Saturday, April 30, 2016

4/15-4/16/2016, Chief Joseph Mountain

When we left the McCully yurt on 4/13, went back to Enterprise, and took a rest day.  Snow squalls covered the mountains, and things were lining up for a potential day of pow and stability.  Mike asked me where I wanted to go touring for Friday/Saturday, and I respond Chief Joe.  You can see the aesthetic lines from town, and I drool over them every time I am in the Wallowa Valley.  Mike said he was down to give it a go, so we sent. 

Rest day scoping the lines... 

We got an early start friday and shwacked our way up the lower mountain.  When we reached the cirque containing our objective couloirs, we dug a snowpit in an area of sparsely gladed trees aside the avalanche path/aprons. The snowpack was great; 6" of "right side up" new snow, bonded well to a strong April snowpack.  We felt good and booted up the far lookers left couloir.

Mike booting up...

The weather was in and out all day.  Actually it was mostly in, and clouds socked the mountain.  After climbing the couloir we waited for a window of visibility and dropped.
Mike ripping it up, poles and all….

The weather was supposed to break in the afternoon, and feeling good about stability I climbed up our boot-pack again, hoping to snag another one of the couloirs down the ridge. As it turned out the weather  never broke.  I waited at the top of the couloir for 45 minutes and then dropped back down the boot-pack couloir.  Shreddy, go!

We had a fun day working the weather, and in the evening discussed touring the next day.  After some back and forth we decided to head back to the Chief.  We had a trail/ boot pack set, and 4 more virgin couloirs.We made much better time Saturday and were in the Cirque in 2 hours.  Getting to the boot pack it was obvious we made the right decision.

We booted up, and dropped one of the dogleg couloirs first.  The couloir has an upper snowfield and then drops through a rock lined chute.
Mike shredding out of the chute....

Mike was tired and posted up in the basin while I went up for another.  Looking at our tracks from run 1, Joseph and Wallowa lake in the background.

I traversed up the ridge to the main couloir.  Looking down the face.

The snow was perfect; settled, stable, pow.  Such an amazing run!

What an amazing 2 days.  Some objectives have more sentimental value than others, and riding these lines meant a lot to me.  Almost like a right of passage into the Wallowa.  Thank you, Chief Joe.  

Our tracks seen from town. 

4/11-4/13/16, McCully Basin

Leaving Camp Norway was hard, as the terrain is endless.  Mike wanted to take me up to the McCully Hut as well, so we went for the back to back yurt trips leaving Norway on Sunday and hiking into McCully on Monday.  I was like, "Back to back yurt trips, OH YEAHHHH!" 

Mike hiking the road. 

Putting the approach behind us, we were greeted to a warm yurt and deep snowpack.

After dropping off our overnight gear, we headed straight for Aneroid.
Ya boy, summit chillen at 9,701'.

Wallowa Pano.

We rode the NE face, and scored perfect corn.

The snow was great, so we went up for another.  Mike riding a chute on "Big Sexy Line Ridge".

Evidence of shred. 

On 4/12 it rained nearly all day, and we didn't leave the yurt until 5pm when the weather broke temporarily.  The was some fresh snow and with more expected overnight we were stoked for the next morning.  4/13, we got an early start and went right back to BSLR.  4-6" of new snow, not the deepest but super fun and safe!

After BSLR, we skirted over towards the Castle, and rode this tasty ramp.  Mike shredding...

We then climbed back up onto the Aneroid ridge, with a couloir in mind.  Unfortunately, the entrance to the couloir was guarded by a windslab so we backed off, and rode down from the saddle.  What a great 3 days!

A parting shot of Twin Peaks and Sawtooth from the drive back to Enterprise.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

4/07-4/10/2016, Camp Norway, Wallowa Mountains

I have wanted to give the Wallowa Mountains the time and respect they deserved for some time now.  Looking for a change in work, and taking some time off this spring gave me the perfect opportunity to explore the mountain range a little more.  My friend Mike moved to Enterprise last summer, and has been working for CB at the Wallowa Alpine Huts.  Upon arriving in Enterprise on 4/06, Mike told me Camp Norway was free for the weekend and we would be welcomed to visit.  High pressure was dominating over the region and I was stoked to check out the Southern end of the range.  We drove to Halfway on Thursday and without a sled, hiked the 8 miles + vert into the yurt.  We rode corn friday and saturday, then headed out on Sunday.  What an awesome way to start the exploration!

