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| | |-+  January 16, 2006, Bullion Basin
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Author Topic: January 16, 2006, Bullion Basin  (Read 2803 times)
alexf
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January 16, 2006, Bullion Basin
« on: 01/16/06, 02:59 PM »

After flailing around on Skyline ridge on Sunday, Preston and I decided to take MLK day off to try again for some powder turns at a place we've already checked out, Bullion Basin.  We tried to leave Seattle early because of the predicted increase in avy danger later in the day, but some how we didn't leave Crystal Mountain's base area until 9:30.  We left the groomed road at 4800 ft and headed up the trail.  We were planning on a short tour to check out the North facing slope at the south end of the basin, but before we got there we found a really nice looking SW facing slope (lots of snow, just enough trees).  This slope seemed more appealing than the North aspect that was our goal since the wind had been coming from the south for several hours.  We quickly made the decision to skin up this aspect.  At around 5600 ft, we dug a pit where the slope measured 35 degrees.  We found about 3.5-4 ft of snow, fist at the top to 4 fingers at the bottom, sitting on top of the recent crust.  While isolating the back wall of a column, a 1-1.5 ft block sprung forward.  After continuing to cut the column with one ski and awkwardly balancing on the other ski, another block released at about 2-2.5 ft, probably while I pulled slightly forward on my ski to keep my balance.  Although these blocks of snow seemed very light and relatively unconsolidated, it was a little too much movement for my Texas nerves (don't worry, I would have an impeach Bush sign in my yard if I thought it would make a difference), so we decided to ride down to the trees.  We put our splits back together, and I let Preston go first, again...  After I rode down, I agreed, the snow seemed really stable.  So we skinned back up, this time a little farther.  Since Preston has started referring to himself as the "slope stability tester", I decided I'd better go first for a change.  We had another great run down, although the snow seemed a little heavier.  While the first run provided legitimate face shots, the second run was knee to chest high.  By this time it was 1:30 and the trees started dropping snow bombs, so we decided to head out before the conditions changed further.  Down lower the snow was heavier and more choppy from the previous day's use, but still lots of fun.    All in all a GREAT powder day with minimal wallowing.  We arrived at the parking lot at 2:15 with big smiles to the sound of bombs going off at the ski area.  



Skinning up

Another turn
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ovrthhills
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Re: January 16, 2006, Bullion Basin
« Reply #1 on: 01/17/06, 06:19 AM »

Nice report. We were up that way the day before when the wind was from the west and found some 6 to 10 inch slabs on SW aspects.  Glad it stablized.  Where were you riding in relation to the rock outcropping in your picture?.
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prestonf
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Re: January 16, 2006, Bullion Basin
« Reply #2 on: 01/17/06, 10:05 AM »

We were riding quite a bit to the right (south?) of the rocks in the picture, another 10 minutes or so up the trail.  The slopes we were on are out of frame.   FWIW, we stayed near the trees, avoided the open slopes, avoided the steep rolls, etc.  No shooting cracks or sloughing or other signs of propogation, but the pit results gave us pause...
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alexf
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Re: January 16, 2006, Bullion Basin
« Reply #3 on: 01/18/06, 04:27 AM »

Thanks ovrthhills.  The rocks in that picture are just above the main trail where the skin track going up the two steep sections meets the main trail.  We were quite a bit away from that area, about 5-10 minutes shy of Bullion Basin.  If I remeber correctly there are some rocks/cliffs facing Southish just as you enter Bullion Basin.  It sound like that's close to where you found the slabby stuff.  The slope we were on did not seem very wind affected down low where we were.  We made sure to stay away from the ridge where things looked very different.
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chrism
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Re: January 16, 2006, Bullion Basin
« Reply #4 on: 01/18/06, 06:34 AM »

Check your personal messages.
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allyson
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Re: January 16, 2006, Bullion Basin
« Reply #5 on: 01/19/06, 01:25 PM »

alex and preston--
nice photos!  looks like you all had a good time.  i'll be up at bullion this weekend, it'll be interesting to see how much the conditions have changed with all this new snow...thanks for the report! Smiley
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snowshoe?? why would you??
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