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iandow

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About iandow

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    stranger
  • Birthday 11/01/1973

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  • Location
    Portland, or
  1. Mt. St. Helens Conditons Spring 2017

    Anyone know if crampons or snow shoes are likely necessary to summit St Helens now that we're well into July? Judging by what I've recently seen on Hood, I expect the snow is soft. I'm planning to climb with my wife on July 30. I hate to buy crampons if they're not necessary.
  2. Trip: Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain - via Mirror Lake Date: 12/12/2016 Trip Report: I parked at Ski Bowl at 6am this morning with the goal of hiking to Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain via Mirror Lake, and skiing back to my car within the Ski Bowl resort. Ski Bowl doesn't allow uphill traffic so if you want to hike up you have to go via Mirror Lake and traverse the ridge to Tom, Dick, and Harry. I thought this tour would take me 3 hours but it took 5.75 hours instead. I had to break the trail the entire way and above Mirror Lake it was untracked and really deep, so my progress was really slow. The weather was fog on top, and 23-28 degrees, but calm wind. Really, the weather was pretty desirable for this route because they had fresh deep and dry snow and because there was no wind. I was concerned about avalanche conditions, especially because I was solo. NWAC had announced a "Considerable" avalanche assessment for the Mt. Hood region, so I had promised myself to avoid steep terrain as much as possible. The trail passes through two slide paths, but to achieve my goal, I really could not avoid that section. Fortunately nothing bad happened there. Here's what the trail looked like. I had to work hard to get through the deep snow and a lot of leaning trees. I followed the Wind Creek Trail all the way from Mirror Lake to the top. The snow was too deep to try to shortcut the trail up anything steeper. Here's my route: At the top of the ridge, I ventured toward the edge to see if I could see Mirror Lake. My exact location is where you see the green dot to the left of the blue dot in the above trail map. To my surprise, I unintentionally walked on top of a small/medium size cornice on the north facing slope. I heard a boom and it caved with giant snow boulders the size of a small car. I was able to turn around quickly and catch myself so I didn't fall with it, but it was way too close for comfort! I'm pissed at myself for forgetting about NWAC's caution about wind loading. I saw rocks nearby so I thought I was on solid ground, but I definitely misjudged that. Here's what the cornice and the slide debris looked like: An hour or so later, I reached Ski Bowl's boundary, I skied back down inbounds, through light to medium heavy powder back to my car. I'm glad I was finally able to do this circuit. I have tried to do it before but I always seemed to run out of time. On the other hand, I'm really f'ing pissed that I let myself get so close to disaster when I had deliberately intended to play the day conservatively.
  3. Backcountry Skiing Partners PDX Area

    Tomorrow (Monday March 14) Mt. Hood will be receiving heavy snow. Tuesday I'm planning to drive up at 8:30am, be back in Portland at 4pm. My goal is randonee touring in the backcountry, ideally near Ski Bowl, on Tom Dick and Harry. But if the NWAC advisory is High, I'd prefer to stay off anything avy prone, or just ski Meadows. Anyone interested in joining? -Ian kayaking@gmail.com
  4. Backcountry Skiing Partners PDX Area

    Thanks for your reply. I'll probably give you a call mid February.
  5. Backcountry Skiing Partners PDX Area

    I also live in portland. I've done the same avy level 1. I do a lot of solo randonee tours around Timberline, but im looking for a partner to branch out into white river canyon, TomDickHarry, and mt adams. Drop me a line, kayaking@gmail.com. --Ian
  6. Looking for AT/Tele partner for Mt Hood

    Hey, I also live in Portland, and do a lot of AT skiing on and around Mt Hood. Ive been looking to meet more people so i can more safely hit the steeper slopes in the white river canyon and above timothy lake. I work regular business hours, but when there's good snow, i try to take advantage. I took a basic Avy 1 course two years ago. You can email me at kayaking@gmail.com. Thanks for your post. --Ian
  7. Trip: Mt. Hood - Bennett Pass - Bennett Pass Sno-Park Date: 12/22/2015 Trip Report: This was my first time to Bennett Pass Sno-Park. Mt Hood has gotten a ton of fresh snow this week, so I wanted to go for a solo randonnee ski tour. I left Portland at 5:30am, got to the parking lot at 7, and was the first one there. The road to Mt. Hood Meadows passes Bennett Pass Sno-Park. The hike in took about 45 minutes. My destination was a northwest facing clearcut, about 1.5 miles from the parking lot. You can see Mt Hood Meadows ski resort from here. All morning I could hear the explosives from Meadows avalanche control, so I performed a quick and dirty Rutschblock test to gauge slope stability. This slope was only 30 degrees, but I did it mostly for practice, and although the snow was about 4-5 feet deep, I found no clear slab layers. According to my watch, the slope was .25 mile long and descended 500 feet. It took me about 5 minutes to ski down and 30 minutes to hike up (45 minutes the first time). Our regional Mt Hood snow experts are reporting lots of fresh powder, but the snow I saw was actually pretty thick. The elevation of Bennett Pass is about 5000 feet, so I'm sure the snow is a lot lighter and drier at 5500-6000 feet and higher. That's what I saw at Timberline last week, too. I did three laps, then headed home. The road out is just barely steep enough to ski down. On my exit, I saw three more AT skiers and a pair of nordic skiers hiking in, so I'm glad I got there early.
  8. I'm looking for a partner to do a half-day backcountry tour on or near Mt. Hood. I'd like to leave Portland early and be back home by 1-2pm tomorrow (Saturday). My primary objective is to hit the steep shots around mirror lake (near Ski Bowl), but I'm open to other ideas. --Ian
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