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11/24/17, 06:06 PM

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| |-+  January 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  January 29, 2017 Gem Lake Ski Tour
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Author Topic: January 29, 2017 Gem Lake Ski Tour  (Read 1262 times)
John Morrow
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January 29, 2017 Gem Lake Ski Tour
« on: 01/29/17, 05:48 PM »

Started at the upper Alpental Lot and got through the backcountry return trail before the area opened.  
Basically:
-A well packed skin track/snowshoe trail to Snow Lake Divide
-We found our own line to descend to the lake, decent old powder with some patchy wind effect.
-Good fast trail across Snow Lake.
-Skin track to Gem Lake through sun warmed powder turning into 6 inches or less of wet creamy snow on some form of hard, fully supportive, base that edges could not reach.
-Were going for Wright Mountain.  Above Gem Lake we opted against it because a wall of clouds obscured the sun and we thought the solar aspects we intended to descend might refreeze into a breakable crust.  Turns out they held in fine.
-We skied the nice creamy snow occasionally dodging tree bombs, chunder, or our own pinwheels back to Snow Lake.
-Probably a whole different story tomorrow but, overall, north faces were still stiff settled powder on a base, occasionally subjected to wind or tree bombs.
-The return to Source Lake was like skiing inbounds area moguls of random frequency.  Though I have little actual experience with that.
-People were everywhere

More pics:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/23557848@N03/albums/72157677659160302


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* IMG_9579_1280x768.JPG (107.88 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 776 times.)

* IMG_9584_1280x768.JPG (135.98 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 785 times.)
« Last Edit: 01/29/17, 06:34 PM by John Morrow » Logged
Jake the Brit
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Re: January 29, 2017 Gem Lake Ski Tour
« Reply #1 on: 01/30/17, 09:00 AM »

-People were everywhere
Ha. I can imagine.....
Nice TR & pics, very evocative

I'm know i should know, but I don't...what is that lump of rock in the rear of photo #2
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John Morrow
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Re: January 29, 2017 Gem Lake Ski Tour
« Reply #2 on: 01/30/17, 10:23 AM »

Ha. I can imagine.....
Nice TR & pics, very evocative

I'm know i should know, but I don't...what is that lump of rock in the rear of photo #2

Yup, you should know Jake!  Kaleeten Peak from the NE.
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kamtron
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Re: January 29, 2017 Gem Lake Ski Tour
« Reply #3 on: 01/30/17, 11:44 AM »

Good to see Wright peak getting some love. I discovered it for myself this season and have enjoyed skiing from summit to Gem, off the NE side towards Middle Fork in good glades, as well as the descent back to Snow Lake.

We saw you guys as we transitioned at the bottom of the N slopes of Chair run. That had very nice consolidated powder snow. Some squalls came through around 2 pm and it was lightly raining as we skied out at about 3 pm. I imagine the snow has crusted most everywhere now.
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Jim Oker
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Re: January 29, 2017 Gem Lake Ski Tour
« Reply #4 on: 01/30/17, 12:11 PM »

Nice report. I keep wanting to  get  up there  but keep doing other  things. Even went out to  try for  it  last  winter but when we got on Snow Lake we could  see that  the southerly slopes up  toward  Gem/Wright were hammered by sun but that the slopes up  toward Roosevelt were  still lovely powder w/o  tracks. I'd imagine,  though, that  it might be possible to ski the  north  glades of Wright and  then simply ascend back toward the  Snow outlet when it's time to head home for the day...
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John Morrow
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Re: January 29, 2017 Gem Lake Ski Tour
« Reply #5 on: 01/30/17, 01:10 PM »

Good to see Wright peak getting some love. I discovered it for myself this season and have enjoyed skiing from summit to Gem, off the NE side towards Middle Fork in good glades, as well as the descent back to Snow Lake.

We saw you guys as we transitioned at the bottom of the N slopes of Chair run. That had very nice consolidated powder snow. Some squalls came through around 2 pm and it was lightly raining as we skied out at about 3 pm. I imagine the snow has crusted most everywhere now.
I wondered if a TAY'er was on Chair and would say hello on the forum.  I was surprised to see the light amount of use over there 10 days after last significant snowfall.  Looks like you had lots of fun over there.  Had the storm not been faster than expected, we had hoped to do a short NE run in the glades. Haven't tried that yet, looks good on GE.
Thanks for commenting.
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kamtron
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Re: January 29, 2017 Gem Lake Ski Tour
« Reply #6 on: 01/30/17, 01:12 PM »

I'd imagine,  though, that  it might be possible to ski the  north  glades of Wright and  then simply ascend back toward the  Snow outlet when it's time to head home for the day...

I think that is possible on the more due E slopes (generally gentle glades above feeding into some bigger avy paths). You'd either have to go all the way to the middle fork or skin back up to ridge of Wright from the NE slopes I refer to.
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