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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mount Adams - Southwest Chutes, July 2010

Eric and I set our sights on the Southwest Chutes of Mount Adams as our final volcano skiing objective of 2010. As has been suggested in previous reports, the long cool spring has preserved the snow this year making it so that descents such as the Southwest Chutes would come into good corn-snow skiing conditions starting in early July. As with many other of the Northwest volcano ski summits, timing is everything. Ideally one wants to be able to drive as close as possible to the trailhead but at the same time be skinning on snow shortly after leaving the car. This combination usually only lasts for about a week or two but seems to guarantee the best possible snow conditions for the ski down (no suncups or ice) while at the same time minimizing miles of hiking (or skinning) to reach the trailhead in the first place.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

South Sister - South Side, June 2010

In keeping with the volcano skiing theme, Eric and I set out to climb and ski/board down the South Sister. A goal of mine ever since first visiting the area on a failed attempt at the Sisters Marathon (on skis) back in June of 2008, I've been biding my time for just the right corn season. Thanks to the unseasonably cool and moist spring this year, all the necessary ingredients for a great ski descent finally came together in late June. With continuous snow for most of the ascent starting from the road and smooth corn on the ski back down (to within a 15 - 20 minute walk of the Devil's Lake trailhead), I'd say our timing was spot on. Here's another perspective on the conditions we experienced that day.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mount Thielsen - West Ridge, June 2010

Immediately south of Crater Lake looms the striking and aesthetic Mount Thielsen. Similar to Oregon's Three Fingered Jack and Mount Washington, Thielsen has been heavily eroded over time leaving behind a decaying plug in what was once the main vent of a much larger volcano. Nevertheless, the peak is such a dominant feature in this region of the Oregon Cascades I couldn't pass up the opportunity for a closer look at the so-called "lightning rod of the Cascades".

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Crater Lake National Park, June 2010

Just passing through on my way back north and thought I'd post a few pics of what amounts to a colossal hole in the earth and which in my opinion is probably Oregon's best national park. This is apparently what's left behind after a 12,000ft volcano blasts almost 5000-ft off its top. Actually, now that I think about it it's probably more a matter of the top having slumped or collapsed into the crater. In any case, having visited Crater Lake now for a second time, I can tell you that it's much more dramatic on a sunny day in the spring with a healthy blanket of snow draped over the surrounding peaks and crater rim.

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