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Author Topic: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge  (Read 10780 times)
butteredstuffs
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January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« on: 01/25/16, 05:49 PM »

Beautiful Sunday to test out the NW facing clear cuts on Gunsight ridge and avoid the usual Meadows-area crowds.  It felt cold all day, but we were in the shade all morning and then in cloud cover and snow showers all afternoon.  There was a half inch of dust on very hard crust up to at least 4500'.  Above that we found 4-6" of wind packed powder over 3" thick rain crust.  Didn't ride the ESE side of the ridge due to time but the snow felt much softer from test pokes we did at the top.  Riding was good above ~5000' and painful (but manageable) below that.  Didn't get any results from hand shears, but we were able to break 5" slabs on very wind affected rollovers near the edge of tree bands (~5300') in line with the moderate nwac forecast for the day.

Sunny pic is from the morning, before the clouds rolled in.  We encountered only one other group, 6-7 skiers who'd been exploring the zone for a few days in a row.  With deeper snow (down to the valley floor @ 3800') this would be a primo near-2000' fall line descent.


* Gunsight1.jpg (80.75 KB, 440x800 - viewed 1953 times.)

* Gunsight2.jpg (54.46 KB, 960x540 - viewed 1949 times.)

* Gunsight3.jpg (41.05 KB, 450x800 - viewed 1952 times.)
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cascadekid
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #1 on: 01/27/16, 08:02 AM »

Too many posts like this and the Meadows area crowds will be here too.
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MushBuster
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #2 on: 01/27/16, 08:18 AM »

Little bit of the pot calling the kettle black? Wink

I would assume that for the most part the people who peruse this sight don't ski Meadows all that much, and even if they do, they're probably familiar with this area already from the many times they've glanced east.


* Gunfight.JPG (100.44 KB, 919x447 - viewed 1608 times.)
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Patarero
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #3 on: 01/28/16, 12:43 PM »

Ha ha... Busted....Timing and the right conditions are everything for this zone though.
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Skier of the Hood
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #4 on: 01/28/16, 09:26 PM »

Personally I would love to see more reports from the backcountry of Mt. Hood as I frequent the area. "Locals" fear of the "secret" spots becoming over run are quite overblown. Given the nature of the climate it is rare for the snow quality to even last long enough for the generally lower elevation (not on Mt. Hood proper) "secret" spots to even become tracked out. The area could certainly benefit from a stronger community to tackle issues such as Mt. Hood Meadows archaic backcountry policy.

Elk Mountain looking pretty fine in the background of those photos as well (;
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cascadekid
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #5 on: 01/29/16, 10:45 AM »

Astute obs, but you'll notice there's not location identification going on there :-). Also, I think most people don't look in my instagram for ski touring info. At least, I hope they don't.
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cascadekid
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #6 on: 01/29/16, 10:49 AM »

The area could certainly benefit from a stronger community to tackle issues such as Mt. Hood Meadows archaic backcountry policy.

What's archaic about it? They permit uphill travel at the boundary provided that it doesn't overlap with avalanche control activity. Given the size of the slides that their howitzer brings down that canyon I appreciate their communication.

Still, we could use an advocacy contingent to promote the strategic glading of some Mt Hood slopes :-) we can call it responsible forestry.
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water
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #7 on: 01/30/16, 11:43 AM »

Astute obs, but you'll notice there's not location identification going on there :-). Also, I think most people don't look in my instagram for ski touring info. At least, I hope they don't.

sure is, someone said the name and you confirmed. I dig your stuff but its incredibly naive to say people aren't looking in your instagram for ski touring info. Maybe your friends aren't, but surely you understand why you're putting hashtags like #earnyourturns #freshies #dynafit #backcountryskiing and #mthood on it, right?

I enjoy instagram most when I can glean a current conditions report on a mountain or the snow with a pic or two from that day when if you didn't go there and look on a hashtag you wouldn't even see a spec of info about their climb elsewhere on the web.

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butteredstuffs
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #8 on: 01/31/16, 08:49 PM »

I've been touring on Hood for years and this was the first time the stars aligned to hit this zone. Terrain is epic but I wouldn't worry about Meadows riders climbing 2000' to ride the mostly dust on crust.
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Koda
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #9 on: 02/01/16, 09:16 AM »

Personally I would love to see more reports from the backcountry of Mt. Hood as I frequent the area. "Locals" fear of the "secret" spots becoming over run are quite overblown.

Not in my experience…

been touring on Hood for years and used to do trip reports here but have seen places I’d frequent where I would otherwise most never see anyone to most always see someone. Popular places like Newton years ago it was reliable to get up their and find your own line among other fresh tracks, nowadays if your not up there at the crack of dawn it easily turns into a mogul field by noon on a good day. Same for the glade behind Pocket Creek….. empherical evidence to me the “meadows crowd”  is indeed growing larger and venturing out.

I stopped posting trip reports.

