Saturday, January 31, 2009

1-30-2009 Wahoo Gully Recon

After my "Basin Mountain Fiasco" a couple weeks ago I figured the road to the Wahoo area would be driveable, so I headed up to check it out. The road involved a little more snow and ice than usual, but wasn't sketchy at all.

I was able to drive nearly to this point, which is close to the "regular" spring start.

The first views of theWahoo (the obvious gully just right of center) were encouraging. There was also good coverage in the approach gully with a couple of inches of fluff over a nice consolidated base. I was starting to believe I had hit the jackpot!

This is the view from the top of the approach gully.

As I climbed higher onto the gully runout the snow was more wind affected. The wind also did a great job of smoothing out the surface allowing rocks to lurk undetectably below.

The looker's right side held a few inches of windblown fluff over ice and/or very firm avalanche debris, which made for slippery skinnng. The center and left side were ok though, so travelling was pretty easy. As I approached the narrow entrance to the gully I encountered some pretty nasty wind crust, so I called it good and prepared for the descent.

Here's the view from the turnaround. On the descent I immediately tagged a couple rocks - aaargh! I moved skier's right to the edge of the chute and found deeper fluffy snow for several hundred feet - sweet! Once I was out on the fan though the snow was thinner and the rock tagging resumed. Below the fan the skiing was good and the coverage was much better, even the approach gully was fun.

All in all I was glad to have made the trip. We need a little more snow and a little less wind here!


Anonymous said...

Can I really leave comments?

Anonymous said...

hey Scott, its Chris, now up in Juneau. Man its been a great first AK winter for me so far, but have to admit that I miss all the accessible and plentiful eastside bc.
I'm planning to get on a regular dawn patrol program, next week.
more great turns to you and I look forward to reading about more of your ski trips!