February 10, 2020, Jim Hill Sunshine

Posted by eatskisleep on 2/12/20 6:36am
Took advantage of a quiet Monday and moderate avy danger to get up into Jim Hill Basin. We approached from Lanham lake and found the travel to the ridge variable but doable. Lower down the rain crust was covered by 2-5 inches of snow which was quickly scraped off, leading to some tricky skinning on steeper bits. The track we followed was not ideal; around 4700' I would have bumped further climbers left in hindsight. When we gained the ridge we found the easterly facing trees quickly melting in the sun and took in the excellent views of Glacier Peak, Sloan, the Monte Cristo Range, and the Gunn Range, among others.

We ventured as far as the notch (~6200 ft), observing a fair amount of wind-affected snow in the basin itself. Slabs varied from unconsolidated 1" to stiffer 6-8", but nothing was particularly reactive; very little energy. We could see a visible crown along almost the entirety of the top of the ridge running east from the summit. We opted not to gain the true summit due to clearly wind-loaded pockets on both our ascent and descent options. We traversed into the bowl at 6200 and after about 700-800' of manageable breakable windcrust skiing, found excellent soft snow in the sheltered trees.

We made our way out Henry Creek and followed the power lines back to our car.

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2020-02-12 14:36:22