I don't know if anyone else has been in the Pea Gravel Ridge area, but I rolled up there yesterday to scout the terrain. As always during early season, I had to look for a decent creek crossing. The well traveled log was iced over and seemed a bit sketchy hump across.
I was able find another log up creek with a shorter crossing. The skin-track up to the ridge was not that bad. There were a few spots requiring a little re-routing around the slippery spots. The alpine area has some exposed stumps and a coating of the rain crust. The open slope area towards newton creek had enough carvable snow. The HRM open slope side had a small path of snow leading towards the creek. The rest of the slope had a ton of exposed rock. I was able to get one run down to the bottom since the visibility turned to shit within minutes of being on the ridge. I used the ridge as my path back to the parking lot.
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:27 pm Posts: 582 Location: Rainier Beach
Pea gravel was nice yesterday. Very slabby snow, super wind loaded up on the ridge, so we stuck to the trees. Oliver got some good pics of the layers in the pit we dug, and one hard ski cut above collapsed the whole pit. Ride safe out there! Should be plenty of pow for harvesting all over.
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:11 pm Posts: 77 Location: Venice, CA
Pea Gravel definitely needs a couple more feet of snow. On Saturday we went further up the creek than where Elliot was humping that log. Chronic busted snow off a log and we could basically walk across.
Ended up riding 800 foot shots just at the edge of treeline on the ridge. On the way back had a little navigation error and ended up coming out at the Nordic Center. It took a little longer but we were able to walk across a bridge. So that was nice. Came out just after dark to an empty parking lot. Cold and wet. But warmed up with Mexican beer and heated seats.
Good news, no more log humping or fugitive-style creek crossing. There is a cat-track bridge now. I don't know how far the cat track goes up and didn't want to scout it out since the permit area was closed. It was a powderiffc day up at pea gravel. A lot of snow fell in the last couple days and covered up the trees pretty nice. I met up with another skier in the parking lot and rode some mellow slope in the deep snow. The powder was very dry and deep in most places. We didn't find any area ready to slide. Perhaps if the slope angle was steeper, there would have been a problem.
If anyone comes across a yellow motorola talkabout at the bottom of the tree runs, please pm me. I lost it after I sat my bag down...