15 APR 2012 Mt Constance East Face

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15 APR 2012 Mt Constance East Face

Postby E_$ » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:48 pm

Sorry for the cross-post, but this trip was so fun must share w/ y'all...and Sky, thanks for the counsel to maybe bring some gear and a rope (RADGNAR!), but in the end left it in the car as figured if I needed it, would prob want a partner too, and should just pull the plug. Did you try to do this in a day? Hard core.

On the 15th I skied this 2,500’+ line in great condition. After tagging the summit (airy mixed moves on the rimed and sugary summit block) in the early a.m. and soaking in the views, my skis took me from maybe 70’ below the peak on a firm southward traverse along the summit ridge to an icy and discontinuous short S-facing chute. With two tools I down-climbed this, landing near the top of a big patch of snow coming off the summit ridge, exposed to sheer cliffs. From here (c. 7400’) I could ski the rest. The patch offered a nice low-angle warm-up on chalky powder then a firm but softening crust—a relief, as nearly all the climb up seemed impossibly frozen bulletproof. From where the summit ridge patch rolled over the huge drop, I descended skier’s right via a narrow ribbon of snow (about a ski length in width) on a ramp to arrive at the head of the business: over 2,000’ of dreamy, creamy corn, steep-ish (averaging 40+ degrees), with a couple quite steep sections and cruxes including a rock band and a small ‘schrund. These were just skiable (briefly busted out an axe for the first crux), and probably won’t be in that kind of shape for much longer, a couple weeks maybe. There was a little avy debris from earlier in the week, but much of it could be avoided in favor of smooth slopes.

Overall an amazing ski mountaineering experience; felt all the more “out there” as no other souls were seen from the time I left Highway 101, aside from the many bear and cat tracks. The Olympics are no joke—felt like a rugged Cascades trip, as game-on as many higher peaks.

Don’t see many Olympics reports, funny coincidence to see folks ski South Brother the same weekend (nice report!) as I logged on to post this.

A few photos. This one looks up the majority of the business. The line goes to prominent cliff near top and exits up and right on the slanting ribbon/ramp.
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From near the summit, looking at the southward ski traverse towards the main line; The Brothers in background.
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There’s skiing in these here parts. Mt Olympus left background.
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Puget Sound was socked in when I hit the summit, unfortunately.
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First crux: above that little tree onto a thin ramp that accesses the goods.
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Where the continuous fun began.
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Sweet. The next spicy bit is barely visible through the rocks. Tunnel Creek divide is in the background.
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More pics here: https://picasaweb.google.com/ewehrly/20 ... directlink

I spied this from Seattle on a Discovery Park run earlier in the week, the east face looking awfully fat with snow. Made a late-week decision to have a go. No partners materialized, so I finally got going late on Friday. Ruled out the Dosewallips (and other approaches) due to their exposure to avy-prone slopes, settling on the relatively safe North Fork of Tunnel Creek approach. Don’t be an idiot like me and try to on-sight this approach during the night with two non-functioning compasses. I suppose a GPS would shine for a night assault or single push—it would be a loooong day.
E_$
imminent whippage
 

Re: 15 APR 2012 Mt Constance East Face

Postby Diamond Dachshund » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:18 am

Amazing terrain up there. Cool Tr.
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Diamond Dachshund
 
from The Future

Re: 15 APR 2012 Mt Constance East Face

Postby skykilo » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:41 am

I bet the top was interesting. Was it clear enough to see the saltwater?
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skykilo
 
from Santa Fe

Re: 15 APR 2012 Mt Constance East Face

Postby daveb » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:18 pm

Nice to see an Olympics TR, I feel they get neglected. Hopefully I'll head that direction soon.
daveb
daveb
 

Re: 15 APR 2012 Mt Constance East Face

Postby PeteH » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:25 pm

Going solo always requires an extra bit of fortitude. Especially in a remote area like that. Nice fuckin work.
PeteH
 

Re: 15 APR 2012 Mt Constance East Face

Postby Atraslin » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:51 pm

Looks like a cool line close to home. Sometimes you gotta go solo. It's a cool experience being in the moment
making your own decisions. I would have to say pure freedom.
Atraslin
Giver don't skidder
 

Re: 15 APR 2012 Mt Constance East Face

Postby DonJuanPakistan » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:48 am

Oh, nothing really. Just a first ski on the tallest peak visible west from Seattle.
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DonJuanPakistan
Trippin' travellin'.
 
from Seattle, Washington

Re: 15 APR 2012 Mt Constance East Face

Postby E_$ » Mon May 07, 2012 7:19 pm

Sky, couldn't see jack to the east--lingering marine layer.
Andy, i like that idea of pure freedom, rings true.
Leslie and i ran at Discovery park earlier today and the line still looks fat. love the Cascades in the spring.
E_$
imminent whippage
 


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