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 Post subject: TR-Feather Pk
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:40 am 
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March 13th-14th. Well, I've only had like 4 days of b.c. this year and none in the southern Sierra's, so I decided it's now or never seeing how the snowpack is. I bought a cool new snowpeak stove and have a bivy sack I've never used, so I wanted to do something overnight. I decided on Feather peak because if you've ever seen it, it will burning a hole in the top of your hit list as long as your still sliding on snow.
I got this shot Tuesday morning of the Sawtooths. Wish I woulda set up a tripod. This is the only shot that wasn't that blurry.
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I left the Pine Cr. trailhead around 10a.m. Dry trail until you hit the switchbacks, and then there is just enough snow to skin.

Self Portrait:
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My camp:
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Cool alpenglow taken standing up out of my sleeping bag:
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Another self portrait the next morning:
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Finally I get a view of my objective: (up till now I wasn't 100% sure I was going the right way as I didn't have a map)
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looking back across Royce lake:
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It does seem less intimidating from the bottom as other pictures I've seen. But, it is a fairly wide chute, which gives it the illusion it's not as long/steep as it really is. Looking up:
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E. face of Humphrey's:
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About 1/3 of the way up looking back toward White's and trailhead:
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The apron was pretty soft snow and the main chute was a mix of soft, wintery snow mixed w/ harder edgeable crust. Very good for Verts. I broke in an average of 5"-10" every step depending on what kind of snow it was. About 1/3 of the way up I noticed a bluish tint to the whole upper, climber's left hand side of the chute. Is that?........now way........yup. Solid , blue ice. It seems our less than stellar snowpack hasn't quite filled in the chute up to normal standards.
You can kind of see the ice in this photo:
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The top of the chute got quite steep, and with 1/2 of it being solid ice I was becoming quite gripped by the whole exposure/situation. At one point I opted for scrambling through some rocks next to the right wall, so I could stay away from the ice. I had these fun visions of the snowpack just peeling away around me leaving me on a wall of summer ice.
The top instantly goes from 50 to 30 degrees and the whole entrance is ice. I had to grab rocks and hug the wall the get by it. Finally I made it and scrambled to the peak to take some pics. I was thoroughly spent.

Triple Divide Peak:
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Looking south toward Darwin:
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I strapped in and made a few warm up turns on the 30 degree slope to where the "real" chute started. I grabbed some rocks sticking through the snow on the skiers left side and managed to scoot around the ice covered entrance on my heel edge. The top 100 ft is probably close to 50. Big jump turns. It took everything I had to pull of each turn as my legs were useless noodles at this point. There were a few spots of breakable crust, but not much, thankfully. Good snow overall.
I made it to the point where I opted to scramble over rocks on the way up. The chute kind of choked down here and there was only a 15 foot section of snow between the rocks and the blue ice. I gingerly made jump turns down this and was appalled to put my axe down and find the ice was only 6" inches below the snow I was riding!!! How was it sticking?! Dunno, I was happy it was though. After this it was pleasant (albeit shaky) turns the rest of the way down.

At the bottom. Stoked:
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One last shot looking back. You can almost make out my turns down the lower center of pic. Good snow. Kind of fast and pornish:
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Long slog back to the car. Lots of traversing switchbacks in punchy, rotten snow. I was tooled. Last time I do an overnighter for my first trip of the year to the S. Sierra's.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:49 pm 
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dude! sketchville! :shock:

btw: that peak is not triple divide. It is Seven Gables. I was out to Seven Gables in mid-may last year. Insane difference in snow conditions this year, even in MARCH!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:56 pm 
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Yeah, thanks. I caught it right after I posted it. Couldn't figure out how to edit it. Not even sure where triple divide peak is.

I knew it started w/ a number :wink:

Errr, and the E. face of Humphrey's is actually the West Face. OOPS!


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 Post subject: Re: TR-Feather Pk
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:35 pm 
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Location: Switzerland
Impressive work.
Thanks for sharing.

However...

BGnight wrote:
Finally I get a view of my objective: (up till now I wasn't 100% sure I was going the right way as I didn't have a map)


A solo overnight tour and not even a map??!


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 Post subject: Re: TR-Feather Pk
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:00 pm 
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Location: 395
IridePow wrote:
Impressive work.
Thanks for sharing.

However...

BGnight wrote:
Finally I get a view of my objective: (up till now I wasn't 100% sure I was going the right way as I didn't have a map)


A solo overnight tour and not even a map??!


Too much weight.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:46 pm 
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Location: Now Oaktowntastic
Wow! Is that the first E. Sierra report for the year on sb.com?!? At least it was a good one. That terrain is always so hypnotic. Good job getting up there..

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:50 pm 
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Location: California
Impressive work. Can't say I'd be comfortable that griped, solo, that far from the TH. I'm kinda of a pussy though.

Props.


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 Post subject: Re: TR-Feather Pk
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:04 am 
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Nice work! Good to see an Eastern Sierra report finally. Not so good to hear about the conditions:

BGnight wrote:
About 1/3 of the way up I noticed a bluish tint to the whole upper, climber's left hand side of the chute. Is that?........now way........yup. Solid , blue ice. It seems our less than stellar snowpack hasn't quite filled in the chute up to normal standards.

Quote:
The chute kind of choked down here and there was only a 15 foot section of snow between the rocks and the blue ice. I gingerly made jump turns down this and was appalled to put my axe down and find the ice was only 6" inches below the snow I was riding!!! How was it sticking?! Dunno, I was happy it was though.

Sketch! Doesn't bode well for the normal spring chuting spree... time to sharpen the edges. Or tune up the bike.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:03 am 
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Location: California
AWESOME report BGnight! 8)

We've been missing the eastside TRs this winter (if we can call it winter).

ps. I knew the steeleman would be stoked too! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:42 am 
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Location: Denver
Yeah, maps are pretty heavy :wink:

Nice TR and solid solo outing there. Do you live in Bishop?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:26 am 
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Location: 395
HikeforTurns wrote:
Yeah, maps are pretty heavy :wink:

Nice TR and solid solo outing there. Do you live in Bishop?


I live in Truckee.

It's so sad this is the first E. Sierra TR this year. Wtf? Global warming is gay. There's plenty of snow down there though. Don't listen to the naysayers. Go get some. It's actually pretty primo right now. You just gotta pick the right lines.


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