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| | |-+  27th 2016, Mt Thielsen, OR
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Author Topic: 27th 2016, Mt Thielsen, OR  (Read 895 times)
Timstirling
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27th 2016, Mt Thielsen, OR
« on: 03/02/16, 06:31 PM »

I had 2 great winter in Euegene Oregon before moving to Virginia. I had a work trip back to OR and knew I had to pack my skis to relive some fond memories. With 1 weekend and so many options it was tough to decide on a mountain. I wanted soe thing bigger but didn't want to risk blocked roads on something like Mnt Diamond. Thielsen topped the list, I had only 1 successful ascent and 1 3/4 ascent, no road issues, not too long an approach and just a fantastic mountain.

I wasn't sure of the weather but knew the mountain would have a decent base of snow. Heavy rain on the Friday to the summit turned to snow before dawn, about 3" fresh at the base but no deeper higher up. The weather turned out to be perfect, to begin with, blue skies, around freezing, no wind.  I followed the summer trail slowly ascending, giddy with joy at such a perfect day as I glimpsed at Baily through the trees.

After an hour things slowed down considerably. The strong sun had warmed the snow up and there was a constant shower under the trees.  Y skins got wet and promptly started to glob up with pounds of heavy snow underfoot. This got worse and worse, but some emergency waxing helped moderate it. Higher up it went below freezing and the skins must have froze a little.

Breaking out on to the main ridge was breathtaking, photos to follow soon. I reached the main bowl and quickly made progress until I had about 800ft to go. The snow underfoot turned very hard with a dusting on top that would scrape off, sadly I had no ski crampons with me but after a big fall a few years ago using ski crampons I tend to be more cautious (ski crampons can take you to places where you should actually have real cr aposn and ice axe). There were areas of soft snow that had a good grip but areas that were hard to get an edge in, so there was lots of feeling and testing, zig zagging back and forth. Of course during th time the upper mountain clouded over and the rest of the ascent was in the fog.

It didn't take to long to summit just beflwo the pinnacle. Despite cloud it was not windy and was pleasant sitting at the top, I just had to memories my previous trip with the views across diamond lake.

The ski down was scrappy at the top, lovely and smooth for about 1000ft to the trees and then a wet slop fest through the trees. The snow was so sticky by now that for most of the descent involved downhill skating or strenuous pushing. I was glad I carried my full goretex shell, the outer got completely drenched.

Overall a fantastic day.  The weather Sunday was very uncertain rain-snow mix and I decided on a day trip to the coast.

Can't wait for my next trip back to OR.
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