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Ulrichs (10 stich) Couloir

5/13/23
WA Cascades East Slopes Central
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Posted by eatskisleep on 5/16/23 10:41am

After attempting Stuart too late last year (but still having a great tour in the Teanaway), I was back for revenge this spring. Solomon and I were able to drive to within 1/4 mile of the Esmerelda TH on Fri morning, and set off for Longs pass a little after 12:30. It was warm, and the snow was soft, but made it to the pass in a little under 2 hours with overnight packs and sweaty backs. There was a bit of skis on/skis off in the early part from the parking to continuous skinning.

After talking to some helpful guys on top of Longs about their summit earlier that day, we decided to soak in the beautiful views and ditch the weight of our allocated beer. We skied down to Ingalls creek around 4:30 and the snow was quite soft. Route-finding down to the creek wasn't bad, but patchy towards the bottom. Crossing the log over a raging Ingalls is spicier than the pictures depict! I tossed my skis and boot-scooted across, while Solomon showed off some balance. We camped not far from the standard summer camping and were in the tent by 8:30.

Woke up at 5:30 and were moving by 6, and were able to find the booter in about 30 minutes. We caught up to another party about 800' below the false summit, and watched 2 parties ski the Cascadian between then and making the false summit (around 9:30/10). Snow was already soft at this point. We also saw three climbers (no skis, double axes) traversing a snow slope to the east of the false summit...we have no idea where they came from or were going.

The booter over to the true summit looks really aesthetic and was in pretty good shape, just some minor downclimbing in spots and trying not to punch through near rocks. Had the summit to ourselves (with some strong east winds). The headwall was already soft so we didn't waste much time and dropped in. The headwall and first bit of skiing was incredible and steep, and it's an amazing position to be in with Rainier on the horizon. A runnel along the sun/shade line made the rest of the skiing slightly less flowy, but still good turns in the sun. Around 7300 we scooted skiers left into the next gulley, which provided fun and continuous, if a bit sloppy skiing down towards the valley. 

As the snow was running out, we were doing some typical spring shenanigans, skiing over alders and dodging rocks as we linked snow patches. Eventually I took my skis off to walk down a short section to some more snow. With my skis in my left hand, I slipped on some wet alders/mud/etc and fell on my butt, feeling a slight stab in my left hand...and looked down to see a good-sized flapper and a lot blood. I called over to Solomon and worked to get my first aid kid out with 1 hand. We cleaned it out and patched it up and began the work of making it down to camp, packing up, and skiing back over Longs in the midday heat and slop. A schmooey descent and some hiking brought us back to the car (and another beer), and several hours later I was getting 10 stitches in the Bellevue urgent care.

After the heat this weekend, I'm sure everything looks pretty different up there; the approach and deproach from Longs probably involve a lot of walking, and the Cascadian likely ends 1000+ feet above the valley floor. At least I'll have the scar to remind me of steep skiing from the top of Stuart!

Stuart from Longs

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Ingalls Crossing

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Spicier than it looks!

Summit

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Injury aftermath

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Don't worry, I won't post the picture of the wound...

Well done! Sorry about the injury, glad you're ok. We tried to do it in a single day push on Saturday and left the parking lot too late at 4:30am. We bailed back down the cascadian at what I call the "lunch rock" on the ridge below the false summit around 8400' due to the warm/soft conditions. The log crossing was the most heart-pounding event of the day for me, haha. Whoever set the skinner out linked remaining snow patches from the creek to Long's Pass with the prescience of some sort of jedi-wizard... nice work. 


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ulrichs-10-stich-couloir
eatskisleep
2023-05-16 17:41:13