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| | |-+  Mount St. Helens February 7th, 2016
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Author Topic: Mount St. Helens February 7th, 2016  (Read 3009 times)
MushBuster
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Posts: 12


Mount St. Helens February 7th, 2016
« on: 02/08/16, 10:35 AM »

Decided to check out Helens Sunday due to the nice weather, in spite of the realization it would be neither winter snow conditions, nor ideal summer skiing due to the lack of any kind of corn cycle yet.

We left Portland at 5:45 AM and got to the Marble Mountain Sno-Park about 7:45 AM after a stop for gas and breakfast sandwiches. Took our time getting ready and started skinning right from the parking lot at about 8:15, 15 minutes later than planned, but mostly to schedule.

Above treeline the mist and clouds burned off revealing the mountain in its entirety. The snow was very soft almost from treeline, with the sun having baked any prior crust so that you could pole down about 6 inches of mashed potatoes before it was consolidated below.

Higher up, skinning conditions ranged from soft snow (preferred), to an inch and a half of soft snow over vast sheets of smooth blue ice on steeper aspects (not preferred), to crusty surface ice in spots (least preferred). Despite a few tough spots I was able to skin right up to the crater rim. Our route took us to the Eastern rim. Part of this was in an effort to find the best route for my fiance who was on snowshoes (she would disagree that this was the best route). The last 500 feet were no breeze for either of us. Crampons would have been better, but not mandatory.

The descent from the rim was amazing for the top third. Took a fall line from the rim for a quick 1,500+ feet or so down steep, wide-open, buttery turns. It became mushier and stickier the lower I got, as expected. As the sun moved west I tried to ski slightly more easterly facing aspects to glide more easily. This will be the last volcano tour I do without waxing my skis the night before, it would have made the bottom turns more enjoyable.

Still a great day overall with over 5,000 feet of memorable turns right back down to the car. Of note, the main route down looked like it might as well have been an in-bounds run from the number of skiers on the mountain.


* CraterShot1.jpg (188.25 KB, 896x504 - viewed 1678 times.)

* HelensTurns1.jpg (257.91 KB, 1000x562 - viewed 1729 times.)

* GullySkinning1.jpg (55.04 KB, 544x306 - viewed 1678 times.)
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ps44
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Posts: 142


Re: Mount St. Helens February 7th, 2016
« Reply #1 on: 02/08/16, 05:24 PM »

Thanks for the conditions update.  Nice pictures.  How much snow is lower down at the snopark level?
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myikat
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Posts: 207


Re: Mount St. Helens February 7th, 2016
« Reply #2 on: 02/08/16, 07:09 PM »

Those look like tele turns?
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MushBuster
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Re: Mount St. Helens February 7th, 2016
« Reply #3 on: 02/08/16, 09:19 PM »

Thanks for the conditions update.  Nice pictures.  How much snow is lower down at the snopark level?

Thanks. I'd say there's a couple feet at the Sno-park level.

Those look like tele turns?

Nope, just some cautious AT turns to start the run. Also, the slope there is steeper than the picture suggests, so I think the turns just look more bunched than they were.
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jtack
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Posts: 666


Re: Mount St. Helens February 7th, 2016
« Reply #4 on: 02/10/16, 08:25 AM »

Thanks for the TR, and the great pictures. I have been wondering how things are on St Helens.
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Kismet
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Posts: 23


Re: Mount St. Helens February 7th, 2016
« Reply #5 on: 02/11/16, 12:15 PM »

Nice trip report. Sunday was definitely a joyful day on Mt St Helens. 
The only thing missing from your report was the summit engagement Cheesy

Think she said YES to the guy.
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