Thursday, February 25, 2010

Whitney Summer Trail Ski

Last night I once again skied/hiked up to the Whitney Portal Campground and spent the night. The road has melted out quite a bit since my last trip, so the journey consisted of about 60/40 skiing & hiking.

I enjoyed the pleasant twilight on the way up.
Dawn revealed the splendid, snow dusted crags above the Portal.
I skinned up the summer trail on deep, hollow snow.

Random snow sculpture.
I think I take this pic every time I pass here!
This chute, on the east side of Thor Peak, is filled in and ready to go except the avalanche danger now is far too high.
The snow pack here is definitely touchy. There is a hollowness just about everywhere I traveled (about 8200' to 10,200'), I experienced several small collapses, and noticed soft slabs cracking during several kick turns.

I eventually arrived at a small box canyon with steep slopes and decided not to go any further. I got to an open, flat spot to remove my skins and experienced another small collapse, which remotely triggered a small avalanche on a steep rollover. Surprisingly, this slope was on the other side of the creek! The crown was 12" to 24" and about 50' across. This pic is lousy, but gives you an idea.
The terrain on the way back was all very manageable, and I actually enjoyed a few nice turns, but the avy antennae were turned to maximum!

I still managed to admire the fine scenery however.

The east face of Thor Peak. The chute in the pic above is the leftmost of the two in the center.
Gotta give some love to Whitney.
Careful out there backcountry skiers.

On a side note.....
My 100th post!!!!

No comments: