Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Radio Mountain

Better than expected snow condtions resulted in enjoyable skiing.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Started from Silver Fir base -- arriving at the parking lot around 8AM -- plenty of parking at that time.   Followed lower cross over trail until intersection with Nordic Pass trail and then followed it's  Blue Diamonds through the forest.    Snow in forest was uneven -- due to prior warm up event that unloaded snow from old growth trees and resulted in crusty lumpy snow surface under the trees.     We performed a beacon search practice in the meadows just east of Hyak Lake and then continued to the Radio Facility using a combination of the nordic pass trail, the  Summit Nordic trails and the service road leading to the radio facility.    We perfomed an Extended Column Test on a slope similar to the clear cut we intended to ski -- we dug to a depth of 1.5 meters -- perhaps 1/3 of the total snow depth.    Snow density in the subject pit was fist , with two very minor crust layers at 20cm and 40 cm.    No collapsing or movement of any kind was observed performing 10 wrist, 10 elbow and 10 shoulder taps.     We skied the clear cut and found  enjoyable snow.   Boot top penitration and a consitent structure.      From the bottom of the clear cut, we had a discussion of the route to follow from there -- I presented two options -- follow the route through the "Chrstmas Tree Farm" I have previously skied, or explore a more adventurous route.   We chose to be explorers.   This exploration turned out to be a bit of a fiasco for a trip billed as an "Introductory Tour"   As I looked down at the crux -- I offered to the  group the option of transitioning and climbing back up to less adventurous slopes,  but no one was interested in that option.  The crux involved sideslipping  a narrow slot about 50 feet on hard refrozen bed surface.   The bed surface was from a natural release that had occured during the warm up event in prior days.  At the time the temperature was in the upper 20s and  the snow was firmly refrozen.   Once past this narrow construction we were able to find good snow on either side of  avalanche debris for more enjoyable turns down to the Ripsaw nordic trail.     Conditions did get progressively heavier with each turn as we approached Ripsaw, but the snow was still enjoyable to ski.   From there we transitioned and skinned up the Ripsaw and Silver Streak nordic trails to the top of the Silver Fir ski lift and then skied out the Outback ski run.  


Add a comment

Log in to add comments.
Randy Oakley
Randy Oakley says:
Jan 12, 2021 04:22 PM

GPS track recorded on this trip