FLUTE - OBOE January 25, 2009
and photos by Sharon Bader and Lee Lau unless otherwise noted.
We cheated death and crossed into out-of-bounds terrain and skied into Flute Oboe area. E facing slope just outside ski area boundary @ Lesser Flute was windhammered. Crossed over to SE facing slope which had better snow - HS 170cm. Hard result @ ~ 35 and 65 cm resistant planar. Snow pack was uniformly dense below top 20cms showing right-side up characteristics. 28 degree, minus 14 air temp, ~ 1940m, clear skies, winds light from N - NW.
Decomposing facets ~ 1.5 - 2mm grains close to surface on top of ice crust- possibly Dec 6th layer. Stability was Good to Very Good on particular SE and E aspects.
Cowboy Ridge is sun-affected per another group that went there. Lesser Flute and Flute in the area boundary has pretty bold lines and looks like it's been gang-banged.
Top 20cms was Fist 1F snow -fast, good powder skiing
Overall things are settling down but:
1) it looks like its still pretty easy to trigger slides off rocky start zones (from looking at natural slides and presence of facets still @ surface)
2) Snowpack is well below last 3 years pack in Flute Oboe area
3) N winds swirl around a lot in the Oboe Creek drainage so wind transport is pretty random. You have to pay pretty close attention to aspect to get good skiing
4) It's nice to know what the area looks like in summer so that you have some idea of where the snow tends to blow and what the ground surface is like. I know that doesn't help anyone other then travellers familiar with the terrain so take it fwiw.
We skinned up the face of Lesser Flute; it had been crushed by the what looks like hordes of the Mongol Khanate who I'm sure enjoyed the craptastic windpressed found on lines off Flute and Lesser Flute. Should have just gone over Flute to the Pigs Fancy Saddle. After assesssing snowpack we skied a nice line E off Flute and pulled out to Oboe Creek
We found some snow that hadn't been despoiled and tried to take care of that error. We liked that aspect so much we decided to lap it the rest of the day.
More Oboe - the top of the slope had sun
Back to the barn in the teeth of the N wind as the sun dips to the horizon
FLUTE - OBOE Feb 1, 2009
and photos by Sharon Bader unless otherwise noted.
With our winter drought continuing, we had few options. So back to the goods we go. With 15-20cm of storm snow greeting us this week, we were wary of lurking layers. A hasty pit on the top of Oboe showed a weak layer down 20 and 30 cm. Not a clean shear layered on a stiff big slab that was still on the 20cm of facets to the ground.
Hey Tyler! Head up the ridge a bit and drop into this slope! OK!
Tyler - soon to be blinded by POW!
Jen waiting at the knoll before dropping in.
Jen gets some freshies off the backside of Flute. Nice first day of touring!
Gladerunner drops in and leaves the Japanese snowboarders who would like to follow in awe of his Tele Steeze!!
We head back over to the backside of Oboe to hit an open slope that we missed last time. Tyler shredding down!
Gladerunner a pow one-man slaughterhouse, that's what he is ...
Jen- Photo by Adrian Bolden
Sharon - Photo by Adrian Bolden
Heading back over Oboe to hopefully hit some fresh corduroy on the way out!