I enjoy sharing information with like minded individuals and would otherwise be happy to with someone here who already knows where they are going but I’m not giving up info to the masses who lurk here and there for an easy in. There really aren’t that many places on Hood to get away from the crowds and still find steep long lines especially in mediocre winters.
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butteredstuffs
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January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #10 on: 02/01/16, 11:13 AM »

All of these zones can be easily found in a well-known, well-read guidebook available for $20.  What secrets are you keeping exactly?

http://www.amazon.com/Backcountry-Ski-Snowboard-Routes-Oregon/dp/1594855161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454351280&sr=8-1&keywords=ski+snowboard+oregon
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Koda
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #11 on: 02/01/16, 11:47 AM »

All of these zones can be easily found in a well-known, well-read guidebook available for $20.  What secrets are you keeping exactly?

http://www.amazon.com/Backcountry-Ski-Snowboard-Routes-Oregon/dp/1594855161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454351280&sr=8-1&keywords=ski+snowboard+oregon

although I wouldn't exactly call a secret, the title of this thread is one of many not in that book.
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butteredstuffs
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #12 on: 02/01/16, 12:55 PM »

How do you think I found out about it?


* TOC_Gunsight.png (124.19 KB, 567x800 - viewed 925 times.)
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Koda
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #13 on: 02/01/16, 01:11 PM »

How do you think I found out about it?

interesting, I missed that entry your correct.

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butteredstuffs
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #14 on: 02/01/16, 01:26 PM »

It's all good.  I totally share your frustration with how crowded the whole mountain has gotten in the past few years.  I tour up at Stevens Pass and Mt Baker a lot too, and it's CRAZY how many people are out in the backcountry now.  Really though, it's just a weekend problem...  when I'm lucky enough to get up for midweek powder I'm almost always breaking trail all day.   
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Koda
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #15 on: 02/01/16, 01:41 PM »

yeah, it’s just my observations as a weekend warrior... Im not fortunate enough to get out midweek. I can’t say the crowding is because of trip reports or simply an increase in popularity of the sport, probably the latter as all outdoor activities are getting crowded but then I suspect the newbies find it easier to use Google than go out and buy an actual book. These forums are fun and a great way to make new friends but then it puts a lot of information out there for all.
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rong
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #16 on: 02/02/16, 06:34 AM »

A good fisherman doesn't reveal his/her favorite fishing holes.  Same has to apply to BC skiing now days as the population growth, and growth in general of the BC crowd are congesting many of our older favorite areas. 

The Mt Hood area has very limited terrain within an hours tour from the trailhead.  Longer tours out are not as populated, but if the goal is a short tour and solitude the chances are slim.  I can remember when a weekend day on the newton face or trees would yield only a handful of skiers at most on a knee deep powder day.  Not anymore. 

I used to post TR's till I noticed heavier usage of the areas I was posting.  I had to ask myself "Why am I posting this?"  For the most part I was puffing my chest feathers, but also I liked to include snow conditions as it relates to snow quality and AVY concerns.  From that day forward I limited my TR's to safety concerns, and the occasional generalized TR with no detailed specifics on location.  I will also post on more serious adventures on the cones during climbing season.

Guide books are not something we should embrace as backcountry enthusiasts.  They are an easy way for the inexperienced to short cut the learning process and get in over their heads without proper knowledge of the backcountry.  Get out your map, compass, satellite images, GPS, and explore and find your sweet spot. 
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butteredstuffs
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #17 on: 02/02/16, 08:22 AM »

The response to this trip report has been staggeringly disappointing.  You guys sound like so much fun to ski with.


* GrumpyOldMan.jpg (69.59 KB, 400x400 - viewed 803 times.)
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rong
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #18 on: 02/02/16, 08:38 AM »

Where did you find that picture of me! Grin
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dfhkvs
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #19 on: 02/02/16, 09:04 AM »

Cut out 'skiing' and insert 'rock climbing' and this entire discussion (guidebooks, posting beta, etc.) happened 15 years ago.

One of the main reasons this forum is useful / interesting is the sharing of conditions, routes, etc.

Please carry on.
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Koda
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #20 on: 02/02/16, 10:35 AM »

Cut out 'skiing' and insert 'rock climbing' and this entire discussion (guidebooks, posting beta, etc.) happened 15 years ago.


well it is groundhog day after all...
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jwplotz
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #21 on: 02/02/16, 12:41 PM »

Cut out 'skiing' and insert 'rock climbing' and this entire discussion (guidebooks, posting beta, etc.) happened 15 years ago.

15 years ago?!  Uh, I don't think so.  The crags get busier with each passing year. 
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OldHouseMan
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #22 on: 02/02/16, 12:55 PM »

It does make me sad to see these Mt Hood TR's pop up. The area is definitely experiencing some growing pains and with the increased popularity of the sport and the relatively small area that we have at our disposal, I don't think it's going to get much better. The irony of it is, all of us most likely started ski touring to experience the solitude that the backcountry has to offer, but then we announce on these forums and social media of our experiences.

One of my favorite aspects of this sport is to simply get out and explore. It is very satisfying to put in the effort to find some these areas without a road map leading the way.
« Last Edit: 02/02/16, 01:34 PM by OldHouseMan » Logged
jwplotz
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #23 on: 02/02/16, 01:00 PM »

Isn't Mt. Hood THE most climbed mountain in the world?  It doesn't jive with expecting nor finding solitude.
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water
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #24 on: 02/02/16, 01:15 PM »

no, Mt. Fuji has that crown.

Nobody is lamenting hordes at the hogsback, to my knowledge that's expected on a nice weekend day.

few of the TR's here that people wish to shhh about are in any proximity to where there would be climber traffic.
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