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NWAC Avalanche
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| |-+  June 2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  June 14, 2006, Alpental PSA
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Author Topic: June 14, 2006, Alpental PSA  (Read 1917 times)

Posts: 519

June 14, 2006, Alpental PSA
« on: 06/14/06, 06:04 PM »

Day 69
Alpental, Edelweiss Bowl
VF skied: 1,800

[A buzz of unintelligible chatter, a din of moving feet and idle waiting; then, a crackle in the air, resolving into an eerily clear and discernable voice over the public address system:

“Leonard Chung, paging Leonard Chung.  Please contact MW88888888 via a white courtesy phone or by PM’ing on TAY to retrieve a lost article found at Alpental.”

The concourse, while unable to avoid the urgent message, faithfully ignores the seemingly constant, almost familiar Public Address Voice.  Another crackle, another message:

“Paging the owner of a Voile avalanche shovel handle, with defining features, please contact MW8888888 via a white courtesy phone or by PM’ing on TAY to retrieve a lost article found at Alpental.”]

The telemetry was reporting 0” inches at the stake at 3,100’. 

That seemed about right.

The last top-to-bottom skiing at Alpental, for me at least, was June 3rd.  Contrast this date with my last T-to-B in 2005, April 19th, and the joy of 2006 is the ying to the yang of last year.  Now, the landscape is evolving rapidly into summer dress, especially below 4,000’.  But there remain a few standout snowdrifts that linger like old friends, almost right down to the Alpental Lodge.   Two in particular below the quad look poised to stand until the official start of summer.  I wish them luck.

I dropped the skis and clicked into the three pins on continuous snow at the log bridge (3,700’), skinning up a narrow ribbon of snow that grew in depth and size with each vertical foot, only once worrying about the possibility of taking off the skis. 

Turning the corner and entering Edelweiss Bowl, it looks still like mid-winter.  And that’s no fish story.  The moats at the top of the bowl show well over 10 feet of snow.  Parts of the bowl will be ski able into July this year.  July 4th at Alpental, how choice!

The summit and Edelweiss bowl are white out and misty, and don’t facilitate lingering.  As hard as I try, I still am unable to brake the 1 hour barrier from car to top and I laugh to myself that I should either start taking this racing seriously, or loose my new Altimeter/clock/barometer/command station.  Yet another example, perhaps, of how new-fangled technology may advance science but debases the soul.

I ski off at 7:15 and am rambling down the final shrub thrash shortly after.  The skiing continues to deteriorate in quality; maybe 25% of the turns smile worthy, the rest utilitarian travel that beats the hell out of walking.  Or working.

Sigh.  Working. 

7:40 am, I am changing out of my wet clothes on the drive down to the office, eating breakfast and finishing my coffee, air conditioner chugging away to remove the fog from the windows, and fighting a losing battle.   
« Last Edit: 06/14/06, 06:11 PM by MW88888888 » Logged

Posts: 236

Re: June 14, 2006, Alpental PSA
« Reply #1 on: 06/14/06, 07:00 PM »

A wonderful little tale and a testament of good writing! I was wondering what things would look like a week after we skied it in last week's dusk patrol. Thanks for letting us know.

any day in the mountains is a good day in the mountains
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