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TR (of sorts): PNW Volcanic 10k Quest & Glacier Peak, 2003 - 2010

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  • TR (of sorts): PNW Volcanic 10k Quest & Glacier Peak, 2003 - 2010

    Caveats:
    - Only the most minimal of gnar-ish content.
    - No professional-quality pictures.
    - Rather minimal descriptive write-up.
    - Title is possibly misleading.
    - Cross-posted to a bunch o’ places.

    With all that potential lameness aside . . .

    The quest (sort of):
    1) To ski from the summits of all Pacific Northwest volcanoes that are over 10,000 feet elevation and skiable from the summit.
    2) To ski from the highest skiable points of all Pacific Northwest volcanoes that although not skiable from the summits are skiable from over 10,000 feet elevation.


    The reality:
    This never really was a goal until my Portland ski partner pointed out that we were both getting pretty close. Plus fun to sort through some old pics and see the progress (of sorts) over time. And not too many ski pics being posted these days, so here goes.

    2003:

    May 10, Mt St Helens - The summit elevation is nowhere even near 10k now, but hey, it was very close only 23 years before I skied it, and it’s the first volcano I skied from the summit, plus this picture from my Portland partner is kinda nice to start off with.






    May 26, Shastina - Going by “prominence” this is really just a subpeak or false summit or whatever, but it has its own name, my brother and I enjoyed skiing it, so here’s a picture:






    2004:

    June 20, Adams - This was back when dozens (or more?) skiers would descend the South Climb in a day yet we would see almost nobody else in the SW Chutes. The skiing was just as pristine as my brother and I imagined it would be in this picture from our initial vantage point near the base of the mountain.






    And here’s a picture of skinning higher up with Hood in the background.






    June 21, South Sister - When our Portland partner laid out the plan to ski four days in a row on three different volcanoes, I was surprised that they were all located so close to one another to allow such an itineary. The explanation of course is that they are not, but still, the next day, some decent terrain, plus more great weather and more great views (although more driving and even less sleep). This was also the trip that finally convinced me to get Dynafitized...


    Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  • #2
    2005

    2005:

    July 3, Shasta - After prior years of various lower-mountain outings, finally skied from the summit via Hotlum-Wintun ridge, as shown here with my brother (since all my other pictures were lost in a hard drive crash at work, oops). Two days later, also got in a solo summit ski daytrip via Avalanche Gulch in suprisingly perfect corn for that well-traveled route.






    July 9 & 10, Lassen - Here’s a picture of my brother after the two of us skied off the summit ridge the first day, then a picture of our group tromping down through the kitty litter after skiing from the summit (just under the giant phallus - very strange).






    Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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    • #3
      2006

      2006:

      Despite 10 volcano ski tours that spring & summer, no new summits. But some great skiing off the summit of Shasta, some soggy days on Rainier, and here are some sunny pics from Hood.

      Hanging out at Hogback -






      Laps in Newton Creek -






      Skiing from Tie-in-Rock:


      Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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      • #4
        2007

        2007:

        July 3, Baker - Beautiful weather down low, then a bit doubtful up high, as shown here on Roman Wall and then Grant Peak (i.e., just two dorky-looking guys from opposite ends of the country amidst a sea of white).








        July 4, Baker - This picture (with me at the very tippy top) of Sherman Peak (taken from Grant Peak) summarizes the change in summit weather from the prior day.


        Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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        • #5
          2007-08 season

          2007-08 Season:

          Despite 16 volcano ski tours, no new summits. But started off the season with an October 28 descent from the summit of Adams almost all the way to the trailhead with my Portland partner and his Seattle friend-






          Had four more fun volcano ski tours that fall, along with some nice scenery (even if this picture is just the Palmer with the silent lift visible) -






          May 26, Hood - On the fifth day in a row of ski touring in iffy weather, my Portland partner and I finally got a break, and with some great skiing conditions on Snowdome.






