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| | |-+  March 30, 2016, Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier
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Author Topic: March 30, 2016, Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier  (Read 1377 times)
Jason4
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March 30, 2016, Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier
« on: 03/31/16, 10:28 PM »

As narrated to me by my wine-glass-holding fiancÚ:
There I was, standing atop Mt Shuksan.  Cheeseburger in hand.  Spinning in circles like a giddy child.  [ed: she really is giddy like a child]  Sadly, this vision was abruptly ended by my alarm at 3:30 in the morning.

From the trail head (which is where we parked) we walked for about 25 minutes on mostly snow free and boggy trail.  At this point we donned our snow sliding boots and walked a bit further in the snow figuring that we would be back to bare trail and walking anyway.  We were wrong, we should have been skinning.  Conditions allowed us to skin all the way up Shannon Ridge in mashed potato snow with only a few challenging tree wells.  We gained the ridge before sunrise (~600am).

On west facing aspects above the ridge we found re-frozen snow that hadn't softened.  The same went for south facing slopes, however the morning sun was already melting cornices above WTF that face is. [ed: she's a bit frustrated that she doesn't know the real name of WTF face.]  The slope between the two cliff bands that has to be traversed.

After that we found styrofoam-y wind buffed snow along with wind scoured ski supporting crust.  Conditions improved higher up and we found more wind deposited snow and sastrugi.  There was a steady cold wind that kept the snow from melting.  While packing for this trip I envisioned myself in a tank top...real life: I wish I had my down puffy.  The wind was actually brutally cold and my hands were cold for an hour after lunch.

We made good progress on the summit pyramid which we started up at 11am.  We turned around just shy of the summit when we encountered unfriendly snow layers.  There where variable crusts on top of facets on top of crusts and the rime that guarded the top of the route was melting and falling down on us.

Like a herd of turtles we GTFO.  At this point the wind died and it got Africa hot.  During our enjoyable ride down we could hear what can only be guessed to be cornices falling and/or wet slides in the distance.  There were steady rumblings throughout the afternoon but we only encountered mondo pinwheels.

Below 7500' the snow was greatly sun effected, sticky, and generally wet.  On Shannon Ridge we booted briefly and sunk up to my crotch.  Not cool.

Snowboarding down the trail was a sporty endeavor.  We found ourselves back to the car by 330pm and back in Bellingham by dinner.

Overall it was a great day in the mountains and a good day to go for a long walk.

[ed: these ladies are fast!]


Approach notes:
There is a tree across road 1152 about 3 miles from the junction from Baker Lake Road that is about 8' off the road surface. Large trucks should be ok but good luck with your Winnebago.

Gear notes:
Splitboards and smiles. One whippet to share.
More than 1.5l of water would have been nice.
Boot crampons and an axe for the summit.
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Free your heel, free your mind.
Fix your heel, fix your problem.
- Pred, 2013
Jason4
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Re: March 30, 2016, Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier
« Reply #1 on: 04/01/16, 07:52 AM »

I realized that I wasn't very clear when I was typing for Krissy, I was not along for this adventure, I had to be at work.  It was Krissy and Maria out for the day on Shuksan. Cheesy
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Free your heel, free your mind.
Fix your heel, fix your problem.
- Pred, 2013
cumulus
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Re: March 30, 2016, Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier
« Reply #2 on: 04/01/16, 09:56 AM »

thank you J (K&M) for the reportage, fun read, and good to hear about conditions!
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Stefan
Jason4
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Re: March 30, 2016, Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier
« Reply #3 on: 04/01/16, 12:25 PM »

Krissy was having a tough time finding current road and snow conditions before she headed out Tuesday so it only seemed right to put up info on what they found out there.  Glad you liked her story of the day. Smiley

There have been a few other adventure stories floating around from Maria's Almost Famous Volcano tour last spring.
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Free your heel, free your mind.
Fix your heel, fix your problem.
- Pred, 2013
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