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March 2, 2003, Crystal Backcountry

3/2/03
WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
2759
3
Posted by ultragrrl on 3/2/03 5:45am
We started off in very sunny conditions (which made the hike up under chair #4 rather grueling).  As the afternoon progressed the clouds moved in, visibility became poor, and it began to snow.  

Well, after 1 week of no snow.  We were pleasantly surprised to find about 6" of untracked powder on a 35 degree slope.  Especially after the crusty report from Bullion yesterday.

We did a shovel shear test and it seemed very solid (10 wrist, 10 elbow, 10 shoulder, 6 really hard) before it sheared about 18" down.  Clean shear.   We then did something similar to a rutschblock, but with snowshoes and it took 6 big jumps to get it to go....and it sheared cleanly at about the same depth.

We saw no avy activity.  Had a very pleasant day yo-yo-ing on the hillside.   But what a fun day!  Riding the groomed run back to the car was not so much fun after that nice soft, powder feeling.
Nice report.
Sounds like you went up past henskin lake, huh?

Yeah, just past hen skin lake.  We had initially planned to head toward bear gap...but after finding this little slope we just decided to stay and play.

Sounds like a good move to me.  Our little group has a saying, "Why leave good snow to look for good snow?"

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march-2-2003-crystal-backcountry
ultragrrl
2003-03-02 13:45:32