          July 11, Hood - Not quite the summit, but the top of the Wy’East Face is pretty close, plus my brother and I were in agreement on its merits as a really nice ski line.






          Jul 13, Adams - Conditions on the summit were typically abysmal, and conditions in the SW Chutes were typically good. The atypical part was that the long-smoldering forest fire we’d seen on our drive in the previous evening became a massive uncontrolled conflagration by the time we were exiting the SW Chutes directly toward the fire!






          Continuing the atypical theme, after driving down on the road sprayed with fire retardent and grizzled firefighter veterans on patrol, we reached the safety of the highway only to have a deer run out on an apparent suicide mission. Fortunately my brother bent out the damaged wheel well with his ice axe (and then the damaged radiator of which we were unaware didn’t given up completely until *after* we had dropped off my brother at the airport the following evening, within just a mile or so of our Portland partner’s apartment).






          August 21, Rainier - My wife wanted to go on a summer trip to Seattle to visit friend & family as well as get in some hiking. So I packed along my rando race gear expecting some absurdly long slog just to get in a few turns. But the Muir Snowfield actually ended up being okay, and then two days after that my Portland partner joined me to keep his monthly turns-all-year streak going by getting in some untracked powder on the Paradise Glacier.






          And on the flight back two days later, my wife and I had an entirely unexpected bonus, which provided some additional inspiration for the plans my Portland partner and I had for the following summer.


          Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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          • #6
            2009

            2009

            July 2 - The rerouted trail does not provide an encouraging start at times.






            Fortunately the Interglacier is the still the same-old/same-old. (Fond memories since it was one of my first volcano ski tours in August 1999.)






            I was glad we had done a preview Camp Schurman outing earlier in the week, since the change in terrain after the drop down from the top of the Interglacier can be a bit intimidating. (Picture of us at the crevasse snowbridge taken by my Portland partner’s Seattle friend, who had downclimbed from Steamboat Prow.)






            With perfect weather and nearly ideal snow conditions, along with splitting up the ascent over two days, reaching the summit was almost too easy.






            The very tippy top is just this little rounded off thing, lending a rather silly start to a ski descent.






            We had only one tricky crevasse crossing.




            [The mist is from a smeared camera lens – visibility was excellent the entire trip.]



            Mini-huck!


            Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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            • #7
              2010

              June 27, Middle Sister - Unfortunately my partner lost his camera the following day (on the Palmer of all places!), so you’ll have to take my word for it that this self-portrait (while my partner just out of sight was coping with a broken post on his Grivel alu crampons, ugh) is from the summit.






              Summit view (I think):


              Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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              • #8
                June 28, Hood - Since I had toured on Mt Hood so many times, yet never skied from the summit, despite skiing from the summit of so many other volcanoes, I decided that we had to this the most gaper way possible. Plus after 16+ mile roundtrip loop the previous day (including way too much hiking, lots of driving, and too little sleep), a semi-rest day was welcome.






                Hanging out at Hogback, waiting for my partner to come into view. (He booted, while my DyNA boots and I took a very nicely angled and efficient skintrack.)






                Looking down on my partner (the single dot above the pair of dots) from West Crater Rim.






                Watching clouds billowing in from the other side.






                I eventually started getting a bit tired of the wind up there and booted over to to the summit proper to snap a quick self-portrait . . . which of course came out not showing any view at all, sigh.






                I returned to the top of the face (which is misleading called the Old Climber’s “Chute”) to see my Portland partner coming into view. And with all the various delays, we ended up timing the snow conditions absolutely perfectly (albeit by random luck).


                Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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                • #9
                  June 29, Hood - With a fresh partner for the day, we attempted to ski the Wy’East face. I skinned up to well above the top of Superbowl with reasonably promising conditions. This is looking back down at my partner (who switched to climbing much earlier).






