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Author Topic: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat  (Read 4853 times)
ADappen
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January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« on: 01/11/16, 03:58 PM »

"Thank goodness I'm not a Seahawks fan. "

It's a typical Tom Janisch comment, who is anything but the typical follower of American culture. It's 10:30 a.m, meaning a large percentage of Northwesterners will be glued to televisions watching the Hawks in their first post-season game against the Vikings. As for the four us skiing the Entiat region today, we've just broken out of valley clouds and are immersed in brilliant sunshine and brilliant scenery. We look up at Devils Backbone, a ridge between the Entiat River drainage and Lake Chelan, and take in all the skiable lines above which, of course, has all of us understanding what Tom is driving at.

A few hours later we were lunching on the top of a nameless peak from which the regionally famous Pot Peak mountain-bike descent starts. Mount Stuart is a sore thumb sticking above the clouds to our south and Star Peak lords over the valley clouds to our north.

Following lunch, we strip skins for the fun that will offset the exercise that delivered us here. First we take a short lap off the north side of our peaklet. "It's amazing how long powder can last," Adam Vognild notes as we climb out of the hole we just sampled. It's true, the fluff we just skied fell over 10 days ago. Temperatures have warmed around the region and yet these north-facing slopes are coated with crystals as devoid of substance as the arguments of most political candidates.

On our return back to the car, which has nearly a 5,000 vertical foot drop, we work the slopes carefully to avoid the crust that has formed on parts of our south-facing ridge. We stick to the west side of the ridge and mine excellent snow all the way down to the snowed-over forest road leading downward to the Entiat River Road. The forest road is a combination of ice (in our ski tracks) and breakable crust (out of our tracks) and the last few miles are steep enough that the descent is fast and scary. Early on I try letting my boards run straight like the ex-ski racer in our company. One harsh body slam makes me realize a racer I am not and a snowplower I must sometimes be.

"What a bummer we had to ski all that powder, rather than watch football," Tom says as we load skis into the car. As a cultural Neanderthal he doesn't realize that some of us can have our powder and football too. When I get home I switch on the DVR and watch the Seahawks take down the Vikings. The win is as implausible as our win at finding so much powder after a week of warm temperatures around the region.


For more details about this area, a map, and/or more pictures see this link at the WenatcheeOutdoors Forum.


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« Last Edit: 01/15/16, 01:12 PM by ADappen » Logged
jwplotz
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #1 on: 01/11/16, 04:30 PM »

Let me be the first to comment!  Nice report!  You had your cake and ate it too. 

You and Tom have a rich history of dissing the NFL for skiing  at your peril

Glad you had better results this time!
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Good2Go
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #2 on: 01/11/16, 05:35 PM »

Very cool terrain and generous of you to share details of your stash!  We found copious pow on n facing aspects around the SW side of Stuart as well.  Viva El Nino!
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jwplotz
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #3 on: 01/11/16, 06:04 PM »

Very cool terrain and generous of you to share details of your stash!  We found copious pow on n facing aspects around the SW side of Stuart as well.  Viva El Nino!

I find it very hard to believe you were touring around Stuart.
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ADappen
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #4 on: 01/11/16, 06:10 PM »

John, I'm impressed you remember that ill-fated trip. I've worked hard to forget.

Good2Go, The Entiat Valley seems destined to remain little skied. The snowpack to access the Devils Backbone area is usually thin (you start at 1700 feet) and the distances to get here are insultingly long. For those of us living in Wenatchee, for example, we have to deal with the cruelty of being in the car for about an hour to reach the area. Shorter drives get skiers to the Mission Ridge backcountry, up Icicle Creek, to Blewett Pass, and to Stevens Pass. Who wants to the ski the thin snowpack of Nowheresville?
« Last Edit: 01/11/16, 06:17 PM by ADappen » Logged
Good2Go
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #5 on: 01/11/16, 08:16 PM »

I find it very hard to believe you were touring around Stuart.

There she blows!  South side rules!


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jwplotz
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #6 on: 01/11/16, 08:33 PM »

You're a creature of habit!

Lovely photo!
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ADappen
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #7 on: 01/12/16, 06:24 AM »

Beautiful picture of Stuart. Here's one more looking your way and one more looking north from our Entiat perch.


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jtack
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #8 on: 01/13/16, 08:03 AM »

Nice report Andy, glad you had good snow. I have experienced that bobsled run and I do not care much for the ride.
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ADappen
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #9 on: 01/13/16, 03:24 PM »

Last week while skiing Stormy Mountain the same road was powder coated on the margin, it was easy to shed speed. Truthfully, the ice and breakable crust can make a boring road pretty darn exciting.
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PhilH
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #10 on: 01/14/16, 08:56 AM »

"It's amazing how long powder can last," Adam Vognild notes as we climb out of the hole we just sampled. It's true, the fluff we just skied fell over 10 days ago. Temperatures have warmed around the region and yet these north-facing slopes are coated with crystals as devoid of substance as the arguments of most political candidates.

We found the same thing on north aspects in the White Pass environs. Our turns made a sound like tossing buckets of sand on a tile floor.
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wickstad
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #11 on: 01/17/16, 10:15 PM »

There is solace in there.
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skibacks
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Re: January, 10, 2016, Devils Backbone, Entiat
« Reply #12 on: 01/17/16, 10:32 PM »

Nice report & very entertaining prose. 
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skibacks
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