Trip Report    

Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Radio Mountain

Repeat tour still found 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 and the prior day's skin track 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  in foggy conditions and found the skiing conditions decent, but slightly heavier than the day before.    From the here I offered the group three options: 1) Cutting through the bottom of the clear cut to the South and  intersecting our ascent route and doing a 2nd lap of the clear cut.  2)  Repeating the "adventure route" from yesterday 3) Skiing through the Christmas tree farm to reach  the Ripsaw nordic trail.   The group found the Christmas Tree farm to be the most appealing.     Naviagtion through the farm went easier than prior trips -- snow depth and coverage helped in this regard as the creek crossing partway through was fully covered  -- it was easily crossed.  I managed to find a way through without any particularly tight passages.    Once we reached the Ripsaw nordic trail we repeated yesterday's climb of Ripsaw and Silver Streak -- though today's group did spend several minutes debating at "Grand Junction" whether to transition there and ski out "White Rabbit" + Outback or skin up an additional 300 vft up Silver Streak  and ski the upper part of the Outback run.   Eventually the group decided that a little extra workout was a good thing.