                  At first the climbing up higher was fine, but then the occasional posthole. I switched from just my ice axe to ice axe + ski pole w/ self-arrest grip, which helped, but the conditions continued to deteriorate. Every step then became a deep posthole. The crust seemed like it would be supportive for skiing, but still would be horrible skiing. And if the crust softened by the time of our descent, that still wouldn’t be good either. Here I am at ~800' below the top of the face deciding to bail.






                  The initial descent skied like impenetrable boilerplate, but look how easily my ski tails plunged into the snowpack.






                  Fortunately Superbowl was in nice enough shape that we skinned back up for another lap. Heather was okay too, though getting sticky lower down. Overall, ended up being a very nice outing despite the lack of achieving our “objective.” Here’s my partner booting up a short stretch to regain the ridge at the top of Memorial Bowl.


                  Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My Portland conference is now over. And far that’s Shasta & Shastina, Adams, South Sister, Lassen, Baker (Grant & Sherman), Rainier, Middle Sister, and Hood.
                    So what’s left? Jefferson is 10,497' but the top ~400' isn’t skiable leaving, hmm, well, is it skiable from about 10k? North Sister is 10,085' and the summit pinnacle definitely isn’t skiable, so has North Sister been skied from above 10k? Given the rockfall there, I’ll probably never try to find out.

                    But one volcano over 10k is definitely skiable from the summit so that leaves the trip we’ve been planning since last year: Glacier Peak!
                    Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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                    • #11
                      You've been patient and opportunistic so far....it seems a good way to continue.

                      Best of luck and many happy turns.
                      Go for adventure, take pix, but make certain to bring'em back alive!

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                      • #12
                        July 2

                        Another day, another volcano summit, this time with an elevation of . . . .






                        . . . hmm, well under 10k. (Had once been ~14k, but that was about 640,000 years ago – we’ve got to stop using those outdated guidebooks.) And with a lookout tower. This doesn’t seem to be Glacier Peak?

                        Nice views though:






                        Partner skiing:






                        Back at the parking lot:






                        Looking back on the drive around the lake:






                        More pics here:
                        http://picasaweb.google.com/jshefftz...terLakeMtScott
                        Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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                        • #13
                          July 3

                          Approached this volcano from the SW to reach the summit:






                          Nice views, but is this Glacier Peak?
                          Dropped off the NE side to investigate.
                          Skied almost 1500' vertical of perfect steep corn, but didn’t seem like the right place.
                          Climbed back up the summit, “skied” ~900' vertical of assorted variability (i.e., descended with skis on at all times even when doing so made little sense), then skied nearly 3,000 vertical of perfect corn:






                          And finally over 3,000 vertical of descent “transportation” skiing to finish the 7,212' descent (with only one trivially short portage near the trailhead, although that did ruin my attempt to descend all the way from the summit without removing my skis).

                          Importing my GPS tracks into the topographic software revealed that once again we had failed to ski Glacier Peak:


                          Last edited by jshefftz; 07-06-2010, 07:16 PM.
                          Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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                          • #14
                            July 4

                            The final volcano summit of the tour afforded spectacular views of its “sister” volcanoes:






                            . . . but with a summit elevation of only 9,065' it alas was not Glacier Peak.

                            Still though, some good snow and decent vertical (albeit almost no pitch, except at the very top) for a quick hit on the long drive back to Portland in time to unpack, repack, and fly out the next morning.

                            So about that Glacier Peak? Well, when the weather forecast got tough:






                            . . . the not-so-tough got going: South, that is, for better weather!






                            At least we have all our trip planning for next July already done – hope to see you in 2011, Glacier Peak!
                            Check out the NE Rando Race Series: http://nerandorace.blogspot.com/ ... and also my avalanche and related courses: http://avycourse.blogspot.com. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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                            • #15
                              thanx for sharing!!

                              Need to explore those volcanoes, myself (some day).. very jealous, thanx for the other coast stoke!!
                              Last edited by natron; 07-06-2010, 08:48 PM.

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