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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2017 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  May 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 20, Mt. Hood N Face, "Left Hand" ski
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Author Topic: May 20, Mt. Hood N Face, "Left Hand" ski  (Read 1234 times)

Posts: 9

May 20, Mt. Hood N Face, "Left Hand" ski
« on: 06/01/17, 10:45 AM »

I'm a little late posting this but figured I'd share in the good hood coverage stoke by recounting this mission to put ski edges into the burly N face of Hood. Living in White Salmon means I frequently stare at these lines and knowing how good coverage is up there this year meant I couldn't resist roping my buddy Ian into attempting to ski this puckering line. I had climbed the edge of the line( slightly NE of the spur proper but not quite in the gut) about two weeks prior and was forced to bail down west crater due to a VERY firm snowpack.

Friday May 20th was the next good window and Ian cruised out from Whitefish to join me. I skinned from CS TH up to the climbers hut above tree line on the 19th and had enough light left for some dreamy and private corn laps down onto the Elliot from a little ways above Tie-in rock. Stared at the next days objective for awhile and was dismayed to not find Avy debris under it. This was only a few days after the big 30" dump at Tline and higher elevations of hood so I was really hoping to find that Wed, and thursday, sun had cleaned this new snow off the N. Face. No such luck, which gave me real pause.

I was treated to clear skies above, swirling marine layer below, and 0 wind. Enjoyed sunset and passed out at dark wondering when Ian would roll in. He made a marathon push to complete his drive from whitefish, rig his bag and hike in to pass out face down at about 2:30 AM in true #skierboyz fashion.

Stiff wind picked up about 3 AM and we slept in until about 4:30 figuring it was going to take awhile for things to soften under so much breeze. We observed a lone wolf absolutely crushing it up the "right hand". Impressive speed.

We dropped onto the Elliot, skinned w/ ski crampons up to the left side of the berg, switched to booting, and launched our assault. Topped out sometime after 11 and dicked around on the summit talking to freinds until about 2. We dropped from just skiers right of the summit knob, and skied the face under and skiers right of it down to the choke. Snow was funky. Far from ideal. Still fun but quite puckering. Just above the choke things started to feel like they were firming back up and we decided to transition back to boot crampons to down climb the dog leg skiers left of the choke. In Hero corn this would have been easily skied. just below the water ice in the choke we switched back to skis and made some jump turns but mostly sideslipped and tried to avoid the death chatter. About 500-600' below the choke some wispy marine layer suddenly coalesced into full white out prompting a re-assesment of our position. With low vis and some exceptionally firm snow under our skiis we decided to cross the rut, get skiers right, and hold a high T until we were onto the mellower slopes of the Spur. All in all a good mission. Would have really liked to ski to the berg and complete the line but oh well. 

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* IMG_4665.JPG (171.88 KB, 800x600 - viewed 577 times.)

* IMG_4923.JPG (206.29 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 583 times.)

Posts: 465

Re: May 20, Mt. Hood N Face, "Left Hand" ski
« Reply #1 on: 06/01/17, 11:23 AM »

Love that first photo, full motion in stillness. Sounds like a great adventure!

Think we met you up on Adams last June, the bike crew.


Posts: 783

Re: May 20, Mt. Hood N Face, "Left Hand" ski
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/17, 06:20 PM »

Looks awesome.  Beautiful lines indeed.
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