Apr 2, 2019, - NW Couloir Shuksan

4/2/19
WA Cascades NW (Mt Baker)
3847
12
Posted by dave095790 on 4/2/19 2:31pm
Lane and I took final advantage of the weather window to ski the iconic shuksan line.

Descent into the drainage is getting worse and worse, and this next storm will probably really take a toll.

We timed it perfectly, dropping in around 1230pm, before the afternoon cloud cover could fully settle in.

The upper steep slope was rock hard terrible survival-style skiing. The entrance, traverse, and upper steep slope held incredible spring powder.

The middle was so-so and the bottom was garbage snow.

The entrance and traverse was very mellow given the snow conditions, but in bad snow or unstable conditions would be terrifying.

Really a cool line, but so hard to find in acceptably safe conditions. I've tried to ski this on three other occasions and found it not worth the risk.

There was a boot pack coming up, do at least one party came up the route.

We then skinned halfway up WSG and traversed the Arm scouting a wicked looking couloir, but couldn't quite green light the descent from above (I'm sure Lane will add a specific pic) - wondering if anyones knows about this option?

We reached a spot to drop down to Lake Anne and did two short laps in that area before finally exiting through the Baker ski area, essentially on the far skiers' right. It was a fun variation at the end, and pleasant to avoid climbing out of the drainage.

Spoke to a cool group of three that were also taking advantage of the weather and we were behind a solo skier who appeared to take the NF route down - thanks for learning the charge!

Final stats: 10 hrs, 8.5k, 13.5 mi

PS - I dont have access to internet and a computer to shrink my pics - so not pics from me yet.

Given the upcoming weather, this is likely my last big tour in WA before flying to Japan Tuesday for two years - you guys stay classy and safe! If you're looking to come to Japan and want beta, hit me up and we'll figure it out!
Nice to run into you! We (group of three) enjoyed a nice morning corn run on the slopes from the ridge that accesses the NF then headed up the White Salmon and enjoyed some suprinsingly good steep pow turns for the upper 2/3rds. Watch out on the early morning desents into the W/S drainage very hard to get an edge on the open slopes, the woods proved much better.
Zack
2019-04-10 09:00:08
snoholic
author=snoholic link=topic=41775.msg164621#msg164621 date=1554310387]
Nice to run into you! We (group of three) enjoyed a nice morning corn run on the slopes from the ridge that accesses the NF then headed up the White Salmon and enjoyed some suprinsingly good steep pow turns for the upper 2/3rds. Watch out on the early morning desents into the W/S drainage very hard to get an edge on the open slopes, the woods proved much better.
Zack


Found the same soft versus firm in the descent to White Salmon creek on Saturday. Shuksan is where it's at!
2019-04-11 14:37:26
kamtron
I can not imagine taking an extra lap towards the end of an 8.5k' day! You're a machine. Good luck in Japan, and thanks for all your posts here.
2019-04-12 18:57:48
Micah
author=dave095790 link=topic=41775.msg164616#msg164616 date=1554269462">

We then skinned halfway up WSG and traversed the Arm scouting a wicked looking couloir, but couldn't quite green light the descent from above (I'm sure Lane will add a specific pic) - wondering if anyones knows about this option?




Probably the Crawshaw couloir?  Do you see it here?
2019-04-13 08:03:45
jordansahls
Some ski photos:
1. Dave skiing the steep pitch on the Hanging Glacier above the NWC entrance. Pretty firm snow here.
2. Traversing into the NWC.
3. Looking down the top of the NWC. Nice wind-buffed powder here. My favorite part of the run.
2019-04-13 15:15:09
aaasen
author=jordansahls link=topic=41775.msg164627#msg164627 date=1554317736">
Probably the Crawshaw couloir?  Do you see it here?


The couloir is on the Arm below Point 6146. The skier's left wall is overhung and water was dripping onto the couloir forming a layer of water ice. We suspected that there was another layer of water ice underneath the most recent snow from the mid March warmup. Great looking line, but clearly not in good condition. It was an easy decision to pass on it and avoid having to climb out of the White Salmon drainage.

Photos:
4. Couloir below Point 6146.
5. Shuksan from the Arm.
6. Clouds building over Mount Ann and Baker. A thin cloud layer started to develop around noon and thickened throughout the afternoon.
2019-04-13 15:15:59
aaasen
Hey!
I was the one on the NF

Saw you guys poking around the top of the NE coulie! Glad to hear it was a good time!
Strong freakin legs! I could see from the bottom that that coulie you checked out goes!
2019-04-13 19:10:23
tatsuota
Thanks for setting that booter! I was surprised to see that there had been enough wind transport on the WSG to cover the skin track and booter from the weekend. We were glad to see you coming out of the NF! Sounded like you had a good time. I bet that corn at the bottom was perfect.

Adding some photos from Dave.
2019-04-14 00:25:54
aaasen
author=aaasen link=topic=41775.msg164631#msg164631 date=1554321368]
The couloir is on the Arm below Point 6146. The skier's left wall is overhung and water was dripping onto the couloir forming a layer of water ice. We suspected that there was another layer of water ice underneath the most recent snow from the mid March warmup. Great looking line, but clearly not in good condition. It was an easy decision to pass on it and avoid having to climb out of the White Salmon drainage.


This is known as the "Tube of Terror".  It has been skied and snowboarded many times.  Probably every year when it goes.  It is accessible via a long hike out the arm just before the Y chutes.
2019-04-16 07:08:34
joke
Thanks for your trip reports ..hope to get some from your adventures in japan
2019-04-16 10:57:45
rlsg
Boy you guys sure get after it! Thanks for the great report.
2019-04-17 16:53:55
jtack
For future guidebook authors it also goes by the Dave summers pinner chute.
2019-04-17 20:47:21
FairiesWearBoots

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2019-04-02 21:31:02