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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2002 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  Trip Reports - November 2002
| | |-+  November 10, 2002, Pinnacle Saddle MRNP
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Author Topic: November 10, 2002, Pinnacle Saddle MRNP  (Read 2222 times)

Posts: 140

November 10, 2002, Pinnacle Saddle MRNP
« on: 11/12/02, 08:17 AM »

Hi all, I just discovered your web site and this is my first post.

On Sunday my friend Dave and I headed into MRNP in search of some turns. Dave was on tele, I was on alpine touring gear. We headed up the stevens canyon road after finding the gate open (more on this later). We drove as far as we could and stopped at a pullout about 1 1/2 miles or so before the pinnacle saddle trailhead. There was ~ 1 foot of snow on the road here. We skinned up the road until the trailhead, then skinned the entire trail up to the saddle. From the saddle we traversed under pinnacle peak to the col between pinnacle peak and the castle.

From the col, dropping over onto the north side puts you onto the pinnacle "glacier", which is really just a small snowfield. We skiied from the col down about 600 vertical feet. We then skinned back up to the col and did it again. After that we skiied back down the other side of the col and down the trail and the road.

We only had to pull the skis off once, for about 15 feet, just to get over the windblown and steep col. It was great for such a low snowpack!

On our way out, about 5 minutes before the car a ranger in a 4x4 drove up. She let us know that the stevens canyon road was, in fact, closed and that somebody had broken into the gate the night before. Thanks to our ignorance we got to enjoy an awesome day of skiing and, as you might expect, saw not a trace of another person all day before the ranger.
« Last Edit: 11/15/02, 05:04 AM by admin » Logged

Posts: 617

Re: November 10th, Pinnacle Saddle MRNP
« Reply #1 on: 11/12/02, 09:55 AM »

Sounds like you had a good day.

Was the underbrush covered enough not to give you any surprise snags on the ski out?

There is nothing worse than refusing to learn: this is where old age begins.

ron j
TAY Moderator

Posts: 2592

Re: November 10th, Pinnacle Saddle MRNP
« Reply #2 on: 11/12/02, 12:17 PM »

Sounds like you made a good call, Josh.
Might even be better next weekend.  Might be a good time to nail Plummer and go right on down the Pinnacle col if there's enough snow and it's stable.

"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston

Posts: 140

Re: November 10th, Pinnacle Saddle MRNP
« Reply #3 on: 11/13/02, 06:16 AM »

mad_dog, since we stayed on the trail for the decent most of the way, we had no problems with underbrush. The trail, while not huge, was definitely wide enough to ski easily and was good fun. Skiing off the trail lower down would have definitely presented underbrush problems.
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