telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
www.turns-all-year.com
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
05/20/19, 03:29 PM

Become a TAY Sponsor!
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
 
FOAC Snow
Info Exchange


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2019 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  May 2019 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 5th, 2019 Colchuck TriathlonA lurker emerges
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Notify of replies | Print
Author Topic: May 5th, 2019 Colchuck TriathlonA lurker emerges  (Read 1164 times)
nordicnerd
5Member
Offline

Posts: 6


May 5th, 2019 Colchuck TriathlonA lurker emerges
« on: 05/09/19, 12:23 PM »

A lurker emerges -
I have been reading TAY for a number of years and have learned a lot from all of you folks, but so far I have never posted.  This year I won the lottery for a permit to backpack in to Stuart Lake in the Enchantments Zone.  I was thinking about trying to do a ski tour into the area to scout a bit and get some turns in somewhere in there and I made plans with my buddy Eric to go on May 5th, his next available time.  As you probably know the road in from Bridge Creek CG to the Eightmile TH is closed until the 15th so were were going to have to bike up the 3.5 miles and 1600' to the TH.

Some research on TAY turned up TRs about doing this very thing, notably one by Jake the Brit, and TRs about Aasgard Pass and Dragontail Peak.  Then I thought, why not just go up Aasgard and have a look over into the Enchantments basin, and then we can ski down the Pass or maybe around Dragontail and down the Colchuck Glacier if time allows. 

I went to Recycled Cycles the week before this trip to get a spoke wrench for some last minute bike tune-up and who should I run into but Jake the Brit!  Jake was also getting work done on some wheels there and we chatted a bit.  He encouraged me to post something, even if it was just a pic of my water bottle somewhere.  He also highly recommended the Dragontail circumnavigation tour and the ride back down from the TH to the gate as the finale to the trip.  It all sounded good to me!  And running into another TAY in person seemed like a good omen for this trip.
The only problem is my water bottle is a Platypus and I will not be getting that out for photo ops, so I brought a mascot instead ;-)

With the extended approach from the gate time was obviously going to be an issue so we originally planned on camping at the gate so we could get and early start.  But in the end we didn't do it that way because of other projects at home demanding our time on Saturday.  We got up at 4:30 Sunday AM, rolled out from Kenmore by 6ish and got to the gate by 9ish.  I think we were riding up road 7601 by 9:20.  At the TH about 10:45 if I recall, so it took a little over an hour to get up there.  It was already hot out by that time.  There was snow at the TH but the only snow on the road was in that last 100 yards.  We found several other groups of bikes stashed in the trees near the TH and one person returning to a bike from a climb. 

To finally cut to the chase here - it was about 50-50 snow patches with nasty post holing at first in 1-2 feet of snow (where present).  It seemed like it would eventually become continuous enough for skinning and we kept going hoping for that to become true.  It never did.  It eventually reached something like 30-70 land-snow.  Once we were more than halfway we were going to get there regardless so we could at least see Colchuck Lake.  We finally got to the lake in late afternoon and ate lunch then tried to skin around the shore to get to the base of the pass.  Couldn't do it.  It became 6PM and we had to turn around.  So much for starting late!  We got back to the car at 9:20 PM in the last little bit of light you could ride by without resorting to headlamps. 

We would have made it with the extra 3 hours we could have had by camping at gate. 
Of course we still would have had soaked hiking shoes all day, lots of little cuts, scratches, and blisters from keeping a death grip on our, ahem, "hiking" poles all day, and sore shoulders from hauling 35-40lb packs for 10 hours.

It seems that all the snow at all elevations from 3000-5500' is melting at the same rate.  The lake itself had a cover that looked like a thin ripply snow layer floating sort of on the water, with no deeper stuff around the edges.  There is good coverage up the pass and on the glacier, but you are going to have to hump the skiis on your back right to the foot of Dragontail to reach it.  If you leave now. 

So we had the Colchuck Triathlon on Sunday.  Lots of exercise in three modes but no skiing, just a bit of skinning.  But at least I finally posted something.


* DSCN4540.jpg (93.69 KB, 256x192 - viewed 1072 times.)

* DSCN4564.jpg (76.09 KB, 256x192 - viewed 1093 times.)
Logged
Chamois
Member
Offline

Posts: 246


Re: May 5th, 2019 Colchuck TriathlonA lurker emerges
« Reply #1 on: 05/09/19, 04:36 PM »

Points for a good try and overall sufferfest quotient.
Logged
mikerolfs
Member
Offline

Posts: 949


WWW
Re: May 5th, 2019 Colchuck TriathlonA lurker emerges
« Reply #2 on: 05/12/19, 04:36 PM »

Thanks for the trail update too. Super helpful.
Logged
jwplotz
Member
Offline

Posts: 440


Re: May 5th, 2019 Colchuck TriathlonA lurker emerges
« Reply #3 on: 05/12/19, 04:48 PM »

and who should I run into but Jake the Brit! 

If this ever happens again, immediately turn right around and make other plans.

Logged
avajane
Member
Offline

Posts: 945


Re: May 5th, 2019 Colchuck TriathlonA lurker emerges
« Reply #4 on: 05/12/19, 10:07 PM »

Thanks for the report. I’m not going this year. I’ve busted my butt too many times dragging heavy gear up a nasty trail, to a nastier bolder field - for maybe one run on hard snow...Skinnable snow, and probably youth required...
Logged

Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
nordicnerd
5Member
Offline

Posts: 6


Re: May 5th, 2019 Colchuck TriathlonA lurker emerges
« Reply #5 on: 05/15/19, 07:41 AM »

and who should I run into but Jake the Brit! 

If this ever happens again, immediately turn right around and make other plans.



Hah! 
Well, we learn from our mistakes.  ;-)


Next time I will do it as Jake did it - early April.  We'll see if I can convince a partner to come along...
Logged
nordicnerd
5Member
Offline

Posts: 6


Re: May 5th, 2019 Colchuck TriathlonA lurker emerges
« Reply #6 on: 05/15/19, 07:51 AM »

Thanks for the report. I’m not going this year. I’ve busted my butt too many times dragging heavy gear up a nasty trail, to a nastier bolder field - for maybe one run on hard snow...Skinnable snow, and probably youth required...


Both things in short supply for me at this point.  I have the same color hair as JtB these days, but I can at least still substitute craziness for youth ;-)
Logged
Pages: [1] | Go Up Notify of replies | Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Contact turns-all-year.com

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.