Backcountry Skiing on Baden Powell, 1/9/16
Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 23:29
Micajah Truitt

Just after the recent run of storms came through in early Jan, I decided to checkout the local mountains and see the snow conditions.  Sat, 1/9 my buddy Kevin and I went to Baden Powell.   We were able to skin up on skis straight from the parking lot at Vincent Gap.  Down low, it was beautiful.  There was 20 inches plus snow even at the trailhead.  It was parly cloudy and about 33 deg F.  Snow was fluffy.  As we ascended, we could see conditions change with wind and clouds darkening.  Someone postholed all the way to the summit...crazy.  Two skiers broke trail partway, and I broke trail the other times.  It was work on my legs since it was the first tour of the season.  Almost 3,000 feet of skinning up on skis.  Once over 8,000 feet, the snow was more consolidated, more moisture content, but still pretty good.  We stopped just before the summit because it was raining and windy at that point.  We met up with two other skiers and dug a pit.  Snowpack was 33 inches deep at that point and mostly one layer.  A slight difference about 12" down with the top layer being slightly harder but not by much.  As we descended it was warmer and we saw snow staring to pinwheel up.  It was getting sticker as I skied, and this being my first ski of the season, my legs struggled a bit, but it still fun.  We didn't pick our line very well about half way down and had to deal with a rock outcropping which was sketch but we made it around with a little down climbing.  I think we managed to find the drainage where ice climbing forms up in a good snow year.  I had read about the flow on Mountain Project.  There were sluff avalanches in a few places.  Right above the closed section of SR2, there were several sluff avalanches to the road.  It was a great day to ski, but I'm afraid all the rain probably did some damage to a good start of snow pack.  I'm expecting a rain crust that turns into surface hoar if the next few days stay warmer.

Article originally appeared on SBSAR.ORG (http://sbsar.org/).
See website for complete article licensing information.