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kingfrankiv

[TR] MSH Feb. 4 2012 - winter climbing route 2/5/2012

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Trip: MSH Feb. 4 2012 - winter climbing route

 

Date: 2/5/2012

 

Trip Report:

First time climbing MSH in the winter. Had a blast. Really icy conditions last 1000 feet to the summit. 50mph winds at the top. With gust along the way. All in all had a great winter climb and beat the summer crowds.

 

Gear Notes:

Crampons or snowshoes made for climbing. Not tubbs.

Edited by kingfrankiv

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Thanks for the report. I've been thinking of doing this climb this winter so I was stoked to see someone had done it recently. Just a few questions...

1. Did you use snowshoes? If so, were you able to use them to get to the top or did you need crampons?

2. At what time did you leave the Marble snow park? Reach summit? And return?

3. What were the terrain conditions like from the park to 1000 feet from summit?

4. Did you run into many folks?

 

I know... lots of questions. But this info would really help me out.

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I am a coward. I put my crampons on at the seismometer, 5,700'. Then the rest of the climb felt casual despite encountering an icy step here or there. I thought that the terrain was hardest from 6,200' to 7,200'. The steps pounded in for the last 1,000' were pretty secure.

 

I often climb this alone. However, you will always find others on the route on the weekends. Mid week can be a little lonely. There was about 40 - 60 people on the mountain Saturday. If the wind was not blowing, it would have been a fast ascent. The wind made me consider turning around, but I could brace against it without falling over.

 

The route is a crappy ski right now. There is very little loose snow. There is an ice layer just below a smattering of snow. Even though it was warm on Saturday, the snow never got soft except below Chocolate Falls. Glissading was a bad idea for most of the route this weekend. We need some fresh snow.

 

So it definitely took longer than normal on Saturday fighting the wind and needing to ski very carefully or walk out. SOme folks were reported overdue on Sunday. My guess is that they expected to be home before the SuperBowl and didn't expect conditions to be as firm as they were.

 

Normally the route is 4 - 5 hours up and the descent time depends on your mode of transportation. Count on 3 hours walking, 2 hours with a lot of glissading, faster time if you are a good skier/rider with great conditions. Most people leave Marble between 7 - 8, depending on conditions. With no worries about avvy right now, you can leave 8 - 9 and still be back well before dark. Never hurts to take a headlamp! The route is well pounded in, though it goes up the last bowl quite a ways before cutting left to Monitor Ridge.

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Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it!! Sounds like the snow / ice was fairly firm so not sure if snowshoes would be beneficial vs boots / crampons. Thoughts?

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I put on snowshoes just because I didn't have crampons with me. 60 people max on the mountain that day. Everything was compact ice for the most part. Conditions were perfect nice weather and low avy danger. Pretty straight forward climb for a first winter ascent on a mountain

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