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Alisse last won the day on June 27

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Choss Jockey

Choss Jockey (6/14)

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  1. The thinking was just...the person I found on TAY had already walked it north to south and wanted to do it S-N.
  2. Trip: Taste of the Ptarmigan - Hot Southern style Trip Date: 06/22/2024 Trip Report: On Thursday morning, we set out to ski the Ptarmigan Traverse, south to north, over four days, with a Dome summit attempt. I know you have so many questions already.... TL;DR: bailed on the route on the second day when there was no solid overnight refreeze and at 10am we were sliding out while skinning the first major traverse, setting off fair-sized wet loose slides. Longer version: Desperate to find ski partners for a four-day stretch with a good weather window, I turned to the internet. To my happy surprise, J responded positively to my message on the TAY website! We talked on the phone and sussed out each others' experience and skills. I also convinced her that based on conditions I found on a recent ski trip, the Ptarmigan would be in good shape for us. So, we decided that setting out together wouldn't mean certain abandonment in a crevasse or either of us having to act as a guide. Her partner Z would also join. They were both on splits. "Going out with unknown splitboarders is risky business," @Hoo sagely advised, one of my favorite mountain partners (found here on CC!) and a splitboarder himself. After chatting with J, though, I felt confident that these splitboarders had good split-ski skills and it would work out. We left my car at the Eldo trailhead, stashed beers in the river, and got to know each other a bit on the drive around to the Downey Creek trailhead. I could tell pretty quickly that it was going to be a fun trip. We set out at 4am with skis on packs and the trail was fairly fast and easy for the first several miles. Then it got pretty damn brushy. Then we encountered the first of a few giant blowdowns that required crawling under on hands and knees. We turned up the Bachelor Creek trail and gained some elevation and more brushiness. We continued on, following some flagging and up the bypass trail which skips some brush and slide alder; there's still mandatory slide alder (going at probably B2, or B2++ with skis). Soon enough we got to the crossing of Bachelor Creek and came across two giant tents, stuff hanging in trees, and a guy doing some relaxed PT with a stretchy band. Hello! We chatted with two very friendly dudes who were doing a glamping+Dome+Sinister trip. They were combining the comforts of Fireball, a near-complete six-pack, and camp chairs with the masochism of the 75-pound backpacks they had humped up there. Are these guys awesome or insane? Soon we were getting our feet wet in the boggy melting-out trail and then postholing a bit in the patchy snow. And then did some real elevation gain and discussed how, wow, our backpacks probably weigh like 45+ pounds with all our stuff and skis and boots! Finally, up around 5400', we could see more of the route and the continuous snow, and we were quite thrilled to take the skis off packs and start skinning. Unfortunately, as we approached Cub Pass, it was nearly 3pm and the snow was total slop. Sliding out in an uncontrollable way into melted-out heather was demoralizing and a little worrisome; we ended up booting a bit to avoid more of that and continued carrying over the pass and down to Cub Lake (melting out quickly). The next stretch of time included about an hour or so of actual rain and about an hour or so of fiddling with an apparently too-dirty-to-function-correctly stove. Luckily we were able to heat water enough to get our dinners rehydrated. The stove not functioning correctly was worrisome for the traverse; we needed it for water. J said she would clean it in the morning and that would probably do the trick. Glamping Guys (I think Alex and...Adam? I'm sorry if they read this...) showed up -- one highlight was the Trader Joe's bag somewhat strapped to the outside of one of their packs. How it survived the alder, I do not know. I was tired. I knew we weren't setting any records with our pace, but how did it take us nearly 12 hours to go like 11.5 miles? I think I was in my bivy by around 8:30pm... We hadn't discussed an alarm time and there was still this question of the stove. Around 6:30 or so I watched the Glamping Guys head out with summit packs. Our party had slept in a little more than we maybe should have (but didn't make a difference in the end) and J cleaned the stove which did fix the issues so continuamos! After a short and chill bootpack, we were skinning again and ten minutes later arrived at Itswoot Pass. Greeting us was an older couple that we had chatted with the afternoon before at the lake and a second couple -- one of whom says his ... uncle? Grandfather? was part of the original Ptarmigan party, age 18! We look across the way and see Dome, and the Dome-Dana col, and discuss the time, crappy snow conditions, and all our options. We decide to at least get to the col, and we start across the long traverse. It's terrible from the start. Super, super sloppy snow. At one point, I kick off a little wet loose slide and it entrained more snow and runs pretty far, including pouring over a boulder that's halfway melted out. We get to a little rocky outcropping that we have to carry skis over, and we have another chat there at around 6200'. The mountains are giving us red lights; we can't travel safely in consequential terrain and we can't skin very safely or ski very quickly with how the snow is. It just is not what we expected or want for this traverse to go. We make the sad decision to bail from our traverse and head back to the ridge for some kind of plan B. We hang out all day in this beautiful place, watch a few natural wet loose slides come down (one quite large), keep an eye on all the climbers that pass us and head up and over to climb Dome. We hang with the marmots and the pikas in the rocks, build bivy spots in the snow. J has a lot of energy and boots up toward Spire Col about 600' or so and takes a couple of runs. She builds a snow cat. Our plan is to wake up really early and see if the snow has refrozen overnight -- if so, we'll