Friday, April 24, 2015

4/19/2015, Newton/Clark Headwall, Mt. Hood

In late april, after some much needed precipitation, high pressure returned to dominance over the Oregon Cascades.  Due to poor snow conditions, I had not been up on Mt. Hood since January, and I was itching for a visit.  After a week of warm days and freezing nights, I was hopeful for a consolidated snowpack, and decided to check out the steep slopes on the Eastside of the Mountain.  My plan was to climb up the Wy' East face and snowboard down the Newton Clark Headwall, conditions dependent.  I left SW Portland around 4am and was hiking from the car by 5:30am. 

Hiking through the ski resort I saw a coyote roaming around for scraps. 

I always enjoy this climb, as it is a direct and efficient route up the mountain.  Im going yonder… 

The poor snow year is evident in our spring snowpack.  The bergschrund onto the Newton Clark Glacier is already starting to open up.

4 hours from the car, by 9:30am, I had reached my high point.  The view into the crater, and its swarms of mountain climbers. 

A very smokey/hazey morning.  Looking south, I could not even see Mt. Jefferson.

This was my run. The snow was not fully consolidated but, an early start and overnight freeze kept potential avalanche danger at bay. 

The snow was edge-able and fun.  Looking back up at the slope from the glacier.  I rode thru the big chute in the center of the frame. 

And then it was creamy corn turns in Super Bowl.  5700' vertical of boarding, not a bad way to start the day. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

3/27/2015, Mt. McDonald, Idaho

Spring Break 2015:  The final chapter.  By Thursday, Drew, Kelly and I found ourselves scoping lines in the Sawtooth Mountains.  Even with a snowmobile, access was proving difficult due to the poor snow year.  Roads were closed to vehicle traffic, but they didn't have any snow on them to use the sled.    We found one access point with continuous snow to wilderness boundary, and used this as our access point.  

The Beautiful Sawtooth Mountains. 

We used the sled for the 4 mile approach, left it at the end of the road, and started skinning up the Norther flanks of Mt. McDonald.

We got rocked out about 2/3's of the way up the slope, and scrambled up the ridge to our high point.  

Good view at the top. 


The temps were warm, and the snow was manky on nearly all aspects.  We came for this North facing chuter, and were glad to find settled powder.

I dropped first and rode halfway down to snap some pics.  Kelly was stoked to be ripping in his local zone, stoked enough he decided to BN(butt naked) the chute.  BN'ing in the Sawtooths… 

Drew dropped next, and rode a slightly more NE aspect.  Notice the difference in snow conditions between Kelly and Drews turns….   Aspect is everything.

Shredding the hot pow. 

The Chute was awesome, it took a turn lower down and held soft re-crystalized snow for the entire 2000'.  

After sneaking around some cliffs at the bottom, we were skinning back to the sled.  What an awesome run, and great snow.  Our tracks seen on the hike home.  A great day exploring a new area, and an awesome end to Spring Break 2015.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

3/25/2015, 25 Short, Grand Teton National Park

Spring Break 2015:  After an awesome weekend in Colorado, Drew and I decided to keep the van rolling and headed to Jackson.  With snow in the forecast, Kelly was down for the mission.  After a fun day at the resort on Tuesday, we head to Grand Teton National Park on Wednesday, 3/25.  Our Plan was to check out the zone called, "25 Short".

Morning at the park.  

Skin travels.

25 Short is mostly tree zones.  2900' of them…   

Nearing the top, the clouds were in and out. 

Epic views. 

We dropped ASAP, as the sun was baking on any snow it touched. About 16" at the top, 10-12" at the bottom.  Drew loves powder.

So does Kelly. 

After an awesome day at the park, Kelly invited us to head with him to his family's place in Ketchum, ID.  It was an easy decision, we sent.  Back on the road, nowhere Idaho.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

3/21-3/22/2015, Berthoud Pass, Colorado

Spring Break 2015:  Drew had a week off of school, and I took a week off of work.  We brainstormed on options, but didn't finalize any plans until a couple days before the trip.  Our plan was to head to meet my homies in Colorado, and surf storms in the variety of mountain ranges options on the way back to the PNW.  After a hectic drive with little sleep, we made it to Boulder.  Snow conditions were corny with good stability.  The plan was to check out Berthoud Pass, the homies local shred zone. After a quick hike we were on the first peak.   We had a group of 7, and throughout the day ripped up a lot of the local zones. 

Getting to the top, Bruno, was not shy about dropping first.  He dropped in and ripped it up!  Not a bad view in CO. 

With 6 in the group, I took a lot of riding pictures. Pete getting his, on the first lap.

And Kelly power carving. 

After that first lines, we booted up and hiked a half a mile or so to a zone they were calling the "XYZ" chutes.  More good stuff.  Drew ripping it. 

Group shot

After a quick break we climbed back up to the ridge, and another high point.  Kelly showed me this chute, called "Frankenstein", and asked if I was down.  It wasn't powder, more like dust on crust but, still an awesome run. 

I dropped first and rode the main chute.  Then Kelly dropped, he rode the top portion and then slipped thru the rocks to a side chute. Rippin'. 

With a group of 7, we were breaking up, and riding a variety of slopes.  Drew scored some creamy corn on this aspect.  

We went up for another, and did a good job ripping this zone.

That night we stayed at the local cabin.  It was pretty much, awesome!

In the morning we went across the rode, and skinned up the Mountain. 

We came for this avy path.  Bruno and Kelly shredding. 

Feeling good about stability and in a group of 6, we dropped in pairs. Dane and Pete. 

It was a great run, 2500' down to the road.  We hitched hiked to the top, and took a margarita break at the cars.  After letting the snow soften, we hiked back up to the zone from the first day.  Good views. 

Over the to this ridgeline. 

Kelly ripped this chute, like a dawg. 

Killing it!

What a great weekend and start to the trip.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

3/07/2015, Ruby to Bentho's Couloirs, Wallowa

After a fun day on Friday 3/06, Destry, Drew and I were stoked to get out again on Saturday.  We felt good about stability, and decided to go for a big day in the Northern Wallowa.  After going back and for about objectives we headed up the access road for Ruby Peak.  We got up early in the morning and were on the trail around 630.

The first step of the day was to climb this couloir to the ridge line. 

Actually… the first step was to bushwhack up to the base of the couloir.  

The bushwhack didn't last forever though. 

After gaining the ridge line, we dropped into the next drainage and traversed to distant cirque.  Evidence of the warm temps and growing strength of the sun.

Impressive debris for a point release. 

Lots of hiking, and the views were real nice. 

We came to check out this zone. 

Dropping into the cirque we scored a nice chute'r.  Drew carving. 

Destry gettin' his.

Our objective was this classic couloir.  Narrow, sustained steep, and walled with rock.  

The snow wasn't perfect powder in the chute, it was wind effected but, would suffice for a snowboard decent.  Turnin' up.

Getting to the top we soaked in the views and prepared to descend.  I dropped third and didn't get any good riding shots except for this one of Destry dropping in. 

Looking back after an awesome run.  We rode the narrow couloir in center left of the photo. 

We booted out of the cirque and started the trek home.  Evidence of boarders. 

Returning back to Ruby's ridgeline, we dropped into the couloir we booted in the morning.  It held great recycled powder, and was a truly awesome run.  Drew surfing… 


And getting barreled. 

Another awesome trip to Eastern Oregon.  A parting shot from the Wallowa Valley.