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  1. #1
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    TR: July 30 & 31 Adams + Aug 1 Hood

    TR: July 30 & 31 Adams + Aug 1 Hood

    Skiing, the misunderstood – and misplaced – summer sport.

    Really, I mean, skiing is such a better sport in the summer than it is in the winter.

    Think about it: in the winter, just driving to the trailhead can be an adventure (in the bad sense), and then once you’re out of the car, the weather is often some miserable combination of cold, damp, low-vis, and other drawbacks. Plus avalanche danger. And even worse, fresh unconsolidated snow requires using wider – and hence heavier – skis and skins to be any fun, and having to break trail through all that fresh snow just adds insult to the injury of that heavier gear.

    The bottomline is that the only reason to ski in the winter is that all the other outdoor activities then are even worse, plus it’s good training (both physically and psychologically) for summer skiing.

    I’m serious!

    Well, maybe not . . .

    Either way, I needed a final fix (as my prior fix was starting to wear off), and the stars aligned for being away from Massachusetts for three-and-a-half days, during which I would be able to fit in three ski outings.

    Trip stats:

    3 "days" [on which I …] skied (i.e., two days plus a very brief morning)
    21,147 cumulative vertical ascended
    19,977 cumulative vertical skied
    94.5% Fun-O-Meter ratio factor
    21 hours slept
    1007 vertical feet per hour slept (identical for each individual day too!)

    And preview of Adams from the plane Sunday evening (from a middle seat unfortunately):


    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  2. #2
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    July 30, Monday: Adams SW Chutes and “NW Passage”

    July 30, Monday: Adams SW Chutes and “NW Passage”

    As per USFS regulations, all climbers/skiers ascending above 7,000' on Mt Adams must register for a climbing pass and take a picture of the mountain from this spot on the highway:






    USFS regulations further require that a picture be taken of Mt Hood from above the “Lunch Counter”:






    . . . and fulfilling the Mt St Helens requirement:






    . . . as well as the simultaneous view of the upper portion of the standard South Climb ascent route and the SW Chutes ski route:






    The USFS permit conditions fulfilled, I could think about my route. The summit as is typical looked fair at best for skiing:





    After cruising across the crater and then skinning up the base of the summit, I almost turned around, as the “snow” looked not just bad but perhaps truly unskiably so. However, prior skiers had smoothed out at a tight track, so skiing conditions ended up being an acceptable mix of very poor to fair.

    Then onto the SW Chutes:






    Snow conditions started off good, degraded to fair, and then . . . good again for a pleasant surprise (as I had instead been expecting gradual degradation, not improvement).

    After ~4,400' of cumulative skiing (from the summit), the default option is to ski another ~1,000 to the “use” trail to the Round-the-Mountain trail, which is a long flat hike, i.e., all effort in return for no additional skiing.

    I had decided to experiment this year with an alternative route. I had reviewed old archived files on my computer, read many trip reports from this summer, studied the topo maps carefully, and plotted out on a course on my GPS.

    So after all that research and analysis – I just winged it when I looked up and saw a route that looked good, and which seemed to match up with a route I had noticed earlier from the ascent.

    And the result was that . . . I ended up ascending a different gully than the one I had noticed earlier on the ascent (as that gully appears to be discontinuous at the base), but I’m convinced the route I took is the Northwest Passage (figuratively, as it’s literally a NE passage) for the return from the SW Chutes:






    As should be obvious from the suspiciously straight segments, I didn’t have the track log on the entire time, so this map is a mix of averaged segments from previous trips, plus actual track logs where I deviated significantly from prior routes.

    In more detail for those potentially interested in this route:

    At ~7,750 I traversed to skier’s left, then skinned ~1,010' up a steep gully, followed by ~340' of low- and moderate-angle hiking up some well-behaved rocks.

    This brought me to one of the flat campsites at the top of the Lunch Counter flats (or whatever they’re called) at ~9,100. (Alternatively, would be very easy to veer a bit further right than I did near the top, contouring instead of climbing, for savings of about ~150' of so of additional ascent.)

    Maybe this is still more total effort than the RMT return, but this way I was able to get in much more skiing (which was especially nice in the steepest part of the Crescent Not-Really-A-Glacier), for another ~2,860' (i.e., past the South Climb junction w/ the RMT, with some creative ribbon connecting plus a few short portages) with a final ~530' downhike.
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  3. #3
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    July 31, Tuesday: Adams SW Chutes and “NW Passage”

    July 31, Tuesday: Adams SW Chutes and “NW Passage”

    So after a night of non-roughing it at the very nice Trout Lake Valley Inn, I did exactly the same route again – something wrong with that?

    But with my USFS picture-taking requirements fulfilled, I was free to take pictures from other locations.

    Good morning Mt St Helens:






    Good morning Mt Hood – and see you in about, oh 20 hours:






    As with the prior day, the summit was warm, but still, I needed a windshirt. Temperature maybe in the 40s? A climber was similarly dressed, but his female companion was wearing . . . shorts?!?
    I took a picture of them with their camera, but I should taken one of them with my phone to record her attire (and reassure myself I wasn’t just hypoxicly delusional).
    They took a picture of me too (with Rainier in the background as per USFS permit regulations):






    And here’s looking up at the SW Chutes, from where I began from ascent back to the South Climb route:


    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  4. #4
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    August 1, Wednesday: Hood Palmer Snowfield

    August 1, Wednesday: Hood Palmer Snowfield

    With a 10:15am PDX departure, I didn’t have many ski options.
    So I skinned up from Timberline to the top of the Palmer, and, hmm, a little bit early still:






    Fortunately the nearly full moon combined with some barely perceptible pre-dawn sun glow meant my headlamp was superfluous for skiing. (Skinning by headlamp, sure; skiing by headlamp, I don’t like much.)