Halfway, Oregon. 

Our primary objective on Friday was to get on top of Red Mountain and check out the local terrain.  The view from 9560' didn't suck.

And we scored perfect corn on Red's East face.  Mike shredding…

We spy'd this North facing couloir on the approach to Red and went for it for our second run. 

Booting up the snow was smooth but, starting to get to saturated.  We hurried to the top, and dropped down the most shaded aspect.  We were able to get some good snow, and for the most part avoid wet avalanche concerns.

 Looking up the coulie.  

Celebrating at the yurt after an awesome day! Not a bad view…

With overnight temps in the 40's, seriously, we knew things would be getting soft fast the next day.  We got up early but, on the approach to Norway Peak decided the E/NE facing slope had already received too much sun.  We adapted our plan, and went for these south facing chuter's.  They were not the longest chutes but, with the right aspect we were able to get perfect corn.

 After ripping both of the chutes we hiked to the top of the bowl for one last run.  Another great day in an awesome area.

A view of North Cornucopia, on the commute back to the yurt.

The next morning we trekked back to the car and drove back to Joseph for the next adventure. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

4/02-4/03/2016, Broken Top

Riding North Sister with Buell was followed up by a couple days riding chairs at Mt. Bachelor, which is always super fun.  I had been brainstorming with the homie Destry about a split mission for the weekend and we decided to do an overnight near Broken Top.  We hiked out Saturday morning, rode a west facing chute on Saturday, camped out, rode an east facing chute sunday morning, and jammed out. 

The view on the hike in...

After dropping off the camping gear, we started going up.  Destry booting up "Al a mode".

And shredding it, with Bachelor lurking behind.

Destry makes pretty turns.

The next morning we got up and went for this SE facing ramp, called "Pucker".
Destry shredding. 

Another great weekend on a great Volcano.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

3/30/2016, Villard Glacier, North Sister

After a great trip to Alaska, my girlfriend broke up with me, on the day before I came home.  It happened in a very lame way, and I was bummed to say the least.  Without getting into much detail, my schedule free'd up.  Buell had texted me about checking out North Sister on 3/30, and I was feeling like, "Why the fuck not?".  We were hoping for winter snow but, expected just about anything. 

Alpine starts provide great sunrises. 

Buell setting the trail.

Up the Villard.

We skinned most of the Villard, and then booted a couple hundred feet up towards the headwall.  Wind was blasting on the ridge, and the snow in the chute looked crappy so we decided to drop and get out of the rock fall ridden area. The snow was different forms of alpine powder for the entire 2000'.  It was a great run.  Yours truly…

Buell making turns in front of the Santiam Volcano line-up.

Another awesome day on North Sister. 

3/17-3/27/2016, Alaska Spring Break 2016

I am a little behind on the trip posts so I am going to keep things short.  Drew, Kelly, and I went up to Alaska for Drew's spring break.  We spent 5 day's in Hatcher Pass, and 4 days in Thompson Pass. It was an awesome trip, we got some great riding, and partied in a camper!  Below are some pictures from the trip.

First day, better check the snow.

We approved...

Drew getting his share.

A wet storm moved through the area during our stay at Hatcher Pass.  It set off a wide spread natural avalanche cycle.  This ridge-line had a variety of cross loaded naturals. 

While this slope seemed to slide on every convexity.

We let the snow settle; after 24 hours things we're looking better,  and after 48 hours stability had greatly improved.  We went for a local couloir.  Kelly and Drew getting ready to drop.

5 days in Hatcher Pass was more than enough, so we headed south to Thompson Pass. We got a couple days of riding some of the areas rockstar coulee's.  Like these ones below. 

Kelly getting his fix.

Another great trip to Alaska.  I can't wait to go again next year!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

3/17/2016, Worm Flows, Mt. Saint Helens

After ripping MSH with Kelcie and Pete at the end of February, the stoke was high for another visit.  With a promising forecast on 3/17 Stratton, Pete and I went up for round two.  This time we did a moonlight tour, and watched the Sunrise at the Weather Station. 

It is a fairly basic climb to the summit ridge, and never takes too long.  Mt. Adams, showing off its girth.

We chilled on the summit for the standard 45min to an hour, and then dropped.  Strat ripping it up!

And catching air in the pipe!  Another awesome trip up MSH.  We mashed back to Portland, I grabbed some pho soup with Kelc, and packed my bag for Alaska! Wa-hoo!!!