It felt great to finally get out and accomplish something a little spicier for a change. You can drive easily to the trailhead right now. We chose to wear shoes on the intermittent firm snow to the meadows which ended up being very efficient. Most of the group was tired from too much skiing already so we started at a leisurely hour and moved at a leisurely pace. As a result, we dropped into the couloir later than we should have. Colfax is a fun little summit and the visibility was as good as it gets. We could see from St. Helens into Canada and the San Juan Islands were easily identifiable. New snow over rain crust and strong solar effects made for some significant wet sloughs in the chute. In addition to starting a little late, 5 people is a bit awkward for steep skiing. It is difficult to keep everyone in safe zones and makes for a lot of waiting. We found ourselves baking in a solar oven getting pelted by falling rime for much longer than I would have liked. Despite the inefficiency, the couloir was filled in enough (10 ft. wide at the choke) and the bergschrund was filled completely. It was a fun little ski mountaineering objective and not all that steep. We skinned back up to our uptrack on the Easton and skied about 1k’ of inconsistent but softened snow which transitioned into the best 3k’ corn run of my life! We were all skiing together at high speed slashing berms and airing off rollers while the sun reflected off the Puget Sound. Balance restored to the universe.
- alpental alpental backcountry alpental uphill policy at boots avalanches black diamond black diamond 2012 skis black diamond factor 110 black diamond gigawatt bryant couloir chair peak chair peak circumnavigation coleman-deming route crooked couloir Crystal Mountain dirtbag diaries dynafit titan ultralight emmons glacier events first snow foac friends of the northwest avalanche center fuhrer finger ski descent gear gear reviews glacier park lodge greg hill highway 20 opening date 2011 jackson hole jordan manley jordan manley photography k2 obsethed kendall chutes kendall peak couloirs la nina la nina 2012 mcgill shoulder mt. baker mt. baker ski descent mt. rainier mt. rainier ski descent mt. shuksan north face mt. shuksan ski descent north cascades highway north cascades highway opening date 2011 northwest avalanche center NWAC outdoor retailer show paradise glacier pineapple express pnw la nina powder alert powder mag rogers pass skiing salomon freeski tv seattle shane mcconkey shuksan arm avalanche ski mountaineering ski movies Slot Couloir snot couloir snow snow lake divide stevens pass tatoosh skiing trip reports turns-all-year twin lakes video videos viva la nina wave skiing weather winchester lookout