Alpine Cruise

Took advantage of the clear skies and went for a walk in the alpine last Saturday. A lot of naturals out there on all aspects and a thin rain crust all the way up to 8800′ where I topped out. Good skiing conditions in protected areas above 7000′. I got a couple shooting cracks on wind slabs failing at the crust layer and easily got them to run on test slopes.

A few pics of the carnage from the last cycle.

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The views made up for the ugly avy debris

The views made up for the ugly avy debris

 

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Conditions Update

We’re finding some great skiing out there even though we’re keeping slope angles low.

Deep snow below treeline

Deep snow below treeline

Came across this little natural on a cutbank. the slab was 100cm deep, about 10m wide and propagated another 20m out of frame. It slid on a crust layer near the ground.

Came across this little natural on a cutbank. the slab was 100cm deep, about 10m wide and propagated another 20m out of frame. It slid on a crust layer near the ground.

 

 

Getting some snow

Tysen getting the goods

Tysen getting the goods

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It’s been a painfully slow start to the season, but it’s finally starting to resemble winter out there. Tysen and I checked out the No Joke couloir on Craig and found fantastic skiing conditions.

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Tysen enjoying coldsmoke on the runout

Tysen enjoying coldsmoke on the runout

 

Chief Joseph Loop

I gained the Chief Joseph ridge on the far far left, traversed up and over the summit, dropped into the upper chute which put me at the bottom of the lower chute, booted and skied the lower chute, then traversed the bottom to the left

I gained the Chief Joseph ridge on the far far left, traversed up and over the summit, dropped into the upper chute which put me at the bottom of the lower chute, booted and skied the lower chute, then traversed the bottom to the left. Whew, follow me?

Chief Joseph doesn’t have a shortage of chutes but these two in particular have been on my mind ever since I first visited this area. To make matters worse, Chief Joseph is visible from pretty much anywhere in the Joseph/Enterprise area, we have a good view of it from our house, and during the summer I get to stare at it for a good 20 minutes everyday coming home from work. To say that Joe haunts me is an understatement. The stars aligned today and I had a chance to see what these lines are all about up close.

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Craig Mountain, Gunsight Couloir

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This couloir is easy to see from the north end of Wallowa Lake and periodically on the West Fork. It’s been on my mind for awhile and I did attempt it earlier this winter. Glad I finally had a chance to get up there as it’s a classic couloir; steep, lined with tall rock, and a great ski.

Gunsight Couloir from the West Fork

Gunsight Couloir from the West Fork

Looking through the sights. The upper third was 50 degrees tapering to 40 degrees for the remainder

Looking through the sights. The upper third was 50 degrees tapering to 40 degrees for the remainder

Great day, great snow and a great ski.