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| | |-+  23 Apr 2018, Mt Constance, NE chute-route
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Author Topic: 23 Apr 2018, Mt Constance, NE chute-route  (Read 1342 times)
hedonaut
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23 Apr 2018, Mt Constance, NE chute-route
« on: 05/07/18, 11:20 PM »

Apologies this is a couple weeks later, an unfortunate work-life imbalance delayed the report. This (that?) time of year seems to be good for E side Olympics.

Dylan and I climbed and skied a ~3000' route on the NE aspect of Mt Constance. It begins up the low gully of the NE ridge route (#6 in my old Olympic Mtns guide), but where that FA party escapes a mid-height basin by veering right, we instead continued straight up a bifurcated chute--we climbed up on the narrower (looker's) left branch, but skied down the wider right branch. Approx line: http://www.hillmap.com/m/ag1zfmhpbGxtYXAtaGRychULEghTYXZlZE1hcBiAgIDkssq0Cgw

Difficult climbing conditions, thanks to an insufficiently hard freeze overnight that yielded a hard-to-skin but unsupportable crust for the first couple thousand feet--ski crampons would have been useful. Plenty of wallowing, knee- to hip-deep postholing, and uphill swimming. But at least the views were acceptable.

This shot was taken when we emerged from the lower gully (which we accessed straight up from our campsite). The final chute is the obvious one just right of center; we climbed what you can see, but skied a non-visible branch further looker's right of the blocking buttress, exiting directly below the highest visible point.



A few images from the climb:







Anyway, our progress was slower than hoped, and due to concerns re: the rapidly warming day, we skied from the top of the line instead of continuing to the summit. Ski conditions were the grab-bag of spring variable--some decent settled pow high, some pleasant warmer pow mid chute, then some sticky shmoo and occasional corn here and there in the basin until exiting it into the gully. In the gully conditions were quite challenging, and it is tight, so a combo of side-slipping and jump turns got us through. If we had a window, this route probably would have been in better shape a couple weeks earlier (or maybe even later, with enough melt/freeze).

Good skiing up high:


Exit from upper chute:


The line could be completed in better style by a straightforward continuation to the summit via the upper reaches of the Great Amphitheater route, or the independently minded could possibly continue in a more sporty fashion by staying generally N of the upper NE ridge crest.

The approach via the S Fork Tunnel Cr and over the divide (see Great A. link above for previous trip) was even easier this time, and features skinning through some downright magical forest. We had time on the first day to drop our bivy gear at a knoll, and wander up-valley to gawk at the N side of Constance and scout lines on Warrior and vicinity. This is an outstanding place to spend a couple days, and feels very remote every time I've been back there. While looking for a bivy spot we came across a lot of bear tracks, and possibly its den--we hung our food. Overall, a great place and time to recharge in the mountains.

More pics here, including magical forest and tarn:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/UVK8wPYD1SurAiVo9

Any of these ski lines accessed from the east side of Mt Constance will hold your attention, and there are others around there too; the approach mentioned above would also yield reasonable access to Warrior and Inner Constance. FYI.
« Last Edit: 05/07/18, 11:26 PM by hedonaut » Logged
Salal
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Re: 23 Apr 2018, Mt Constance, NE chute-route
« Reply #1 on: 05/08/18, 10:36 AM »

 Your really making the rounds back there. Looks grand! I've poked around inner constance and warrior before. Always a cool area to visit.
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shred
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WWW
Re: 23 Apr 2018, Mt Constance, NE chute-route
« Reply #2 on: 05/09/18, 07:27 AM »

Nice One! Another one to put on the "must do list"...
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kamtron
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Re: 23 Apr 2018, Mt Constance, NE chute-route
« Reply #3 on: 05/09/18, 08:06 AM »

Look a like a really fun route. Great ambiance in those buttresses.
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ryanl
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Re: 23 Apr 2018, Mt Constance, NE chute-route
« Reply #4 on: 05/21/18, 11:00 AM »

What does "bifurcated" mean?

Nice to see that you're still a gamer. Way to get after it.
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kamtron
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Re: 23 Apr 2018, Mt Constance, NE chute-route
« Reply #5 on: 05/21/18, 11:12 AM »

Ryan, it means "split in two".
Repeated period-doubling bifurcations are one of the standard routes to chaos, fractals, and all that.


* LogisticMap_BifurcationDiagram.png (570.58 KB, 1000x707 - viewed 220 times.)
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