Friday, January 9, 2009

Slush Skiing - 01.08.09

With avy conditions being high or extreme all week, Ian was itching to get out now that the conditions settled a bit. Our plan was to wait and see in the morning if I90 or Highway2 would re open. Neither was open at 9am when we left Seattle. So we headed toward the Mountain Loop Highway. Our original intent was to bring both AT skis and Nordic skis. But we decided on Pilchuck as a destination, and left the Nordic skis at Ian's. Ian had rented some AT gear that he wanted to try out.

There was plenty of flooding to be seen on the way. New small creeks running down to the road. Larger creeks running over the road. Some side creeks running over their bridges. The South Fork of the Stilliguamish was running high and hard. Arriving on Pilchuck Road, we noticed there was no plowed area to park. Not to mention the rest of the forest road was not plowed, but not well covered either. And it was raining hard. We made a decision to continue up the highway in search of better conditions. We got to the winter closure at Deer Creek and decided that we would get out there. This is a tour better suited to Nordic gear, but we only had the AT gear with us. So we started skinning up the road in the rain. We stuck to a compacted part of the trail so we wouldn't sink in deep to the wet concrete like snow. Eventually, the rain turned to mostly snow. Higher up on the trail we witnessed the signs from the heavy rains. Deep (30"+) crevasses carved out of the snow pack from running water. It was like a mini canyon. We crossed the first of the 'canyons' and after meeting with a few more, decided it was time to turn around.

The ski down was slow and non eventful. It was raining when we got back to the car.

No pics. Raining to hard to bring the camera.

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