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- January 19, 2008 at 2:18 am #569580MumblesParticipant
Hooked up with Chronicles of Gnarnia as they opened the gate into the Olympic National Park at 8:30. We were in the visitor’s parking area at about 9 and skinning up the cat track under their rope tow by 9:15. We went to the the top of Sunshine Ridge thinking we would hit the Southern face down into the valley like we had a couple of weeks before finding waist to pit deep powder. That entire side due to sun exposure and warming was firm crust on top that my fat ass could barely break. No way CoG was breaking through that at 140# soaking wet with a pack. We went further up and out the ridge to check the Northern side. Normally prone to wind loading there were no signs of cornices or pillows to be seen. No crust and it was dense and wet powder. The top section is about 35* then it tapers in the middle to 30* and flattens to about 20* near the access road at the bottom. All in all it is just about 800′ vertical, not huge, not steep, but close enough for a friday morning. We got three laps in…could have gotten two more if Mumbles was in shape and could skin up better.
CoG on the descent. As I look more closely on the topo we skinned from 4500′ up to 5500′ and then road back down to about 4600′ for the first two laps. On the third an final lap we rode down to the roadway at about 4200′ and then hiked the road back about 1/2 mile to my truck. Not huge but for the day it was all ours.
Looking back up at the tracks, it does not look very steep (it was a moderate slope around 30* or so) nor long, but it was fun, close and we were the first of the day to track it in the “SUPERFUN” freshness as Chronicles would say.
This is one of Mumbles humble tracks. It was wicked warm, freezing level was way up, and the snow was heavy. I still tried to spray a bit of it on a few turns. It was wet and firm, this track is left by a 215# rider with a 10# pack and monster of a heavy ass burton split…and I was riding my AT boots not looking all stiff legged gumby (but CoG did not have his camera)
Mumbles was glad he had his camera. This is a self portrait “Jive Stick” style, only I’m not really skinning. Mountain Goat Chronicles just left me in his dust. I’m actually sucking wind hard here watching him levitate all the way up. I don’t think his planks even touched the snow. My older burton skins were balling up…and of course no skin wax. All I could do was stop about every 40 or so strides and scrape the skins across the tips to clear some of the mess.
On the drive down I tried to get a shot of what we rode. Tracks are tough to see, but they are all ours. We did have some interloping boot packing solid boarders try to get some of these goods by boot paking our skin track. We gave them hell and told them to get off the skin track…then they moved to another area. Chronicles must have had them nervous.
Chronicles noted some teles at the top as we drove away…they were considering riding our soiled goods and wondering how someone got there before them.
Not a killer TR like many of yours, but just chiming in with our fun filled morning. Three laps and entry skin and exit hike all in about three and a half hours.January 19, 2008 at 2:46 am #602202SanFrantasticoParticipant
Sweet, man! Glad you got out there.
Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.
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