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Noveric

[TR] Alpine Lakes Wilderness - North Buttress Couloir 01/12/2019 Fail

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Trip: Alpine Lakes Wilderness - North Buttress Couloir

Trip Date: 01/12/2019

Trip Report:

 

            Began ascent around 0615, cruised up the road following tracks to trailhead for Cashmere mountain. From there broke trail all the way to turn around point.

 

 

Navigation through the forest was quite poor, even though done this portion plenty of times, still got lost at certain portions. Took about 5 hours to reach Colchuck Lake, was humbled by process of breaking trail and poor skinning skills. Opted to not cross on the lake just wasn’t vibing with it. Sat around for around 40 min. warming hand and waiting for visibility to open up. 

 

Pushed out towards far side of Colchuck Lake where weather was much better even just 100’ higher. Hugged skiers’ left on boulder field proved worth it, wish I would have ascended even more on this side rather the Colchuck Glacier moraine, although it did have a handful of cornices which seemed solid and inactive. 

 

Transitioned into climb mode near entrance of couloir. Snow was not compactible at all, ice tools were more shovels making room for better steps. Had crampons on with intention of reaching higher and avoiding a difficult spot to slip them on but were not necessary. Overall snow seemed good until I transitioned from one aspect to another, where, the snow seemed to be even more bottomless and inconsolable. It was this point where I opted turn around – just did not have margin for my own solo attempt. The ski descent from this portion (see below) got to my nerves a bit. Due to the inconsolable snow, arresting was not an option. Your tool would simply slice right through, yet your skis would still float relatively well on the surface. Between this, the steeper grade and the looming cliff below, it was survival skiing until I reached my transition point. Dropped into the skiers left of the moraine and threw down my line. Opted to follow standard trail out so to avoid the lake.

 

The descent through the forest was much better, skating out on skins proved much timelier with even portions of skiable slopes. The road out as also super, a little frozen at places, bit hard to turn and crashed but oh well. 

 

Upon arrival at the car, totaled 13:23 hrs. 16.6 miles & 6000’ gain with high point of 7000’. 

Gear Notes:
Tools, crampons, self-belay setup, two screws, 30m 6.1mm rope, picket, used only tools for pushing down snow

Approach Notes:
Tunes highly recommended

IMG_0434.HEIC

Edited by Noveric
added "failed" to title, re-attempted media upload
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