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| | |-+  Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
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Author Topic: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer  (Read 3974 times)
arb
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Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« on: 02/02/16, 01:05 PM »

I made an exploratory foray up to Colchuck Glacier on Sunday to see how the enchantments were filling in and to escape from the crowds of Steven's Pass.  This is only my third winter in the area so I haven't experienced any of the local touring in "normal" conditions and I was pleasantly surprised to see how fat everything was already. 

The skin in from the trail-head to the first bridge (above the horse ford) was predictably inefficient with crust, breaking crust, 4"-6" of powder, tree bombs, a variable snowshoe trench, and a handful of downed trees.  The skin from the first to the second bridge was much better with more powder, fewer trees, and much less of a trench.  The skin from the second bridge to the lake was surprisingly good, with enough snow under the crust to cover most of the downed trees and rocks, and 10"ish of powder on the the crust making for pleasant skinning and descending.

The Moraine is already well covered, and although there are some rocks and Larch showing through travel up and down is much more pleasant than it has been the last two winters.  The snow on the moriane and the lower glacier was highly variable, there is a serious rain crust under the last storm snow up to about 7k (where I turned around), the new snow is a mix of great powder and/or wind slab ranging from 2cm to 1meter+.  I think you could probably safely navigate the wind slab hazard most of the way up the glacier in good light if you took your time and zig-zagged between wind scoured areas and sheltered areas that didn't see much sintering, but in the gloaming I was having a hard time telling up from down and wasn't capable of nuanced route finding.  The ski down to the lake was good enough to make me want to do it all again soon.  The descent from the Lake to the first bridge was surprisingly good, I was even able to link more than three powder turns in a few spots Smiley.  The descent from the first bridge to the trailhead was a brawl, and then the trip down the road was fast and easy.

All in all, conditions are looking great all around the lake, and there are a lot of fat lines to be had.  It would definitely be worth going in for a weekend mission at this point.

All in it was something like 435 minutes of BC travel for 7 minutes of quality descending, but the scenery and solitude were well worth the price of admission.

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steveski
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #1 on: 02/02/16, 02:17 PM »

Good beta, glad things are filling in up there.

The solitude would have been ruined by the occasional joyous vocal outburst had I joined you on this trip.
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sam18802
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #2 on: 02/02/16, 02:30 PM »

I was just talking to a coworker about doing this between the 14-16th. I'm convinced. Thanks for the report!
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mikerolfs
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #3 on: 02/02/16, 03:23 PM »

435 to 7. Completely acceptable.
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jwplotz
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #4 on: 02/02/16, 06:30 PM »

No photos?
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arb
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #5 on: 02/02/16, 07:09 PM »

I'm a little slow on the pics - windows 10 kindly installed itself on my computer w/o the drivers for my card reader....


* IMG_1187.JPG (128.36 KB, 347x463 - viewed 1062 times.)

* IMG_1189.JPG (97.34 KB, 462x347 - viewed 1046 times.)

* IMG_1192.JPG (95.78 KB, 346x461 - viewed 1049 times.)
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arb
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #6 on: 02/02/16, 07:13 PM »

more from the lake


* IMG_1193_1.JPG (79.05 KB, 461x346 - viewed 1055 times.)

* IMG_1194_1.JPG (101.22 KB, 346x461 - viewed 1041 times.)

* IMG_1195_1.JPG (102.67 KB, 346x461 - viewed 1048 times.)
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arb
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #7 on: 02/02/16, 07:16 PM »

Scouting shots from top of the moraine


* upperGlacier.JPG (72.05 KB, 461x346 - viewed 1034 times.)

* dragontail1.JPG (75.72 KB, 461x346 - viewed 1044 times.)

* colchuck1.JPG (68.55 KB, 461x346 - viewed 1041 times.)
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arb
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #8 on: 02/02/16, 07:17 PM »

more scouting shots


* ebc.JPG (71.68 KB, 461x346 - viewed 1046 times.)

* scalesOnTheTail.JPG (104.04 KB, 461x346 - viewed 1044 times.)

* randomLines.JPG (65.8 KB, 461x346 - viewed 1040 times.)
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jwplotz
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #9 on: 02/02/16, 08:40 PM »

There you go!  Thanks for posting the photos!
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joecat2
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #10 on: 02/03/16, 02:13 PM »

overview of area


* ring_of_powdersm.jpg (203.99 KB, 800x600 - viewed 770 times.)
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joecat2
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #11 on: 02/03/16, 02:17 PM »

whoops  this shows Colchuck area better


* colchuck_area_m_kroese.jpg (218.52 KB, 800x600 - viewed 761 times.)
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arb
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #12 on: 02/03/16, 02:38 PM »

Joecat2, those photos certainly get my stoke up!  When/where/how were they taken.
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Randy
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #13 on: 02/04/16, 06:42 AM »

Another source for aerial photos of the cascades

http://www.pbase.com/nolock
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: Jan 31, 2016, Colchuck glaicer
« Reply #14 on: 02/04/16, 08:32 AM »

Joecat2, those photos certainly get my stoke up!  When/where/how were they taken.

Mark Kroese took the photo from an airline flight and posted it on his Facebook page.
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