11-26-2011 Gash Point

November 27, 2011 at 16:35 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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I skied another excellent day at Gash Point with Ben. With another foot and a half of snow on the upper slopes of the mountain, the coverage was excellent for November and considerably better than Wednesday. We toured to the main point above the south bowl and took two laps on the northeast bowl and one final run down the southeast bowl after pushing the final uphill as hard as possible. We are both into the new TLT5 boots and have been finding them an exquisite boot both in uphill and downhill mode. The sun raked us for the first part of the day before giving way to a closed cloud deck. I dug one hasty pit at 7800 feet and found fairly good bonding between the old and new snow and a total depth of over four feet. We therefore skied the slightly steeper test slopes on the northeast bowl and found good stability. No collapses of any sort were noticed while skinning or skiing and it seemed that the stability has considerably improved with the bridging over the on the ground facets. While I would still be suspect of steeper slopes above 35 degrees as much for the thin coverage as the possibilty of starting a high consequence avalanche, I feel that stability on slopes below 35 degrees is probably MODERATE. While not an official  avy forecaster, I hope to relay the general impressions and experiences that my partners and I experience in the mountains that are outside the scope of the official Missoula Avy forecast team who have yet to disseminate much information this season. Happy touring!

11-23-11 Gash Point

November 24, 2011 at 11:01 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I had the good fortune yesterday to get out to Gash Point with Blake and Nick. The lower approach was terribly boney and the dead fall in the burn is only getting worse with time, but reaching 6,500′ the snow deepened and lost its melt crust and by the bottom of the bowl we found good powder skiing despite the 40 degree overnight temps in the valley. We had started very early early on account of some afternoon commitments and enjoyed the best part of the day with some wan sunshine and high winds that had me looking overhead for widowmakers. I love days like this where you wake up at 4:30 a.m. and the weather looks wretched, you sit in a chair for a few minutes to convince yourself that going is better than staying, and that it might be better than you imagine it could possibly be. Then once you get there, high in the mountains, a warm grin encompasses your face as it is far better than you expected and your reward is not only the skiing, but camaraderie, and the satisfaction of dedication.

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