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St. Mary's conditions?

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St. Mary's conditions?

Postby eskermo » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:33 am

If anyone heads up there today, would you please post or PM me with an update on the conditions? OpenSnow says snow levels will probably be around 10,000' from this storm, making me think St. Mary's might actually get some of this 6-10". I'm thinking about heading over there after work but would rather know ahead of time if it's even worth skiing as it was pretty miserable a couple weeks ago.

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Re: St. Mary's conditions?

Postby Pops921 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:04 am

I live in the Edwards, near the Vail Valley. It looks like snow levels were about 8,700' feet around here. No snow at my house (8,200'), but I saw snow on the hills and ridges that I know are about 9,000'. Sun is coming out now, Current temperature is 42. Hope this helps.

Re: St. Mary's conditions?

Postby bergsteigen » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:45 am

Post up if you go. I have an Alaskan/MT friend in town and she wants to get in her September ski tomorrow (Tues).
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Re: St. Mary's conditions?

Postby Brian Thomas » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:21 pm

I was up there on Saturday 9/21, the existing "base" of skiable snow was about several hundred feet long by fifty feet wide in the trough of the gully above the lake.
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Re: St. Mary's conditions?

Postby TeamDino5280 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:54 pm

Here are some zoom pictures from 2:30 today (9/23) from a ridge above Fall River road. The wind is really cranking right now 30-40MPH sustained around 10K and higher gusts.

Image
St Marys Glacier on the far right

Image

Image
Flora-Eva general area

Image
Mt Evans for anyone interested
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Re: St. Mary's conditions?

Postby eskermo » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:40 am

Thanks for the replies and especially for the pictures. The glacier is only partly covered in snow and what is there is very windblown. However it is entirely possible to piece together a few decent turns. I'd call it just a few inches at most but it was still worth it, in my opinion. PM if you want pictures.

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Re: St. Mary's conditions?

Postby eskermo » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:21 am

A few people asked for pictures. Here ya go:

sunset.jpg
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So this area shows the widest, most covered area of snow. It's right before you hit the rocks/ice and have to stop your run before the final steep drop down to the lake.

meStMarys20130923.jpg
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This is another view up a little higher right where the snow coverage gets better. Up above this there's just a small strip on the northeast side of the "glacier" where most of the blower stuff settled into. You have to be careful and dodge a few rocks poking up but you can extend your line a little longer if you hike up that narrow strip.

droppingInStMarys20130923.jpg
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This was a short little line we spotted on the hike up. It's just below where you have to unstrap at the bottom of the main "glacier" area. You could drop in off of that and get a couple quick turns in, then shoot down a little narrow, steepish strip of snow before braking below.

Also, if you look closely, you can see the dirty grayish snow on the upper left part of the picture. This is part of the big cornice facing the lake that never melts. Just to the right of it before you hit the rocks, you can see where some snow blew in and settled. You can hike most of the way up this cornice thingy and follow that little strip of snow down to where it opens up a little and then reconnects with the steep, narrow strip mentioned above.

Not a whole lot to work with, but it IS new snow and a couple short, fun lines are definitely doable!

PS - We saw three other skiers up there. We aren't the only ones thinking about getting some turns, so hurry up and get the goods before everyone else does :-D

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Re: St. Mary's conditions?

Postby GregMiller » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:00 am

My roommate and I were up skiing on St. Mary's yesterday. Snow was hard and bumpy when we showed up, but falling snow was filling it in quite nicely. If you can I'd say hit it today, last night's snow should have done wonderful things for it, we left right as the clouds really came in hard.
Looking at Eskermo's last photo, the permanent cornice is now nicely snow covered (but steeper than I wanted to do). The main gully was nicely filled in, and good for laps on. Also, you could ski from the main gully down to where it flattens out, if you don't mind threading the needle in a couple places. I'll throw some pictures up when I get home tonight and can get them off my camera. As Eskermo said, there were three other skiers and at least 2 snowboarders up there, can't knock the early season skiing.
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been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
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Re: St. Mary's conditions?

Postby eskermo » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:15 am

Thanks for the update, Greg! I wanted to call in to work to ride Loveland today but after seeing this post I think I'll just bail a little early and get a couple runs at St. Mary's :)

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Re: St. Mary's conditions?

Postby GregMiller » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:45 pm

View up the 'glacier' from the hiking trail on the climber's right:
P1050372.JPG
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View of the cornice'd area to the S of the glacier. It's starting to fill in with snow:
P1050374.JPG
P1050374.JPG (187.48 KiB) Viewed 456 times


View back towards the lake from the rocks just at the left of the first photo:
P1050383.JPG
P1050383.JPG (155.93 KiB) Viewed 456 times


You could ski up and down from where the brush start, as long as you wouldn't mind threading the needle in a couple places. We only went to where the glacier starts to jog right, that's as far as it was justifiably smooth. Some other skiers went above that, and said it was skiable, but they were in alpine boots on marker bindings, so they probably could have skied anything.
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

Re: St. Mary's conditions?

Postby lordhelmut » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:20 am

Any recent updates in this area? Any recent shots.

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Re: St. Mary's conditions?

Postby GregMiller » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:10 am

Yeah, was up there on Sunday. The gully (1st photo above) is a bit more filled in, but not really any smoother. The steep area in the 2nd photo above is filled in better, and definitely skiable. The area looking down in my 3rd photo is slightly better. If you're looking to get up to the gully and above, I'd just go up that snow field (that you see facing you as you approach), rather than going around to the right on the "trail". I'll look tonight and see if I got any good photos.
The gully was all windblown snow, but good for short ski laps. Snow on the 'face' kind of had a spring-like feel to it, and was actually icy/crusty on top by 2:30ish when we were taking off. Actually dug a short hole for beacon practice on the face, and got a couple good 2-4 inch layers that separated pretty easily, so might watch out for that on the steeper parts.
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

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