Avajane's Stash

WA Cascades East Slopes Central
Posted by DenisNCW on 1/3/21 9:10pm

Kings Ridge


Unsupporting crust


2800 ft, SE aspect, ridgetop

Our whole problem today was the snow is too deep.

Avalanche hazard was Considerable. @Avajane and I were new partners. Staying on <=30° slopes today was prudent but we paid the price. 

From the trailhead to 3000' we encountered, as expected, rain crust over a few inches of rotten snow, weeds, rocks, stumps and dirt. Just above 3000' the crust quickly vanished and the snow got deeper with every switchback. In another hour we were knee deep in light Wenatchee Mtns powder. 

After a quick lunch at the wind-scoured but scenic summit complex we stripped skins and picked a 30° descent. 

As we left the summit I tested a small convexity and saw the top 2" peel off and slide in little blocks on the layer below it. This was extremely localized and certainly wind-affected. Within 2 turns we were back in loose pow to our knees. 

Trouble started right away. We had to ski just about straight, because if we turned too much we'd stop in the powder on these shallow slopes. There were steeper options, but they'd been ruled out for the day. Another time. For today we would have to suffer through 2000 vertical feet of gentle slopes and open glades covered in champagne pow. 

One of us would ski a short line, then set up with camera. The other would use that track to get up some momentum, then leave the track and make some turns for Hollywood.  

The bottom (below 3000') still calls for rock skis. I came home with some new nicks. 

Too deep to ski

Tomorrow I come back with the Hellbents! We just had the wrong skis. It was frustrating to have that much good snow be almost unskiable because of depth, but it was beautiful up high.


Too deep to ski, an honorable excuse.

I just chickened out today. NW Avy forecast spoke too directly to me this morning.  

Avy Danger High

Large avalanches as low as 4500’

Potential wind issues creating slabs

Lots more snow load

Potential for overhead danger from dry point avalanches on steeper terrain 

Also alone, instead of with a Avy Pro with a really good kick turn😄

Hey @avajane your kick turns were looking good by the summit, even in some steep and deep spots! Thanks for having me along. 


Reply to this TR

2021-01-04 05:10:50