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.
12/11/19, 08:15 PM

Become a TAY Sponsor!
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
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
|-+  2007 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  December 2007 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Dec 20-21, 2007, French Cabin Creek
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: Dec 20-21, 2007, French Cabin Creek  (Read 3467 times)
Larry_R
Member
Offline

Posts: 321


WWW
Dec 20-21, 2007, French Cabin Creek
« on: 12/21/07, 08:31 AM »

It looked like this week's ski camping trip would only be about camping, with skis just the most efficient tool for transportation. But I was wrong.  Smiley

The NWAC forecast and avalanche forecast were quite impressive so I opted for one of my Plan B destinations in the Cle Elum valley; up French Cabin Creek to an old gently rolling clear cut area east of point 3404. Other than perhaps one road cut that might slide directly to the east of this point, there is no appreciable avalanche risk, and I avoid this section of the road in any case. The average grade per Topo! is about 15 degrees.

This is a groomed snowmobile route, but Wednesday I did not hear a single snomo.  I went up the groomed surface, still with about 6 inches new on top to 2800 feet and then left the road. Eventually I was sinking in to mid calf. While setting up, and then later while drying out my outer layers which were soaked from skiing up (32 deg, snowing heavily), I was thinking about the group that was caught at Melakwa Lake with what I gather were 'limited' winter camping skills.


I got up at my usual early time on Thursday, had breakfast and got out to look around. Snowing and blowing, a very wintery scene. See the first pic below. I decided to take a nap for a while, always a good plan, and awoke about 9 am to the sound of a few snomos in the distance. That meant that the road had been groomed during the night, because the snow was too deep and unconsolidated for them to travel off the groomed surface. I got out, packed up, the wind stopped, and the sun came out. What a delightful treat. See pics 2 and 3. I trudged a bit down to the road to find it freshly groomed with an inch or two new on top, with just to snomo tracks barely disturbing the surface. It was like being at the top of a gentle cruiser run at a resort, first thing in the morning, first one down. Wow; you just never know…. Got to the car, got most of the gear inside, and  it quickly clouded up again and started to snow. Guess this was my Christmas present.

Larry


* IMG_9290_640x480a.JPG (61.39 KB, 640x480 - viewed 924 times.)

* IMG_9295_800x600a.JPG (88.35 KB, 800x600 - viewed 926 times.)

* IMG_9309_800x600a.JPG (86.77 KB, 800x600 - viewed 926 times.)
Logged
Tophervw
Member
Offline

Posts: 264


Re: Dec 20-21, 2007, French Cabin Creek
« Reply #1 on: 12/21/07, 09:18 AM »

Larry~

what is the peak in pic #2?  Looks delightful.
Logged

"Animal played the drums better then any other Muppet....How's That for Communism?
Larry_R
Member
Offline

Posts: 321


WWW
Re: Dec 20-21, 2007, French Cabin Creek
« Reply #2 on: 12/21/07, 12:47 PM »

Larry~

what is the peak in pic #2?  Looks delightful.

The peak on the left is an unnamed one on Red Mtn, just slightly east of south from point 5703. There was a huge snow plume off the top which I could not quite capture as I would have liked, but here are a couple of pics:

http://www.larryscascaderesource.com/pics/red1.JPG
http://www.larryscascaderesource.com/pics/red2.JPG

John M and I have wondered about skiing this slope, but it's got its problems. It's a huge slide path; it's south facing and full of rocky bands; it melts out early; the most practical access is via the normal Red Mtn. route up the east facing slopes; there is no easy way across Thorp Creek at the bottom, other than to climb all the way to the Thorp Lake TH ... except the bridge there has been removed; going downstream would appears to be impractical to say the least; and on. It makes for a nice slope to daydream about however.

Larry


Logged
joeb
5Member
Offline

Posts: 55


Re: Dec 20-21, 2007, French Cabin Creek
« Reply #3 on: 12/21/07, 04:06 PM »

Larry,
Thanks for the TR.  What kind of shelter is that?
Logged
Larry_R
Member
Offline

Posts: 321


WWW
Re: Dec 20-21, 2007, French Cabin Creek
« Reply #4 on: 12/22/07, 07:40 AM »

Larry,
Thanks for the TR.  What kind of shelter is that?

Ah, the tent, now that's a subject on which I could write way too much, and I probably will too.

It's homemade, based on an old Eddie Bauer design from the early 70's, but with a lot of tweaks over several versions. Now don't laugh about the ancient modified pup tent design; not that I am cheap, because I am, but it still works better than anything I've found on the market. For what I do at least.

Some of the marvelous can't live without, must have, totally awesome features are:

Vertical front door with zip in plastic window. This means that I can sit right outside the door, partially protected by the fly. Great for getting in the tent when it's snowing or raining. When inside, I sit cross legged next to the widow and have a nice view outside. This is one of the real secrets for enjoying long winter nights in a tent by yourself.

A large aft mesh covered ventilation flap, opened and closed with zippers. This gets me get just the right amount of flow through ventilation to reduce moisture and provide adequate fresh air for running the stove in the tent.

A frame design with 0.5 oz polyester spinnaker cloth fly. The shape lets snow slide off easily instead of building up and pushing the fly against the tent fabric cutting off the breathability. Dacron has a much lower change in dimension with temperature than nylon, the effect being that as it gets colder, the fly becomes tighter with respect to the tent fabric. This keeps the snow sliding off  in the middle of the night. Dacron also does not change dimension as much when it gets damp; same effect as above.

However polyester spinnaker cloth, especially half ounce fabric, has far less shock absorbance than nylon. That's why nylon is used for most spinnakers. My solution is to have shock cord or silicone tubing loops at all the attachment points. (The silicone will not ice up and lose its elasticity.) In addition, I made the fly using some standard sail reinforcement methods complete with tri-lam corner patches.

The fly is spaced well away from the tent which allows a lot of flow through ventilation. A 6 inch pole extension at the aft end that holds the back of the fly up and the front end is spaced up about 3 inches too. This really helps when drying out wet gear, and getting rid of the pint or so of water that we exhale every night.

And then there is the antenna wire I've threaded through a couple of the main seams so I can listen to AM radio no matter where I am. No, strike that last sentence; just a rumor. Not really that nuts. Hmmm, better quit while I'm ahead. 

Larry

« Last Edit: 12/22/07, 07:49 AM by Larry_R » Logged
joeb
5Member
Offline

Posts: 55


Re: Dec 20-21, 2007, French Cabin Creek
« Reply #5 on: 12/22/07, 09:09 AM »

Very impressive.  Your are truly an innovator and pioneer.  I especially like the idea of the radio antenna, except for maybe around electrical storms.  Get a patent on that design before the REI's/MH/BD people find out.

Thanks for the reply,
Joe
Logged
Sarah Lou
1Member
Offline

Posts: 3


Re: Dec 20-21, 2007, French Cabin Creek
« Reply #6 on: 12/26/07, 01:20 PM »

Hi Larry!

This is unreal. I am especially impressed with your home-made tent! I can't wait to go ski with you and learn some of your tricks.

I hope you understand that I am not blowing you off... I am in the process of simlpifying my life and it is a bit of a terrain trap, if you will, at the moment.

How about we go for a walk one morning soon? I know it's a bit colder than this summer when we first got the idea...

I hope your Holiday was warm! Talk to you soon!

Here's my new email:
lousaria@gmail.com

Sarah
Logged
Pages: [1] | Go Up 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.