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runningclouds 04-21-2014 07:09 PM

18-19 April 2014, Glacier Peak via White Mountain
The weather forecast was not favourable but it also seemed to be rather uncertain and changing quite a bit so we tried for a lucky break. It did not happen.

The NF-49 road is drivable to 300 m before it forks to the North Fork Sauk River Trail. The last bit is covered by about 40 cm of wet snow, should be gone pretty fast. At one point between mile 5 and 6 there is a spot the Forester just barely cleared (washout, water over the road surface). There is lots of fall down branches and debris on the road.

The North Fork Sauk River Trail #649 has intermittent dirty snow all the way to 1300 m. We skinned from mile 1 but there was a lot of walking, lot of crossing the short bare ground patches on skis. On the way back we had skins on from Mackinaw Shelter back to where we stashed hiking boots, this worked well for the terrain and conditions (rain on wet, dirty snowpack).

Continuous snow from around 1300 m. Made it to about 1850 m on the S side of the ridge between White Mountain and Red Pass before turning back. Around 1800 m the snow changed quite a bit from spring isothermal pack to 6 cm crust buried under 5-10 cm of new snow. The new snow was forming proto sastrugi on the spine of the rib we were skinning up. In the depression between the ribs a weak wind slab (possible cross loading). The storm snow was not bonded uniformly, it was sliding here and sticking there.

Several natural avalanches on S side (size 1-2, estimated 1-2 days old, likely from solar radiation, the biggest run about 250 m, debris field 20 x 20m) seen. No natural avalanche observed on Saturday.

Skiing the steep part sucked, the mellow terrain in the treed avy path bellow was much better but woefully short. A long way to get so little skiing done, good physical and mental workout though.

Slideshow: Attempt at skiing Glacier Peak via White Mountain.

Stoked 04-22-2014 05:47 AM

Still better than being stuck in an office.

Excellent slide show. Ilze is just irrepressible. The coastal bush skiing is leaving a lot to be desired this early in spring.

msulkers 04-22-2014 07:33 AM

Love the slide show. This winter isn't quite ready to end yet in this part of the world...

trick 04-22-2014 08:30 AM

Nice pictures. Definitely a character building exercise. I'm sure Chloe had some colorful words about the ski conditions.

runningclouds 04-22-2014 11:12 AM

Thank you guys!

Ilze is the model of a new breed of bionic backcountry adventurer ;) Chloe mentioned snowshoes few times.

Stoked 04-22-2014 12:50 PM


quote:Originally posted by runningclouds

Chloe mentioned snowshoes few times.
I skate skied Lightning Lake in Manning yesterday between Rainbow Bridge and the west end in about 6 minutes. You can't do that on snowshoes.

runningclouds 04-23-2014 08:57 AM

Haha, you have to take up this argument with Chloe, I am on your side 100%.

seawallrunner 04-23-2014 10:54 AM

@Stoked - what are the Nordic skiing conditions at Manning, still good?

Stoked 04-23-2014 12:17 PM


quote:Originally posted by seawallrunner

@Stoked - what are the Nordic skiing conditions at Manning, still good?
Over Easter I saw a note that X-C was at 50% normal cost. I crossed a couple X-C tracks near Lightning Lake that were in good shape but not recently groomed. Smooth enough to skate ski though. Snow coverage up that way is still good. Blackwall Road is starting to melt out at the bottom but it is south-facing.

seawallrunner 04-23-2014 02:21 PM

Wonderful!! Thank you for the beta !!

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