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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-04-26||Route: East face, Grand couloir
Info: Grand couloir is still in, but is getting thin (considerably less full than last year around this time). In view of that, we chose to ski the East face. Due to cloud cover and wind the snow never warmed up, making conditions "interesting" on steeper terrain. Massive amounts of red dust is a major factor, likely contributing to rapid snowmelt. Pic 1: Skin up Taylor Pic 2: Aetna East face from Taylor Pic 3: Grand coulor from Aetna
|2014-04-11||Route: SW Ridge/Grand Couloir
Info: FR230 has snow coverage all the way from the trailhead, but it was well frozen when we left the car at 5am and we ended up carrying our snowshoes all the way to the base of the couloir where we stashed them. We started up the couloir at 7:30am on supportive snow and gained the southwest ridge at treeline. There‘s a swath of wind-packed snow on the ridge between the cornice and rocks that was perfect for crampons, but one of us scrambled up the loose class 2+ rocks instead with no problems. The 30 mph winds made things interesting with snowboard sails on our backs, but it also kept the snow from warming up too much and we didn‘t see any warning signs of wet slide danger the whole day. We made it to the summit at 11am. On the descent, the top 500 vertical feet of the couloir was hard-packed by the wind, but doable. Below that was soft corn that made for great turns, especially on skiers right. The road had turned to mashed potatoes, but with judicious use of poles, we were able to snowboard pretty much the entire way back to the car. We made it from summit to car in 45 minutes.
|2014-04-06||Route: Grand couloir
Info: As viewed from Monarch pass
|2013-05-12||Route: Grand Couloir
Info: From ~11.2k to ~11.9k we had intermittent postholing on ~2 to ~5 inch crust over wet, faceted snow. We bailed out of the couloir to the ridge on climber‘s right at 11.9k. This sucked. Don‘t do it. It would be better to take the climber‘s left ridge. There was a weak freeze the night before our hike. It got very warm on 5/12, but the couloir needs more time and more hard freezing. There was evidence of multiple wet slides in the couloir coming from the ridge on climbers left. They were sliding on a dust layer. We did not need snowshoes for the approach road. Pic 1 - Aetna Grand Couloir from Monarch Pass on 5/11/13 Pic 2 - Grand Couloir from about 10.9k ish.