Post subject: oct 4 season opener:4k of winter snow in the adams sw chutes
Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:50 am
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:31 am Posts: 264 Location: a vanagon somewhere in WA
with the purchase of my syncro vanagon last winter, the demands on my time increased dramatically. no, i didn't cut back on riding, but something had to give, and in the end i found myself writing fewer and fewer trip reports. well now that the snow has started to fly again, and my "new" van is almost ready for winter, i'm hoping to spend more time riding and less time wrenching, and change my forum usage habits accordingly. with that said, here's a cross post of my first TR for this season....
for someone such as myself who takes a few summer months off from snowboarding each year, choosing when and where to start the season again is a big decision. the destination should be appropriately symbolic, while still accessible to someone who has spent the summer wrenching and BBQing. with all the recent storms, i knew it was time to get out... but where? i started the last 2 seasons (my only 2 so far in the PNW) in the baker environs, and had never ridden chinook pass, so i was ready to join the early season hordes for some roadside fun to warm up my muscles and sort out my gear. fortunately, my friend saign helped track that zone out while i was still at work, and insisted that we go elsewhere on friday. eventually, i was convinced...
i left seattle by 2am, and we departed tacoma an hour later. we watched the sun come up over fleets of fishermen trailering their boats into the columbia and parked at the cold spring trailhead at 8am.
the snow level could not have been more perfect. high enough to drive to the trailhead. low enough to skin from the truck.
mt adams soon loomed on the horizon above us.
we could not have had more pleasant conditions for our climb.
we had a few nervous moments navigating the rime ice moonscape on the lunch counter.... what if we found these conditions in the chutes?
the top section looked inviting, so of course we pushed on.
the last 200 feet had us regretting our lack of crampons, but we slipped and cursed our way to the top.
and just like that, 3 long months of not snowboarding drew to a close!
the conditions weren't blower.... but after the top hundred feet gave way to soft, carvable, wind packed pow. the afternoon had been just breezy enough to keep the snow cool right to the bottom of the chute. and even the sticky snow below that was fast enough that we rode right to the exit with only a short boot.
some obligatory shenanigans occured on the traverse home, but in general, skinning through burnt out forest is about as easy of an early season exit as i can imagine. we regained the trail around 6000 feet and rode back to the truck. yep, you read that right!
we started the long drive home with a fine alpenglow view of the line we'd just ridden and all agreed this was a contender for the best season opener in years.
notes: as we discovered on the way home, it's WAY faster to take NF23 through the woods (if it's open) than to take the highways around.