It was originally planned to be a multiday tour starting at 10PM but after a quick nap in the car what was 10 turned out to be 2:30 . We skinned out to the southback of Crystal and climbed to a small saddle which gave us access to a 800 vert run at around 5:00am it was before the mourning sunlight and you could barely see anything so we traversed quite a ways then rode down a wide open Powder field to the valley floor then skinned out to the next pass right around sunrise. There was a high cloud level that day so there was no sunrise to be seen but it was lighter out so we a quick run down to a area where we built a basecamp. With little sleep we decided to take a quick nap for a few hours then got out to skinning
and now the photos begin.....
the skin out
this is smoka peak on a clear day
it was somewhat flat light but it was a foot and a half of fresh pow and it was stable the whole way down.
looking up smoka chute
after that scott wasnt feeling well so we went back to camp and rested for quite a while. After some rest scott was felling better and we decided to go hit up a ridge we called 1/10 because there was a one in ten chance that it wouldnt cliff out
Scott decided to take the main gully out while I hiked the ridge to drop a line I saw in the distance
if you look closely scott is actually skiing in these pics
after a while of communitcation through radio I traversed around massive cornices that hung over huge cliff bands to say the least it was sketchy.
The drop in was at a 45 degree pitch so I took a few seconds then when I rode onto the face the whole slope around me gave out about a foot deep and twenty feet wide after a quick traverse out I saw the snow plume shoot off into the valley with a white plume trail following. After that I knew it was a foot of fresh all the way to the valley floor
the sun was setting as we skinned back to the basecamp and we arrived in darkness.
The next mourning we packed up our gear and rode all the way down to the Eastern side of Chinook pass which is closed during the winter
Our run down
410 and chinook pass off in the distance
We skinned up the road around 3 miles up to the pass which was in the middle of the clouds. So instead of getting lost skinning up Naches which was our original plans we took a quick lap on Yakima down to the bathrooms on the eastern side
the snowpack is deep
Then we rode down the western face of Yakima all the way down to 410 on the western side of chinook pass
The trees were perfectly gladed
when we made it down to 410 we had 9 miles to go to make it back to the gate and civilization
I had to walk a little bit but I rode most the way and skinned the flats at the bottom.
It sucked that visability was bad but it leaves naches for another day
I leave with these photos
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:12 am Posts: 828 Location: PNW Hood Canal
Add KM to the night stalking snow assassins like BGnight and Fullers2oh. Sweet TR indeed. I have been pondering some exploration in that area but figured it may need to be an overnighter. I also thought I should do some hiking in the area first and put that trip off until next season. You make me just want to get out there and hit it. Great snow pack. Funny to see the facilities so buried with mere roof peaks and exhaust stacks sticking out. Glad your slide experience was minimal with limited risk, my wife has been nagging me about our varied snowpack this year every time I head out.
What are you slaying next? Keep the PNW TR's flowing, I'm marking many of them on my topos of areas to hike with the family to get a bit of a grasp of where to focus my efforts next season. Thanks for sharing.
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