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Author Topic: Feb 13 Phantom Dawn Patrol  (Read 1806 times)
Cornfed
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Feb 13 Phantom Dawn Patrol
« on: 02/14/08, 02:05 PM »

Ari and I met at the Alpental parking lot at 6:10am on Wed morning to get  a climb and some turns in before work.  I hadn't been up since all the snow started and was impressed with the pile-up since my last outing Feb 27th. 

Despite dry weather overnight in Seattle, Alpental base had 4-6" of nice powder overnight and it was still snowing.

The most adventurous part of the morning occurred trying to scale the 12' high snowbank at the road.  Ari located a low point in the snowbank and tossed his skies up and over to gain the use of his arms--only to realize the snow was lower here due to running water and his skis were now 40' down in the creek.  A short detour up and over another low spot and a hike down to the creek below resolved this problem and saved our morning.  Soon we were skinning towards the waterfall.

I've never found a real good way around the waterfall, but some steep skinning and climbing using small trees got us there.  I think I need to make a wider detour.

A pit at 3800 feet showed 4"-6" powder over feet upon feet of well bonded but wet snow -- fist density for about a foot and then 4 fingers or fewer below.  We weren't able to produce any kind of recognizable sheer in the top 5-6' of snowpack.  It felt very safe.  I might think the snow up at 5,000 feet might be totally different having had less rain.

Feeling good about this, we climbed a little further before claiming a few turns and tackling the waterfall straight on, which has great coverage and quite fun and steep to come down--skiers right.  No photos--sorry.
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