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Author Topic: May 22 - Pilchuck  (Read 3018 times)
Charlie Hagedorn
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May 22 - Pilchuck
« on: 05/23/07, 01:13 PM »

       After finishing up a big exam yesterday, I took the rest of the day off to catch up on the skiing I've missed while preparing/studying. I desperately wanted to get to the views that Pilchuck offered, so I decided to risk an avalanche enforced early turn around by choosing to head there. As it was my first trip to Pilchuck, I was surprised by the lack of snow on the main trail (snow's patchy/gone on the trail until it traverses onto the north slopes), but there's still snow much of the way down to the parking lot if you stick to the north facing bowl and have a propensity for skiing on needles, sticks, etc. .
        I made it to about the 4600' level before turning around due to softening snow (I couldn't make any shears go, but it was getting gooey) and my increasing exposure to sluffs and slabs from above. The steeper open slopes higher on the mountain had lots of sharply delineated crowns from slides of the new snow on the old base. The skiing was soft but fun; the woods required some enjoyable creativity.
       After reaching the car, it became clear that my turn-around was perfectly located and timed. During my descent, slides had hit the route not far above my turnaround, but none came close to threatening any part of my descent (nor did I observe any instability). I stuck around for the sunset, and no further slides occurred. Incidentally, one of the cirques on the Three Fingers appeared to have slid (the whole damn thing!), leaving behind a perfect crown. The sunset was nice.

      Get after it before the snow's all gone! (and when it's stable)
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RonL
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Re: May 22 - Pilchuck
« Reply #1 on: 05/23/07, 03:07 PM »

Can you estimate the time of day those slides came down?
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: May 22 - Pilchuck
« Reply #2 on: 05/23/07, 05:07 PM »

I started skiing down at 5:30, and looked back up from the parking lot at 6:30. From the base, I saw a number of slide paths that I didn't remember from the view where I decided to turn around. I didn't see nor hear any slides, but I was kind of around a ridge from them. All the snow I personally encountered was nice and stable, outside of becoming sun-softened. I encountered a couple of hikers on my way up who reported that they thought that things were stable and that their dogs had provided some extra testing.

Edit: During my time out there, the sun had stayed hidden in the clouds from at least ~3:30-4:30 or so, whereupon it got beautiful, warm, and sunny. If these slides did, in fact, occur during my descent, the sustained sun might've provided the trigger.
« Last Edit: 05/23/07, 05:11 PM by trumpetsailor » Logged

jd
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Re: May 22 - Pilchuck
« Reply #3 on: 05/24/07, 06:48 AM »

I was up there 5/23 from 4-6:30 pm and it was sluffy - slow, wet, 3-4 inch surface slides, but nothing dangerous. The pollen problem has dissapated, but not disapeared. Had to take skis off a number of times on the climb to navigate rocks and trees.
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RonL
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Re: May 22 - Pilchuck
« Reply #4 on: 05/24/07, 10:31 AM »

Thanks for the additional info, the times and the depth of the sloughing are good know about.
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