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| |-+  December 2005 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  New Year's Eve, Snoqualmie area
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Author Topic: New Year's Eve, Snoqualmie area  (Read 3029 times)
Jim Oker
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New Year's Eve, Snoqualmie area
« on: 12/31/05, 01:21 PM »

Looked like temps were warm everywhere, so we decided to hope for some insulating cold at the pass to keep it at least only lukewarm. With a few folks joining in at the last minute, we had a good group of 6 folks from all directions. Trailbreaking ranged from pretty easy to fairly tough (especially with my tele bindings diving the tips under the heavy top layer a bunch). It served a good group leveling function. Cover was sketchy down low in the woods, but getting almost OK in open areas. A few more feet will be nice for lower pass areas.

We headed down west slopes. It was firm but bouncy in the trees and the tree bombs were still soft. Open areas had a heavy layer on top of lighter snow, so you wanted to keep your tips out. We couldn't get anything to slide on rolls, but I did do a bit of sluff management on steeper (maybe 30 degrees plus or minus - steep for me...) open areas as I watched the wave grow at my feet. Tree wells suck up sluffs nicely. It was well worth yo-yoing and our group did various amounts of extra runs up high.

The snow firmed up in open areas below about 5K where lower angle slopes were at least as fun as steep stuff, then it got really heavy below 4,500, and then we crossed from snow to rain.

It may still be fun up higher tomorrow depending on what happens with temps, but kind of interesting down lower.

« Last Edit: 12/31/05, 01:33 PM by jim_oker » Logged
Jim Oker
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Re: New Year's Eve, Snoqualmie area
« Reply #1 on: 01/01/06, 06:27 AM »

I was too tired when I wrote that to remember to mention how beautiful it can be to be in the clear air sandwiched between upper clouds and the fog layer that pours like milk through the valleys and passes, with lots of peaks to see between. I love amazing range of greys you see in this sort of weather, with just bits of blue and purple to accent the sky a bit. Rainier was particularly cool to look at - it seemed to be bringing some extra light down from above, so the visible portion of it  (mid-mountain) was a bit brighter than any other peaks outside of the far eastern mountains. Then, as the precip moved in later in the day, we got a bit of drama to watch in place of the peaks to our west.
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