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| | |-+  April 16, 2016, Mount St. Helens
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Author Topic: April 16, 2016, Mount St. Helens  (Read 1965 times)
toddball
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April 16, 2016, Mount St. Helens
« on: 04/17/16, 12:41 PM »

David and I camped in the Sno-Park on Friday night to ensure a good night's rest and an early start.  Instead, we slept 2-3 hours and started hiking at 7:20.  The hike up the Swift ski trail to consistent snow was just under a mile, and will probably be more than a mile next weekend.  Get it while the getting's decent!

We managed to pass the conga line of snowshoers/hikers by 6000' and watched some unknown skiers get first tracks on the slope just east of the line of ascent around 10.  No one else had gotten over there by the time we topped out at 11, so we got to ski fresh, slightly sticky corn for the first 1000'.  I touched off a few rollerballs, one that got to be the size of a minifridge, so it was good that this slope was separated from the line of ascent by a decent gully.  We crossed the gully and ascent track at 7000', and stayed skier's right of the ascent track until we were back in the trees.  The snow was boot-deep and slow at times, occasionally ski-deep and fast.

We were back at the car/Montucky Cold Snacks around 12:20.  It was a great first volcano "summit" for me, and second for David.

If anyone knows the deal with Sno-Park permits, i.e. whether you need them now, I'd love to hear it.  The website says you don't, but the signs at Marble Mountain Sno-Park say you do.  We didn't have one, but I think we were back to the car before the ranger showed up in any case.





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dfhkvs
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Posts: 78


Re: April 16, 2016, Mount St. Helens
« Reply #1 on: 04/17/16, 02:52 PM »

snopark permits are needed until something like 4/1. After that, in addition to your summit permit, you need a Northwest Forest Pass for parking. Clear as mud, eh?
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samski360
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Posts: 58


Re: April 16, 2016, Mount St. Helens
« Reply #2 on: 04/18/16, 09:00 AM »

My buddy Andy and I were probably the unknown skiers. Glad you guys got some good snow. When we headed down, we were afraid we were already too late. I was a little concerned for others on the route. The snow heated up faster than expected.

Congrats on your first volcano!
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klikboom
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Re: April 16, 2016, Mount St. Helens
« Reply #3 on: 04/18/16, 09:16 AM »

You started at 7:20am and hit crater at 11?! You were hauling balls. It was a pretty deep freeze Friday night so that made for good speed on the flat stuff for sure.

We didn't leave the crater till 1:00PM and yes the timer had definitely popped on the corn we took a couple ridges over from the uptrack and provided less saturated snow. There was no cooling wind up top so it really softened fast. I was hoping to hear if it was absolute slop on Sunday.

There were some point releases and pinwheels but nothing entrained, snow pack was very consolidated. Weather was perfect.
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toddball
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Re: April 16, 2016, Mount St. Helens
« Reply #4 on: 04/18/16, 10:50 AM »

My buddy Andy and I were probably the unknown skiers. Glad you guys got some good snow. When we headed down, we were afraid we were already too late. I was a little concerned for others on the route. The snow heated up faster than expected.

Congrats on your first volcano!

I have a few more pictures of you guys if you want them.  They're all pretty much the same as the one posted here, though; skier #2 is just in different parts of the run.  I should get a real camera....

You started at 7:20am and hit crater at 11?! You were hauling balls. It was a pretty deep freeze Friday night so that made for good speed on the flat stuff for sure.

Yeah we were pretty happy with our speed.  We heard people leaving camp at 4:30 I was kind of afraid we would miss corn o'clock, so we booked it out of camp when we were ready to go.  Basically put the hi risers on and pointed it straight up.  There were a few places near the top where ski crampons could have been nice for peace of mind, but fortunately the snow was just soft enough for good skin traction but not so mushy that the whole track slid.

Good to hear you guys had decent snow.  I too wonder what it was like in the late PM and Sunday.
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Wachusett
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Posts: 22


Re: April 16, 2016, Mount St. Helens
« Reply #5 on: 04/19/16, 09:43 AM »

The snow actually got a little better later on in the afternoon on Saturday. I was dragging ass and didn't make it up to the crater until 12:45. I was dreading the ski down on the way up, since it had gotten pretty sticky and mushy. The skin track was still holding up fine, but it wasn't gonna be a lot of fun to ski. As it happened, some high clouds started filtering in and it felt like it cooled off a little bit, so I hung out on the peak at the southeast corner of the rim for an hour, threw some F4 on the skis and had a very enjoyable ski down the top 2,000ft before it started to get grabby.



* volcano8s.jpg (42.55 KB, 960x720 - viewed 441 times.)
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thunderchief
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Posts: 33


Re: April 16, 2016, Mount St. Helens
« Reply #6 on: 04/19/16, 09:49 AM »

Quote
I was hoping to hear if it was absolute slop on Sunday.
Quote
I too wonder what it was like in the late PM and Sunday.

I was up there at about 4800 camped sat night... playing with some new gear and generally giving myself huge blisters, so after a lazy morning I started down Sunday, 10 or so, when the snow was moderately slushy but still quite fun, but it had all the makings of a hot slushy day by later in the afternoon.  It got down to just about freezing briefly overnight and the snow never froze overnight, except perhaps a few frost hollows down low out of the wind, and Sunday was hotter and sunnier.

Saw only minor evidence of wet-loose instability, nothing big, but I was down early.
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