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10/15/18, 06:44 PM

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Author Topic: 6/3/17 Birthday Tour - Beta  (Read 1303 times)

Posts: 159

6/3/17 Birthday Tour - Beta
« on: 06/05/17, 10:05 AM »

Our first time on the birthday tour. Just wanna pass along some beta.

Easy skinning from the car, and should still be for awhile. Number of folks just skiing the NW slopes of Blue Lake Peak. The middle of the Blue Lake Peak cornice has collapsed, but significant pieces remain on the left and right, with the climbers left looking foreboding to me. Prompted us to climb basically as left as possible, but others didn't seem to mind just skinning right up under it. YMMV. At the top, at the crest of the cornice, moats are definitely forming and crossing could get difficult.

Lines that fully "Go" skiers left on the bottom 1/3 of Madison Ave are pretty much gone. Finish Madison Ave skiers right and skin a little extra to through the trees to avoid shenanigans.

Descending Copper Col requires mixed scree/snow down climbing now.

The best snow we saw appeared to be in Spire Gully. Scoping the entrance on our climb, it looks like you could still get it from the top but the entrance could be spicy. Tons of good looking snow in there looking up from the hairpin though.

« Last Edit: 06/05/17, 10:57 AM by MattT » Logged

Posts: 649

Re: 6/3/17 Birthday Tour - Beta
« Reply #1 on: 06/05/17, 12:30 PM »

The more direct route from Copper basin back to the hairpin had a nicely skiable entrance, with optional cornice huck. Kangaroo chutes are holding up with continuous skinning from the car, but some of the intermediate rock bands are starting to melt out. Get it while you can.

Posts: 32

Re: 6/3/17 Birthday Tour - Beta
« Reply #2 on: 06/05/17, 12:40 PM »

Adding my own bit of beta from Saturday as well.

+1 on the cornice info. The center has dropped and doesn't look as imposing as previous years, but after seeing the top of the cornice and its very tenuous attachment to anything solid, I'd be wary of spending any time underneath it. Bootpack to far climbers left is in good shape. Still possible to go straight up onto rock at the top of the bootpack and thus avoid moats or standing on the cornice. We were greeted by a mountain goat at the top of the bootpack, surely wondering why so many skiers were invading her personal space.

We transitioned to skiing at Blue Lake Col at about 10 AM after an ~8AM start. Most of upper Madison was already overcooked. If I was to go again, I'd start at least an hour earlier and wait for corn o'clock at the col.

Staying center to right on the bottom 1/3 of Madison Ave allows you to ski all the way down to near the bottom of the drainage. It's starting to get thin and will probably only last another week or two before requiring a mandatory scree downclimb or free stone grind. Watch for marmots near where you transition to skinning, there are several dens in the area!

We exited via the 'standard'? notch to the SE of Pica Peak. When heading east up the drainage from the bottom of Madison Ave, it is the furthest climbers left exit. It skied well and is still fully filled in. The bottom 1/4 mile or so of the exit route (low angle bit through the trees) is starting to get spicy with lots of open creeks and tree wells to dodge.

I can also confirm that Spire Gully is a nice ski right now, we skied it last weekend. Bit chundery to skier's left and icy in the shade, but good skiing all around.

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