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11/20/17, 12:54 PM

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Author Topic: January 2, Snoqualmie Pass  (Read 845 times)
Jim Oker
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January 2, Snoqualmie Pass
« on: 01/03/17, 12:47 PM »

Got out for about 4K+ of fine turns yesterday. We felt like we had this mountain  to ourselves, but I think there was one other  group up there, well out of sync with our laps.

Trailbreaking was pretty easy below 4K, and increasingly effortful above that (but still easy enough that I happily diverged from the existing track where I felt a much smarter line could be followed). The only wind affected snow we encountered was on the ridge crest, above 5K. There was a steady east-ish wind but no significant snow plume and the surface snow over on the west slopes  just below the crest was fluffy and unconsolidated - still ripe for loose snow sluffing on steep pitches but nothing slabby. I.e. awesome  turning conditions!! On aspects from S to W.

We did find one open area up high with thin enough cover over a crust to be OK-not-great, but mostly the skiing above about 4500 felt bottomless, even in the deep big forest. No significant tree bombs yet. But the snowpack is still shallow  enough that  it was worth paying just a little extra attention to what lay below humps (i.e. open holes beneath logs etc.). Below 4K, xmas tree farms posed quite the early season obstacle course challenge. But the light snow over the freezing rain crust from I assume Friday made for easy survival turns and sideslips through this "fun."

The easterly winds have not abated up there, so things may be rather different today, but I was surprised at how little wind-affect we found below the ridge crest yesterday.

Edited to add: we remained below treeline all day. With the wind we encountered at the ridge crest, I'm guessing that the snow might have been quite a bit  more variable up in higher and more exposed spots yesterday...
« Last Edit: 01/03/17, 01:49 PM by Jim Oker » Logged
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