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| |-+  January 2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  January 2, 2006, Heliotrope Ridge
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Author Topic: January 2, 2006, Heliotrope Ridge  (Read 2528 times)
philfort
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January 2, 2006, Heliotrope Ridge
« on: 01/02/06, 03:45 PM »

Where'd the snow go?  Huh
The road was driveable to the trailhead (3600ft), with a few sections of deep snow, starting about 1/4 mile before the trailhead. About 6 inches there, and maybe 2 feet at 5000ft.

Looks like the rain and the wind wreaked havoc here.  Ridge-tops are bare, rocks poking out everywhere - looks like early November.

Out of the dense trees, the snow had been hammered by the wind into semi-breakable styrofoam, with a few inches of fluff on top. A little tricky for the skiers, but fine on a board. We made a couple of laps on the "upper" snowfields to 7100ft. Temps were crisp, and the snow was dry and fast.

Only other person we saw all day was a large anatomically correct snowman at about 5000ft  Cheesy

The day started out nice, very calm, with decent visibility and some blue sky, but it was snowing heavily as we left down to about 2000ft. The drive down the road was a bit treacherous with the accumulated new snow - one of our vehicles almost decided to go off-piste down an embankment.

Fun day, but that area is really hurting for snow.
« Last Edit: 01/02/06, 03:45 PM by philfort » Logged
powscraper
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Re: January 2, 2006, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #1 on: 01/02/06, 06:48 PM »

What about higher up?  Surely something was retained?  Was there snow on the ridge up to the Roman Wall?
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philfort
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Re: January 2, 2006, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #2 on: 01/03/06, 11:18 AM »

Quote
What about higher up?  Surely something was retained?  Was there snow on the ridge up to the Roman Wall?


Justin, all of the snow on Baker is gone, it's just a dry chosspile now.  Bring gaitors, the cacti are prickly.
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powscraper
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Re: January 2, 2006, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #3 on: 01/04/06, 01:49 AM »

i knew it
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David_Coleman
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Re: January 2, 2006, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #4 on: 01/04/06, 02:38 AM »

Yeah, but I think that's what Justin is about - the need for a big challenge  Wink
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toby_tortorelli
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Re: January 2, 2006, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #5 on: 01/04/06, 10:46 AM »

I drove to the trailhead on Christmas and It looked pretty bad. Although there has been little snow below 3700' since, I'm surprised that there was only 2' at 5k after all the storms since Christmas...Bummer. Out of curiosity, where did you take the estimation Phil?...Username, the Roman Wall looked sweet today, go get it!
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philfort
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Re: January 2, 2006, Heliotrope Ridge
« Reply #6 on: 01/04/06, 11:16 AM »

I took the guestimation just as the trail pops out of the trees and crosses the wide gentle stream gully that leads immediately west of the moraine.  The stream was still visible in many places, so I could see how deep the snowpack was.  I think that's just below 5000ft.

Under the forest canopy at that elevation, there is only about 6-12 inches :-(
The gullies around there are filled in well, but plenty of grass showing near the crest of the moraine itself.  The peaks across the way (Skyline divide) looked pretty bony too.  Well, bony and scoured near the summits, but ok just below.

Up higher, the glacier looked good - still plenty of bare ice on the main part of the Coleman, but only a few cracks showing on the part right above the moraine.

I've always been impressed with how little snow that area gets in general, compared to the ski resort a few miles away - especially the past few years (it seems).
« Last Edit: 01/04/06, 11:18 AM by philfort » Logged
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