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10/18/18, 04:10 PM

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NWAC Avalanche
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| | |-+  May 15, 2016 Hwy 20 Hairpin
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Author Topic: May 15, 2016 Hwy 20 Hairpin  (Read 1675 times)

Posts: 48

May 15, 2016 Hwy 20 Hairpin
« on: 05/16/16, 04:17 PM »

Jonathan and I decided to only ski a half day before returning home, so we opted for a nice mellow morning ski up the valley above the hairpin. The forecast was for some marginal weather, but while there were some dramatic clouds around, we also got some unexpected sunshine! We more or less followed the existing tracks up-valley. We got up to the small lake under Kangaroo Pass and decided to head WSW, where we encountered a group already descending from the Birthday Tour.

We headed for the ridge to climber's right (skier's left) of the Birthday Tour descent route to see how far we could follow it. The line is beautiful, but unfortunately it was melted out at just under 6800 ft. We decided to call it a morning, ripped our skins, and harvested virgin corn back down the ridge, roughly following our ascent route.

Back at the car we noticed a pair of people climbing up the Early Winters avy chute. They didn't move like climbers, and they had no poles, ice axes, or helmets. They did have a dog.

We also noticed a small release on the prominent south-facing snowfield leading up to the ridge just North of the Washington Pass Overlook. We couldn't tell if there were any tracks or if the release was natural.

* 5-15_Avy_release.jpg (51.11 KB, 604x415 - viewed 706 times.)

Mark Langley
Cascade Backcountry Ski Patrol
Langley Backcountry Consulting
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