out the woods engaging. The road ski out was longer than expected… my tired legs weren’t quite ready to let it rip with the chopped up sno-mo tracks. Memories of my last time descending this road on bike with overnight ice gear and pulling off a nice en-do kept me a bit conservative.

Skintrack and bootpack are in - go get it!!

Some quickly spliced together video

Lombard Street:


Sunset from ridge - Twin sisters... future trip!


Andrew taking in the scenery:


Sunset:


Tahoma sunset:


Twilight lap:


Giving 'er the boot:


Climbing up:


Pow turns on the glacier!


Backside of Heliotrope:
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Jason4
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Re: January 9-10 - Koma Kulshan
« Reply #1 on: 01/11/16, 09:30 AM »

Nicely done!  Sorry I didn't reply to your PM sooner earlier, I could have warned you about the sno-park at GCR too.
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Free your heel, free your mind.
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ErikT
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Re: January 9-10 - Koma Kulshan
« Reply #2 on: 01/11/16, 09:42 AM »

Jason - no worries. A heads up that the road is uphill both ways would have been nice though!
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Chamois
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Re: January 9-10 - Koma Kulshan
« Reply #3 on: 01/11/16, 10:14 AM »

Nice photos - brrrrrrrr.    Good weather window catch
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ErikT
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Re: January 9-10 - Koma Kulshan
« Reply #4 on: 01/11/16, 10:34 AM »

thanks, Chamois - it was chilly, but thankfully the wind was almost non-existent! Would have been brutal if it was windy...
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kamtron
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Re: January 9-10 - Koma Kulshan
« Reply #5 on: 01/11/16, 10:38 AM »

Seriously awesome work. And pow on the glacier, that sounds delicious
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garrettww
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Re: January 9-10 - Koma Kulshan
« Reply #6 on: 01/11/16, 03:25 PM »

Great photos Erik! Sounds like a cool adventure. Wish I could have joined you, but I'm glad to not have to repeat that road approach. Too bad you didn't get a tow from one of the sleds that left all those tracks!
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Norseman
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Re: January 9-10 - Koma Kulshan
« Reply #7 on: 01/12/16, 06:47 AM »

Great photographs.
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ErikT
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Re: January 9-10 - Koma Kulshan
« Reply #8 on: 01/12/16, 09:45 AM »

Thanks guys - it was a cool trip - used to that area being quite busy.

We heard snowmobiles down on the Easton from the Roman Wall...always impressed how far that sound carries - it helped that there was no wind. I credit the Seahawks with the fact that there were only 1-2 vehicles down there on Sunday. Lots of tracks though!

Here's a more complete video: https://vimeo.com/151529782
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peteyboy
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Re: January 9-10 - Koma Kulshan
« Reply #9 on: 01/13/16, 12:21 PM »

Glad you liked the track!  Doing Baker with the overnight shiver WITH the road ski is quite an accomplishment.  Way to suffer and get it!
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