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06/24/17, 01:34 AM

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Author Topic: Washington Pass Avalanche activity update  (Read 3125 times)
freeski
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Washington Pass Avalanche activity update
« on: 05/07/17, 12:18 PM »

I was up in the blue Peak yesterday and observed many natural wet  Point release surface slides in many of the Gulley systems off of kangaroo Ridge. West faces.
.
Surface slides have taken out all of pica Bowl and many other places.

The blue Peak cornice is starting to look like a serac with many large blocks shearing from the cornice but staying in place. There's also a crack running across the face on the skiers right side adjacent to the cornice North Face. Birthday tours beware.

The most significant Avalanche I observed was a very recent slab release on the skiers left side, next to and skiers left of a line called "good to go". This slide had a crown of up to 8 feet deep and was estimated to be around 200 feet wide.  this area below the rock wall is not often skied however it did spread debris down into the ski Terrain in the two skier left hand side Avalanche paths.
« Last Edit: 05/07/17, 12:38 PM by freeski » Logged

"I'm not making love to anyones wishes, only for that light I see." Cat Stevens
Good2Go
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Re: Washington Pass Avalanche activity update
« Reply #1 on: 05/08/17, 01:53 PM »

You get up there on a motorbike?  Seeing a lot of social media posts w/ motorbikes on the road around hairpin, which makes me jealous!  Looks like great corn skiing up there right now. 
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freeski
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Re: Washington Pass Avalanche activity update
« Reply #2 on: 05/08/17, 04:25 PM »

You get up there on a motorbike?  Seeing a lot of social media posts w/ motorbikes on the road around hairpin, which makes me jealous!  Looks like great corn skiing up there right now. 
no I rode my mountain bicycle to the Overlook turn off, end of plowed Road ,and skied down the road to the trailhead. I wouldn't want to risk a ticket riding a motorcycle.

A friend of mine got a better look at the slide in pica Bowl, typical birthday tour top exit, and he reports that the Avalanche stepped down and ran to the valley bottom so it ran its entire path.
« Last Edit: 05/08/17, 04:35 PM by freeski » Logged

"I'm not making love to anyones wishes, only for that light I see." Cat Stevens
freeski
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Re: Washington Pass Avalanche activity update
« Reply #3 on: 05/10/17, 01:02 AM »

You get up there on a motorbike? 
the quote below is from the Dot website.note the last sentence.

I was referred to some Instagram pictures on social media with a registered street legal motorcycle with a sidecar full of skis in the picture near ,Washington Pass on the closed Road. Possibly the ones that g2g was referring to.

Just my opinion but not a great idea to post pictures on social media of yourself possibly breaking the law. Social media is definitely not under the radar and pictures like those have a tendency to shut it all down.

We have to remember that the Dot does great work that is oftentimes hazardous and they deserve our respect and cooperation

"This Friday 5/12 and Saturday 5/13, the east access will be closed to recreationists as our crew will be working two extra days to address drainage issues between Rainy and Washington Passes and keep the reopening on schedule to open as soon as possible after the very late April 10th start.
Westside access will remain open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The crews are pushing to to reopen a week earlier than estimated - by Memorial Day - which would still be the latest since 1974's June 14 reopening.
During the clearing, pedestrians (skiers) & bicyclists are prohibited Monday through Thursday, but allowed past the gates Friday through Sunday."
« Last Edit: 05/10/17, 01:44 AM by freeski » Logged

"I'm not making love to anyones wishes, only for that light I see." Cat Stevens
freeski
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Re: Washington Pass Avalanche activity update
« Reply #4 on: 05/11/17, 12:40 PM »

RCW 47.48.040
Penalty.
Except as provided under RCW 47.48.060, when any state highway, county road, or city street or portion thereof shall have been closed, or when the maximum speed limit thereon shall have been reduced, for all vehicles or any class of vehicles, as by law provided, any person, firm, or corporation disregarding such closing or reduced speed limit shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall in addition to any penalty for violation of the provisions of this section, be liable in any civil action instituted in the name of the state of Washington or the county or city or town having jurisdiction for any damages occasioned to such state highway, county road, or city street, as the case may be, as the result of disregarding such closing or reduced speed limit.