    I skied to within ~110' of the Timberline Lodge, then went back up for another lap.
    At the top of the Palmer, still not quite the sun I was awaiting.
    So I skied up a little bit above the lift, both to ensure a silly vertical goal, and in the hopes that once I skied back down to the top of the Palmer I would be treated to:






    Back to the Best Western in Government Camp to shower, dry my boot liners, grab breakfast, then off to PDX, for, oh my:






    And with its friends Adams, Rainier, and St Helens:






    Overall, a perfect way to wrap up a short yet intense trip.
    (Well, I could do without the long layover in Atlanta right now as I draft this...)
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  5. #5
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    good on ya' Jonathan

  6. #6
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    You could just move to the PNW and have closer volcano access.

    Nice pics.
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mofro261 View Post
    You could just move to the PNW and have closer volcano access.

    Nice pics.
    Jonathan is perhaps the world's most improperly located skier. Groomers in August are funny

  8. #8
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    Dec 2007
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    Nice! Way to get some!

  9. #9
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    Dec 2005
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    Seattle
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    So you're out here skiing once a month? Can't wait to see your August TR.
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2011
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    Nice work JS
    Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Natures peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. - John Muir

    "How long can it last? For fuck sake this isn't heroin -
    suck it up princess" - XXX on getting off mj

    “This is infinity here,” he said. “It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something — but it could be infinity, right?” - Trump, on the vastness of space, man

  11. #11
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    Jul 2008
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    Portland
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    Good stuff
    Be careful about buying snowboard goggles for skiing. Snowboard goggles come in right eye and left eye (for goofy-footers) dominant models. This can make it hard to see correctly when skiing because you are facing straight down the hill, not sideways.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dromond View Post
    Jonathan is perhaps the world's most improperly located skier.
    What, you have lingering bad memories or something of your years in the Pioneer Valley?
    I think the key to being a content skier here is liking different forms of skiing:
    -- unlimited nordic touring out my backdoor (contingent upon natural snow);
    -- groomed xc skate skiing as close as only a nine-minute drive (see prior caveat);
    -- backcountry touring for turns as close as only a six-minute drive of where I often have to go for non-skiing reasons (ditto prior caveat); and,
    -- when no natural snow, skinning for groomers as close as twenty-five minutes away.
    Then when the Presidentials (3 to 3.5 hours, a looooong day trip) finally give out in early June, the airport is a 45-minute drive!
    (And finally, excellent biking -- both road & mtn -- to stay in shape during September...)
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mofro261 View Post
    You could just move to the PNW and have closer volcano access.
    But then I'd never get anything else done, living in Portland or Seattle, literally staring at Hood or Rainier on clear days.
    I'd be reduced to the volcanic equivalent of this classic scene:
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  14. #14
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    I am picturing the model volcano's in your living room at home....




    Let it Snow!

  15. #15
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    Feb 2008
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  16. #16
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    Dec 2009
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    nice jonathan

    latest micayla stoke? post em here!

    rog

  17. #17
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    Sep 2005
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    Fresh Lake City
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    dude you're killing it this summer.
    those aerial photos are sick! solid effort, thanks for keeping the dream alive by skiing into august. count me inspired

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan S. View Post
    What, you have lingering bad memories or something of your years in the Pioneer Valley?
    I think the key to being a content skier here is liking different forms of skiing:
    -- unlimited nordic touring out my backdoor (contingent upon natural snow);
    -- groomed xc skate skiing as close as only a nine-minute drive (see prior caveat);
    -- backcountry touring for turns as close as only a six-minute drive of where I often have to go for non-skiing reasons (ditto prior caveat); and,
    -- when no natural snow, skinning for groomers as close as twenty-five minutes away.
    Then when the Presidentials (3 to 3.5 hours, a looooong day trip) finally give out in early June, the airport is a 45-minute drive!
    (And finally, excellent biking -- both road & mtn -- to stay in shape during September...)
    I would have had to take up xc skiing if I stayed longer. The periods of no snow or terrible snow conditions for alpine skiing in the winter (as well as oppressively hot and humid summers) were the only parts that I didn't like. Not many can motivate to skin up a frozen, icy groomer in the dark 40 days in the row as you can.

  19. #19
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    Dec 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by icelanticskier View Post
    latest micayla stoke? post em here!
    Been hard lately, since as soon as I point my phone or camera at her, she exclaims, "I want to see!"
    Well, yes, once I take a photo or video of you, then, yes, you can see it, but if you run toward me *before* I take a picture or video...


    Click image for larger version. 

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    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  20. #20
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    Nov 2011
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    20
    Looking good Johnathon!

  21. #21
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    Awesome TR Jonathan. I just thought you were tucking those straight sections....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan S. View Post
    Been hard lately, since as soon as I point my phone or camera at her, she exclaims, "I want to see!"
    Well, yes, once I take a photo or video of you, then, yes, you can see it, but if you run toward me *before* I take a picture or video...
    heh, sounds like someone else we know....


    Click image for larger version. 

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    sweet jonathan, very sweet.

    rog

  23. #23
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    Jul 2006
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    Wow Jonathan....returning the PNW. I was out West in the same timeframe, however I was one state to the south: San Francisco-Tahoe-Yosemite-Central Coast with the family. Leaving one my third trip of the Summer in about 10 days for a long flight south.

    I absolutely love the aerial shoots of Hood. I got some good ones of Rainier and St. Helen last June on the Vancouver-Portland flight. Slightly overwhelmed with stuff, I just managed to finished a TR from last August. 3-day weekend with 3 hours of skiing in the Alps.

    http://madpatski.wordpress.com/2012/...-13-aout-2011/
    Ski Mad World
    A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
    http://madpatski.wordpress.com

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