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mattp

Pemberton, Coast Range

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As of 1/13/02 the low to mid elevation snowpack in the Pemberton area is quite a bit thinner than normal but in the alpine zone it is closer to an average year. Matt and I were up in Cerise Creek this weekend and as the avalanche reports had indicated, we found a pretty stable snowpack with a rain-soaked but refreezing snowpack at lower elevations (below about 5,000 feet) and higher up there was 1-3' of fairly well-consolidated storm snow, crusty up to about 6,500 feet, sitting over a very well-consolidated base. There was an invisible weak layer about 8" down which would release on the first jump in a Rutschblock test, but nobody triggered anything with skis, snowboards, or snowmobiles. The newest snow consisted largely of grauppel. Oh yes, and with poor visibility, we skied in gladed areas near timberline and made one attempt to head up into the alpine zone, but even though we found the ski conditions to be getting better and better the higher we went, we couldn't see anything so we went back to the hut for a nap.

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Yup,

Talked to a friend yesterday who met a machine that had dropped in over the Vantage col. The owner had no idea that it wasn't cool to be in that drainage and couldn't understand why people might be upset.

GB

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Yes, snowmobiles at Cerise. They went up Twin One Creek, and came over the pass at the head of Cerise Creek. They were backcountry snowboarders who thought they'd get there the "easy way," but it sounded as if they worked harder than those who skied in. Although I was at first unhappy to find a snow machine in the area, I must say that they weren't completely obnoxious about it -- once they arrived, they did not cruise the area at all, and they parked away from the hut and out of sight. To get up the hills to ride their boards, they used snowshoes.

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Awesome place! I can't wait to go back. Too bad all the peaks were socked in with clouds, as was my head from too much duty free scotch! [big Drink] Sometimes it's worth it to drive 5 hours north just to take a nap in woods. I'd say it's especially worth it if your buddy drives. wink.gif" border="0

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Hey Dru,

What do you think Matier would be like now. Forecast is for sun and cloud all week. So if it doesn't dump might have a go at it.

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Assuming you are talking about the standard route, I would expect it to be about as easy as it can be. The trail to the hut is well-packed, though the creek crossings at the start are more dicey than usual. Up to about 7,000' on the Anniversary Glacier approach, yeserday's snow surface mostly had 5-15 loose snow but in some places the crust from last week was blown clear. The glacier itself is sufficiently filled in that there will be no unusual difficulty getting to the col. We did not see Matier, but we did see Vantage Peak and the rocks high on the mountain were very filled in and looking wind-blown, there had been a recent avalanche on the north facing slope which drains into a back bowl not visible from Cerise Creek, and the cornices were not real large. I'd expect firm snow and rime from the col to the summit, with the possibility of some wind-slab. I know you asked Dru, but that's my 2 cents.

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Where are the climbs, rocky and bullwinkle? Some of the rocks that often have ice formed on them on that E. face of Joffre were looking pretty thin, though we never got a real clear look.

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Thanks for the beta Matt. I've been up there in the summer a few times, but now that I have skis, I'm itching to get up there in the winter. I've heard that the winter approach is from the highway. Did you head up from the highway or did you manage to get in the logging road?

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The logging road is not plowed, though I have sometimes seen snowmobilers using it. The winter parking spot is on that Duffy Lake road, about three or four miles (just guessing) east of the top of the pass, perhaps a mile east of the quanset hut where they keep sand and a front-end loader for clearing the avalanches that fall from Mt. Rohr. Just after a sign indicating "end avalanche area," look for a plowed parking area on the right. Climb over the snowbank at the east end of the parking area, and head down through a clearcut a couple hundred yards SE to find the first creek crossing, marked with a large orange circle on a tree on the far bank. The route is almost always easy to follow, but I could give a more complete description if you email me.

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quote:

Originally posted by Cpt.Caveman:
Hey did you guys peek anywhere near the climbs rocky and bullwinkle!?

caveman, those climbs are up the birkenhead valley. i couldn't give you directions, but i could drive you there. but i bet those climbs have very little ice right now, cause they are further west and lower then lil-wet.

fun stuff though. i recommend the plum!

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quote:

Originally posted by erik:

caveman, those climbs are up the birkenhead valley. i couldn't give you directions, but i could drive you there. but i bet those climbs have very little ice right now, cause they are further west and lower then lil-wet.

fun stuff though. i recommend the plum!

Yeah I know where they are. I dont have anybody to ropegun the Plum unless you are volunteering.

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I bet the Plum is mostly juice right now.

Thomas - what Matt said. I would check out the Cheam range if I was you & looking for climbing- although that said it looks like they got freshies to 1200m or so. cool.gif" border="0

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Thanks for the beta. As for the Cheam Range, we considered trying Lady peak last Sunday, but weren't sure of the snow conditions up there. Heard of any winter ascents of Williams peak. It was looking sweet on Sunday.

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Williams has had relatively lots of winter ascents. But maybe not the 5th class routes on the east side. i hear those have lots of heather and turf that would freeze up good.

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take a look at the 4th class west face chimney. you can see it in this photo: 596_williams.jpg

it looks like winter fun. not enough snow when we were there in November 96 or whenever it was.

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Avalanche Forecast till Jan 17 from www.avalanche.ca

WEATHER: We can expect relatively stable weather across the coast range over the last few days, as a ridge of high pressure offshore has been deflecting moisture to the north. Scattered amounts up to 10 cm fell in some regions with temperatures cooling to reach –10 by Monday morning. Not much change is expected through the first half of this week, with the exception of a few scattered flurries. SNOWPACK: Last week’s rain event followed by cooling has resulted in frozen surface layers below treeline, pretty much locking everything in place. At higher elevations that escaped the rain crust, up to 80 cm overlies surface hoar from early Jan and possibly rain crust in isolated areas. Recent wind effects have produced slabs in alpine areas, but these appear to be bonding well to underlying surfaces. Although stability trends are improving, low confidence exists at treeline where a variety of layers and interfaces exist from the last 2 weeks.AVALANCHES: No significant avalanche activity has been noted since January 14th.FORECAST OF AVALANCHE DANGER UP TO THURSDAY EVENING (JAN 17)ALPINE: ModerateTREELINE: ModerateBELOW TREELINE: LowTRAVEL ADVISORY: With stability trends improving, it might seem tempting to forsake good terrain management because the snowpack is strong. This is never the right approach. Although it may be more appropriate to enter bigger terrain features this week – this should never be done without a careful approach from safe terrain, collecting and analyzing snowpack information to make an informed and conscious decision.

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NE face of Joffre is real nice. Good ice in the late summer and fall. Nice hut to dry out in and inhale.

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