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| | |-+  December 8, 2005, Red Mt. (west face)
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Author Topic: December 8, 2005, Red Mt. (west face)  (Read 2541 times)

Posts: 122

December 8, 2005, Red Mt. (west face)
« on: 12/09/05, 05:45 AM »

Crisp, cold, and clear with the pink glow of morning just starting to highlight the upper snowfields of the surrounding mountains as my friend Einar and I began skinning toward Commonwealth Basin from the Sahale Ski Club hill. We followed a nicely beaten path through the woods around Guye Peak, had little trouble crossing the creek, and soon found ourselves in the basin proper.

From here we had to leave the beaten path and begin working our way up the west face of Red Mountain. The going was tough and sweaty, beating our way through a four to eight inch soft slab surface layer and sinking another several inches into lighter snow beneath. We plowed our way up a gully passing behind cliffs and a cool looking frozen waterfall then emerged beneath the final rise of the west face.

From here it was still a long haul to the summit. Einar was having skin problems so switched to snow shoes then was having muscle problems so switched to napping in the sun while I continued to the summit where I arrived shortly after 1pm, about five hours from the car. I chowed some food, slung back a PBR, shot a panoramic with the video camera, and geared up for the descent.

The sun unfortunately had taken its toll and the snow had turned quite heavy. Sitting back on my tails and trying to remember where my skin track had unearthed rocks, I surfed my way down the now gloppy slope. The slabby surface layer broke up easily, but showed no evidence of sliding. I managed to find more hidden rocks and cruised into where Einar was enjoying his moment in the sun. We continued down the west face, creeping through the crud, taking the occasional somersault when our tips dove, but enjoying the ride nonetheless.

Soon enough we were back in the trees and rolling out the beaten path to the car where we arrived at 3:30 for the drive home. Despite the rocks we tagged and having missed the good snow window, we still had a great outing with wonderful views, the entire basin to ourselves, an airy feeling summit, and a big face to ski down.


Posts: 153

Re: December 8, 2005, Red Mt. (west face)
« Reply #1 on: 12/12/05, 05:42 PM »

We went up there with a group of friends on Sunday - thanks for the great tracks ;-) !

Great day in the mountains, though snow coverage was lower then expected and the skis got a good base grind on the way down...

Posts: 122

Re: December 8, 2005, Red Mt. (west face)
« Reply #2 on: 12/13/05, 05:48 AM »

Glad you could make use of the tracks. I wish I'd have had them so I could hit the summit sooner and the snow when it was better skiing. The number of rocks we hit was a little surprising especially in what appeared to be the more filled in areas. Gave incentive to turn less and point downhill more.

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