Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kendall Knob - 12.31.08

Dan and I headed out to the Kendall Knob/clear cut area for some quick backcountry turns this morning. It turns out we didn't stay long.

What I have been learning is you need speed to easily execute turns in deep powder. I managed to do that last week at Hyak. However, trees were added to the equation today, and this made it more difficult to want to go fast. It is all a learning curve. On a positive note, I did not hit any trees. I did crash hard when catching a ski on buried alder.

Dan and I found the snow to be deep. Skinning was tiring. It snowed and the wind blew the whole time we were out. Dan had difficulty extricating himself a few times. I had difficulty with the one crash. A little more snow coverage would have made things somewhat easier.

We dug a snow pit at our high point to investigate the snow pack. Mostly soft snow for the top 30". We did a tap test and were able to have a 4" top slide with wrist taps on a fairly low angle slope. (~25° heavily treed) Often we heard the Alpental ski patrol bombing the slopes. (It was sort of scary.)

We made one run through the trees, and called it quits. By the time we left, I90 Eastbound was closed.

Dan breaking trail through trees

The view before conditions deteriorated.

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