Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kendall Stump - 02.16.11

Josh had a rare day off mid week, so we decided to get out and ski a bit. His backcountry rig is new this season and he hasn't got out much on it. He wanted to get out and tour a bit, perhaps as a shakedown. If the skiing was good, so much the better. With the recent winds and a mostly moderate avalanche forecast we opted to stick to the treed slopes of Kendall Stump.

We parked the car just off the road on the pullout. Knowing there might be issues trying to get it out of the unplowed area. Then we walked back to the turn in the road and started in. We didn't feel comfortable hiking past someone's house, and opted to head in the road a bit further before we did eventually turn into the woods and uphill. Which still resulting in walking past a house.

There was just the lightest dusting of new snow on top of very firm icy snow. The skinning was a bit slow and sketchy. We both had slips on the ice and we grew weary of being in the woods. We saw the light of the clear cut and opted to boot out to the clear cut the last hundred feet or so. Out in the clear cut the fresh snow was around two inches deep and the base did not appear to be as firm. We donned our skis and started skinning up the tightly treed opening.

When the guide books were written, this area was more recently cut. It is obvious from the pic in the Seabury Blair Jr. book that there were less trees in the cut and more open slopes than exist now. The trees here are tightly spaced and made navigating uphill almost as bad as the navigation downhill. As we went higher the trees became more sparse and we headed to more open spaces. We used some old logging roads for ease of travel and opted to head to the top of the ridge.

We took a brief break up top and looked at a line a recent skier took. We did not take the same line as the western aspect was more wind blown and had a bit of a crust on it. It was not the nice ankle deep powder we were experiencing around the corner. We transitioned, and I started down. We had a nice run back to the first road and went across it to continue down. We enjoyed the run so much we transitioned to do it again. Now with a good skin track in we made quick time to the top and were soon heading back down.

With the sun shining most of the day to that point it made the snow heavier, but the second run was still great fun. The lower we got in the run the less fun it became as the trees became closer spaced and the hard crust was not as well covered. We got separated a bit picking our way through the trees and then had to traverse skier's right in hopes of finding more open terrain. We were able to make some connected turns just before entering the forest and taking our skis off to hike the still frozen snow in the woods.

My pics are here.

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