Anyway that's what the law says.

In our ancient methow Valley oral history there is a story that tells a tale about a person driving from Spokane to Seattle who decided to use Highway 20 during the winter for his journey

Well as happenstance would have it the road was closed, however the road could support a vehicle on the icy surface. And so the man proceeded passed the road closed sign  and the marginal snow berm only to get stuck at the Cutthroat Road Junction with Highway 20.

The man was encountered by a group of snowmobile skiers and it was determined that the guy was okay after being there for several days and just needed a little food.

So the skiers gave him some food,went skiing came back and gave the guy a ride,drive the man to hotel and contacted Roy who owns his own snow cats.

The next day one of the skiers picked the man up and took him to meet Roy. 

Roy,being the great guy that he is, went up and towed the car out and only charged the man $20.

And so the legend of the hospitality of the Methow Valley continued.

But that's not the end of the story.

Some other local skiers, who had not yet seen the wisdom of owning a snowmobile and having heard the story of the rescued man, decided to drive up there the next day and ski. After a great day of skiing they drove out and nearly collided with a snowmobile and it's Rider.

All was well until the police came a-knockin later that night and issued a ticket.

I guess the snowmobiler didn't enjoy the fact that he was almost killed by a vehicle full of skiers that was not supposed to be there in the first place.

But the skiers were lucky that they only received the ticket and no one was hurt, because as you can see from the law they would have been liable for any damages no matter what the circumstances.


« Last Edit: 05/12/17, 11:38 AM by freeski » Logged

"I'm not making love to anyones wishes, only for that light I see." Cat Stevens
freeski
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Re: Washington Pass Avalanche activity update
« Reply #5 on: 05/12/17, 11:36 AM »

More information from the dot website

"When the highway is closed; skiers, backpackers, snowmobilers and other adventurers are welcome to use the closed stretch at their own risk. When crews are working on clearing, the area is closed Monday through Thursday."

"WSDOT plans to reopen the highway at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 16.
Until then the North Cascades Highway over Rainy and Washington passes remains closed to licensed motor vehicles.
Last Updated: 5/11/2017 4:34 PM
From milepost 134 to milepost 178
Traffic Cameras
There are no traffic cameras in this vicinity.
Return to list"
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"I'm not making love to anyones wishes, only for that light I see." Cat Stevens
freeski
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Re: Washington Pass Avalanche activity update
« Reply #6 on: 05/12/17, 01:21 PM »

I sent an email to the DOT to get clarification on this weekend's closure and that status has changed.


From the DOT:
"Changed yesterday afternoon.  Bikes Okay Fri-Sat-Sun.  Crews back on Monday.  Opens on Tuesday"
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"I'm not making love to anyones wishes, only for that light I see." Cat Stevens
freeski
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Re: Washington Pass Avalanche activity update
« Reply #7 on: 05/14/17, 12:43 PM »

I only saw one slide that came to the highway yesterday in  the Liberty Bell Avy path and some minor surface sluffs up high on kangaroo Ridge. Since the slide was there on the road in the morning it could have come down anytime after the crew finished working on Thursday.

I went up to the blue Peak area again to get a look at the cornice however the weather moved in and the white out on the Upper Mountain prevented a look.
The upper skiing was scratchy but improved with softer snow crusts halfway down. The indicator Glide cracks are still Creeping.

Around two inches of new and still snowing by the time I got back to my bicycle and I received a good soaking from the wet Road on the ride out.
« Last Edit: 05/14/17, 12:56 PM by freeski » Logged

"I'm not making love to anyones wishes, only for that light I see." Cat Stevens
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