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 Post subject: PNW Pic Intensive Update...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:48 am
Posts: 207
Location: WA
Mother Nature can be so cruel sometimes. Making powder appear and disappear. Will it still be there WHEN and IF I get to it. Maybe she has something against weekend warriors or just certain individuals. For whatever the reason or rhyme, powder should never be neglected. Such a good thing is never meant to last. Until the weekend that is or so it seems…

While most are hard at work…
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Kyle's working on his powder tan.
Sequence from Crystal bc on Friday March 2nd

The considerable avalanche conditions forecasted left me salivating with curiosity as powder accumulated. It was time to run to the hills. Oh how I miss Rainier but that is another story for another time. I eventually wound up in the backcountry of Crystal. The exact location is of no particular importance. What's important was the fact that I was in the backcountry sharing lines with like minds.

What is that white mess making its way down the hill…
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Kyle somewhere in there as Alex looks on.
Sequence from Crystal bc on Friday March 9th

Despite the meager forecast, last Friday was anything but. Being the optimist I am even I had my doubts as we climbed. Very little accumulation throughout the week but with steady winds at times, the snow had to pile up somewhere. However, skinning to those areas proved to be tricky at times. Dust on crust that varied in hardness depending on slope aspect and at times elevation.

Finally done with that traverse, Preston skins along the ridge with Alex behind…
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Photo by Kyle

Dark clouds loomed just out of reach of peak tops. A mild wind blew from west to southwest at a medium pace. As they whisked by parts of the resort could be seen basking in the sun, though it was short lived. Clouds spilled from one basin to the next, obstructing our views and eventually limiting some of our options. I was left wondering bluebird, bluebird or will it just remain dirty graybird.

One of our options that was limited…
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Kyle, Preston, Alex and I continued to a saddle, where winds changed direction and started blowing from the east at a medium pace. I still had my doubts about how good the snow conditions would be. By the time we reached the top clouds had imprisoned most peak tops but winds would soon parole ours and the neighboring.

Next up…
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Moments later…
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Myself…
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Photo by Kyle

Alex…
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Photo by Kyle

Kyle's sure glad the debris was softer than appeared…
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Watch out for that track…
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That was a close one…
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Alex…
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Whatcha think of that line Alex…
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Kyle making nice with what's available…
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The forgiving crust in the upper bowl allowed one to carve deeper than one would think without consequence. The same could not be said for the natural bank slalom course below the bowl. The crust underneath hardened and the motion and sensation of turning could best resemble an attempt to walk on rice paper.

Warming temps could be felt as skins were put back on. The snow was starting to transition. The sun was seen baking west facing slopes, which I had hoped would soften the snow enough to make traversing a bit easier. Nope. In the end keeping as much surface area on the snow proved more efficient allowing for a somewhat straight shot up East Peak. Once on top Kyle, Preston and Alex took a quick lap into Cement Basin while I took pictures and marinated.

Preston…
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Photo by Kyle

We didn't see a soul on our trip out. However on our run out we did see fresh skin tracks and turns running along the nose of East Peak's west face. Well that's all folks for now. Here are some parting pictures from our last run. Enjoy!

Hey Preston and Alex if your reading this I know you got some pictures too so let's see them!

Kyle laying it down…
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Alex carving snow that was a few hours past powder…
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Preston's turn with our first line and the natural banked slalom course in the background…
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Myself…
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Photo by Kyle

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You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 8:05 am
Posts: 1479
Location: 395
Man, every year I want to check out crystal mt. Glad to see someone is getting snow this year. Is that the "inbounds" backcountry you were riding that I see on trail maps? It looks like your actually across from the resort.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:48 am
Posts: 207
Location: WA
Yes bgnight its across the street from the resort. No its not inbounds bc. East Peak / Bullion Basin vicinity is unpatrolled and damn glad!

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You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:12 pm
Posts: 1599
Location: Now Oaktowntastic
Thanks for the pics. I dig this one:

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Somehow with the clouds and the water on the lense, it came out cool. I think there will be a lot of Californians road tripping north this spring. It will be all your fault.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm
Posts: 5105
Location: California
Cool pics snoslut! 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 4:18 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Seattle
Nice pics. Most of mine look about like yours (but worse)...but here are 2 more.

Kyle and snoslut double team a creek.
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Alex rides while snoslut shoots from the ridge.
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Good times...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:00 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Seattle
nice work! couldn't figure out where you were until those last shots with the lot in the background. crystal is probably my favorite area, although i don't get out there much. primarily hitting the alpy valley due to proximity.

a buddy and i just got hooked up with split gear less than a month ago. perhaps we can meet up this spring for a nice session......

ciao,
mc


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