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Author Topic: TR: You don't know Jack... (1/19-1/21)  (Read 2006 times)

Posts: 431

TR: You don't know Jack... (1/19-1/21)
« on: 01/23/08, 10:41 PM »

Locations: Stevens bc (Saturday 1/19) & Baker bc (Sunday 1/20 & Monday 1/21)
Suspects: Eli3, Jcocci, Jack, Savegondor (TAY) and Snoslut
Photo Cred: Eli3, Snoslut and Jcocci (when he gets around to posting them)

8-20'' of snow fell earlier in the week and mostly at Stevens.  Gotta love that convergence zone.  I kicked myself for not going midweek.  With that said the temps went up a skosh and back down by weeks end.  I was skeptical to say the least but ya never know unless ya go right?

Just like the movies, if you go in with high expectations your bound to be disappointed.  With that said we pulled into a filling parking lot with a parking attendant vigorously pointing at us to go the other way.  Move out of the way son, before this car is wearing your ass a hood decor.

The highways leading up made the skin go swiftly.  I couldn't help but notice the crust that dominated exposed easterly facing terrain.  This should be fun on the way down, especially for our skier and free heeler contingents, Eli3 and Savegondor.  Well actually Savegondor forgot his skins and he walked up.  Eli3, Jack and I went for some sheltered stuff while Savegondor wondered around, somewhere.

The snow dropping in was creamy powder (chowder) but as the morning wore on, the temps dipped and it started to snow.  This is when things started to change...

Jack all steezed out... (Sequence by Eli3)

But wait a minute...

A close inspection of the landing revealed...

Some deep powder without the cream filling...

Jack all steezed out again... (Sequence by Eli3)

But wait, Eli3 said the landing was good...

Never trust a skier... Grin Grin Grin Grin

Somebody nail me to a cross already...

Tree bonking sequence...

Crash, crash, crash...

Still a chance to crash...

powdered ghost...

Bummer that Savegondor forgot his skins.  He kept in touch via radio and before long he was enjoying a burger and frosty beverage at the lodge.  It was really hard to call it a day.  But leaving someone waiting in the lodge didn't seem right either.  Heck, I didn't even pull my camera out all day.  Tree lines with airs all over the place kept my mind occupied.  However, somewhere deep in the forest, I started an intimate relationship with a tree.  I actually picked up an STD (Stevens Tree Disease) from the lovely encounter.  I even wore protection too!

It snowed for the remainder of the day.  By the time we reached the frontside, the easterly crust was coated with 4-6'' of medium density powder.  The crust was penetrated along with that weird zipping sound.

Jack going in for another close inspection... (photo by Eli3)

On the drive down, some asshat in an suv type decided to slam on the breaks with no cars ahead of them, forcing our car to put on the breaks.  That left us with 2 choices...hit this douchebag or go into the snowbank.  With 4 shovels it wouldn't have taken long, but a nice methed out couple going up the pass turned around and towed us out.  What was weird was instead of continuing up the pass they turned around and went back down.

On Sunday I met up with Jcocci for a tour of the Baker bc.  We found a north facing, steep windloaded hill to tear up and proceeded to do so.  Even though the partial clearing never touched this valley it was nice having untouched lines all day.  Depending on the line, the snow varied in depth from few inches on crust to 2 feet of blower.  Guess where we stayed.  The more exposed the terrain got, the more sluff we had to contend with.  At one point I watched Jcocci drop in a 50 degree line and stop at what appeared to be a safe zone, only to be buried up to his waist in sluff.  Then a gust of wind came by and proceeded to batter him.  Once he was nicely anchored, he spotted me, yelling don't slow down or look back.

Eventually the light went flat and our stomachs told us to leave.  Jcocci, you should have never mentioned Milano's before we started skinning.  I had Gorgonzola Chicken with Fettucine and cream sauce on my mind the whole effin day.

On a good note, we did save 2 lives on Sunday.  We saw 2 snowboarders, a guy and gal heading down a drainage.  No packs was the dead give away that they had just ducked a rope.  Next clue was they asked where the lifts were.  Jcocci and I looked at each other in utter amazement.  After showing them the way they slowly post holed back to freedom.

And wouldn't you know it, as we left the clouds parted and the sun came out.

On Monday I hooked up with Jack again and we headed out to the Lake Ann area.  It was truly a beautiful day to be out in the bc.  2 guys parked next to us mentioned that the temperature was 12 degrees around 7am ish.  Once we dropped into the valley it felt even colder.  Skinning through the valley, it was evident that the winds did a number on many aspects.  Jcocci and my lines were mostly erased.  The frigid temps also did a number on the snowpack too.  It consolidated and didn't appear as deep as the previous day.

Scenery like this didn't make it feel that cold...

Oh the possibilities...

Jack carving the few hours past powder...

Oh, but wait...

J is for Jack...

Where ever the sun hit had a soft crust that was easy to penetrate.  The winds reach was mighty too.  Even terrain that appeared protected was not.  Some areas though, exposed and protected yielded blower low density powder.  Nevertheless we harvested a nice 1,300 ft run down into the valley.

We enjoyed a mellow skin out through the forest and were treated to a fast groomer to the car.

You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia

Posts: 443

Re: TR: You don't know Jack... (1/19-1/21)
« Reply #1 on: 01/24/08, 12:25 AM »

my only addition, being the post holing dupe that I am, is that actually NE aspects were blower as well, the E aspects had mostly blower and some breakable crust, and it was the SE aspects (the approach that snowslut and company used) that were boiler plate nasty.  I had two very nice runs on the terrain I could access via the highway 200 snowshoer's and 100 dog-walking boot packers had worn halfway to the top of Heather Ridge.  They had even worn a trail up the PCT: So i walked up, skied down, walked out twice.  then went for a beer.  walking sucks.

to make things fun though there was a snowboarder trying his first round on skinny AT skis and skins pointing it strait down (with skins still on to slow him down) offering the only real chance of danger or injury to the two dozen newbies taking their first avi classes. 

And watch out for snowslut these next few weeks...we need to see if that rash he got from a mossy tree spreads. 

oh yeah,  dug a hasty pit and found 1 foot of well bonded cream on top of a surprise raincrust on top of a mostly bomber snowpack.  I only dug down four feet and found to my (again) surprise, that the weakest layer wasn't the well-bonded raincrust but a layer about 3.5 feet down.  That said a Rutschblock test couldn't get it to go, the compression test was negative, and only with a lot of pulling on the shovel from behind an isolated column did the column show it's one weak point.  and that weak point was pretty dang strong.  disclaimer: didn't check snowpack to the ground so I didn't get a look at the continued evolution of the December raincrust.   

Posts: 431

Re: TR: You don't know Jack... (1/19-1/21)
« Reply #2 on: 01/24/08, 07:56 AM »

Savegondor, glad that all that walking did yield you some good turns.  We figured that you must have found something cause we didn't hear a peep out of ya until the afternoon.

Savegondor wrote:
And watch out for snowslut these next few weeks...we need to see if that rash he got from a mossy tree spreads.
Nope some ointment put that thing into remission, that is until I bump into that tree again. Grin

You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia
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