check out Spire Col and maybe do a run down the western lobe of the Dana Glacier? With increasing freezing levels, I am not convinced it will happen, but try to remain hopeful. As the sun sets over the ridge, the three of us head up together and take a run down -- sticky and heavy, but not the very worst I've ever skied. We return to our ridge camp and Glamping Guys are there! They were going to leave the snow cat drinking a nip of Fireball but happily we get to chat and hear about their adventures in post-holing, the looming cornice on Dome, and how far it really is between Dome and Sinister. We really enjoyed chatting and following along with these two and I was so impressed with their smiles and attitudes even after 14+ hours of post-holing! That evening, the full strawberry moon (on the solstice) came up with cool clouds in front -- memorable. At 3:30am the next morning, my alarm went off and I poked the snow outside my bivy fort. Soft. No crust, no refreeze whatsoever. I shuffled over to J and Z and asked for their confirmation and permission to go back to sleep for a few hours. We all agreed: no go. Sigh. We packed up and headed down. The ski out was pretty alright! There were certainly a few fun turns in there. The slide alder was much easier going down. The crawling under the blowdown was about the same. Poor Z's feet were rubbed raw by the end of the trail. Finally we were back to the start and un-did the car shuttle. Sigh. The beers back in the Cascade River were located easily and we finally said our good-byes. Thank you, J and Z, for a memorable trip! Gear Notes: Drugs Approach Notes: Brushy
  3. @strongsexysmart have one for you -- sent you a private message.
  4. Trip: Wahpenayo Peak - West Ridge Trip Date: 02/23/2024 Trip Report: Alex and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and ventured out to an area that I've wanted to visit for a few years: Wahpenayo Peak, in the western part of the Tatoosh range. It was amazing and I will definitely be back! The basin was beautiful and held fantastic cold soft snow on the north facing slopes, we had clear views ranging from the Olympics to four volcanoes to other Tatoosh peaks, and what I think was Tookaloo Spire. The ridge travel was certainly engaging and the mountain let us pass safely to and from the summit -- and not another soul in sight all day! The tour starts at the Eagle Peak trailhead outside of Longmire (no pesky gate concerns) at a whopping ~2800'. We carried skis up to around 3800' and then were able to continuously skin the trail and then it was up the avalanche debris to the saddle south of Chutla Peak; still in the shade, we had great skinning conditions (soft debris but very supportable snow). Some of the first fantastic views Skinning up to the saddle Cool rock feature Other Tatoosh peaks (Lane and..?) Woohoo! Yahoooooo! Alex gets sick airtime With huge smiles, we made our way around and up... we weren't feeling much time pressure so took a sort of roundabout way, fully enjoying the scenery, to the NE ridge that one source suggested as the best (maybe with a ton more snow? ...it might have been easier to have just gone in with no beta for this one). After booting the ridge, using the trees to our advantage and an undercling, plus a short in-your-face steep snow climb, we decided that we'd reached an impassable notch for our gear and headed back down and around to the other ridge. This ridge did not go. That one was also engaging -- decided to go up a short gully after soft shallow snow on heather and rock seemed pushing the limits of what made sense. After a bit of large tree assistance, we were on the summit (6,231')! Amazing views.... From the summit looking west From the ridge looking east toward the summit We headed back down the ridge carefully to where we'd left our skis and skied more fantastic dry snow back into the basin, then headed back up to the saddle, and made a long traverse which resulted in only a short section of side stepping/shuffling to get back to the trail (felt like spring for sure), back to skis on packs, and back to the car, in base layers, vents open, no gloves. Felt so much like a spring day. Special place! I'll be back! Gear Notes: Skis. Brought sharp things but did not need them! Approach Notes: Enjoy!
  5. Beautiful! Here's @manninjo on Sunday above the hordes:
  6. Skiing IS still pretty darn fun, isn't it? My photos can't compare to @JasonG's, of course, but a little farther south, we found some pow pow too, and some sun breaks and better vis than expected! A discerning eye will pick out @Hoo and a magic eye would pick out @aaronohn (not pictured)
  7. Sorry to hear your shoulder isn't 100%! I hope you can change that. I hadn't heard of that one, thanks for putting it on my radar!
  8. How was your Obliteride and how's your collarbone? In other bike news, I am trying to encourage more women and gender-diverse people to participate in the bikepacking races we have in Washington! I've been bikepacking for just a couple of years and last month I rode the Washington High-Lite race. It was fun and interesting in some unexpected ways and I learned a ton. But only two other women joined the race! 😭 If you know any non-dudes (or maybe this describes you, dear reader) who enjoy bikepacking or gravel riding in a "try to keep moving at a good steady clip" kind of way, or might be interested in it, I want to talk with them! I think in April or May there will be a group weekend bikepacking ride coordinated by these people https://thetownbicycle.com/washington-bikepacking-women-group/ My goal is to bring three people to the next race I do (May or June). Thanks for reading! Alisse
  9. Did you stop to swim in any of the lakes, though? (I assume there are at least a few tarns?)
  10. This is an amazingly informative TR -- CC lives on as a fantastic source of beta because of you and others who put so much time and thought into their TRs! I don't think I could even follow that route, but this writeup and set of photos makes me want to get out there!
  11. So amazing! https://www.opb.org/article/2023/08/27/peak-bagging-the-bulger-list-washington-state-mountains/
  12. Please see the TR on the TAY website for this momentous FFA: https://turns-all-year.com/trip-reports/tay-69-46-3-home-lake-snowpatch-mt-constance
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