Monday, January 9, 2012

Backcountry Skiing

Top of Union Peak

Richard checking out the map after skiing off of Union Peak into a thick young forest
Winter is in full swing in the Cascade Mountains.  The last two weekends I headed out for some back country skiing with friends.  Both times we went to an area near Stevens Pass.  The snow was great the first weekend and still pretty good during the second.  One of the great things about skiing in the Cascade mountains is the mix of environments from steep open slopes to old growth forest.  Its all fun to ski and a little different every time.

Next weekend I am taking an Avalanche training class through Seattle Mountain Rescue.  It has been many years since I had any formal avalanche training, so I am really looking forward to the class.  While out skiing this last weekend Richard and I analyzed the snow pack stability using a method know at the tap test.  The results agreed with the predictions of the North West Avalanche Center forecast and indicated that the snow pack was fairly stable and the risk of an avalanche was moderately low.  I have uploaded a video of Richard performing this test on You Tube.

Great tree skiing

Richard was excited about his hot lunch using his new Jet-Boil stove

Meeting up with another group of skiers near the top of Jove Peak

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