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twodogdad
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twodogdad
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PostSat May 17, 2014 1:45 pm 
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Frank Neumann, Chris and Jack Oram, and I did an enjoyable Birthday tour yesterday. The weather held better than expected. Soft snow made possible continuous skin to the top of Blue col. (I've always had to boot the last 100 ft--not this time.) By mid-morning Mad Ave was mushy and unstable. Easy skin-up to the exit notch. As we were about to drop in the chute towards Washington Pass a couple of brave skiers regaled us with a perilous descent off the steep NW side of Copper (photos of second skier below).  Personal highlight: restraining Jack as his dad disappeared into the chute, and listening to his exalted mournful aria. That dog had the passion of Dido when Aeneas left her. Hwy 20 is gorgeous right now but consolidation is maybe 2 weeks away. tdd

Chris and Jack in Slide Country
Chris and Jack in Slide Country
Skiers on Madison Ave
Skiers on Madison Ave
Gentleman Jack
Gentleman Jack
Brave Skiers on Copper 1
Brave Skiers on Copper 1
Skier on Copper 2
Skier on Copper 2
Skier on Copper 3
Skier on Copper 3
Skier on Copper 4
Skier on Copper 4
Skiers on Copper 5
Skiers on Copper 5
Frank
Frank
Chris and Jack
Chris and Jack
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SergioNapelo
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PostSat May 17, 2014 4:38 pm 
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Nice!
up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

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"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains.   From where shall my help come.   My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!" - David, King of Israel 1,000 BC
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wildernessed
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PostSat May 17, 2014 6:08 pm 
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up.gif Was this the Centennial Tour ? Nice pics Niko your motivated.

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Living in the Anthropocene
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twodogdad
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PostSat May 17, 2014 7:48 pm 
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Wildy, you're no slouch, either.

The B tour a loop around Early Winters via Blue Peak: very popular with backcountry skiers. It's pretty and not too strenuous. And basically safe--although you can find trouble if you try hard. It got associated with somebody's birthday, decades ago. I forget the story. What is the Centennial tour? N
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Magellan
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Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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PostSat May 17, 2014 9:11 pm 
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Good stuff, Niko!  up.gif
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DIYSteve
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Joined: 06 Mar 2007
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DIYSteve
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PostSun May 18, 2014 4:57 am 
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up.gif   The Birthday Tour appeared in a book called Ski Touring Methow Style by Sally Portman, the librarian for the Winthrop Library.  Most tourists now do one of two popular variations of Sally's original tour.
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joker
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Joined: 12 Aug 2006
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PostMon May 19, 2014 12:24 pm 
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Nice! I watched a skier taking that line on Copper when I was down below there also - I realize that slopes like that can look more fearsome head-on like that versus when you are on top of them, but nonetheless that did not look to be a line I'd likely be taking on any future trips up there!

As for relative safety, this past Friday, the 16th, a friend of mine did a little tour up from the hairpin, and he sent this note about a big cornice collapse he witnessed mid-day: "...i was on the ridge to West of the little lake just below wallaby pass, that cornice fell off the ridge which divides the wallaby drainage from the back side of the birthday tour.  the debris fell across the descent route we all took that time i was up there with you..." - the descent route to which he refers is one of the popular ways back over to the valley that ends at the hairpin (of the two popular ways back over from below the Copper skier you watched, it is the one to looker's right, so more or less up at the head of that drainage you climb after cruising the flats below Madison Avenue). He sent along a video that panned from the col/notch to the debris pile - definitely would have been a game changer to have been caught in that one!
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twodogdad
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PostMon May 19, 2014 1:13 pm 
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>I watched a skier taking that line on Copper when I was down below there also - I realize that slopes like that can look more fearsome head-on like that versus when you are on top of them

You're right: that line is 40-45 degree and it's sheltered from the sun but it wasn't exactly stable. Those guys were competently cautious. But you never know... Re: your friend's observation: I was surprised that the north side was that soft (and potentially slide-y)--but shouldn't have been. However, a guy who had parked next to us at the pass confirmed our impression that the big couloir at Early Winters (name?) was in better shape than the main B-day tour exit route. N
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DIYSteve
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DIYSteve
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PostMon May 19, 2014 1:58 pm 
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I have been recently surprised by the softness of some N aspects.  Seems that temps have been staying high some nights notwithstanding clear skies.
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Shred
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PostTue May 20, 2014 2:12 am 
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Thanks for the report. Did you guys happen to see anybody skiing over on Kangaroo Ridge? Frank Neumann is the man!
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twodogdad
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PostTue May 20, 2014 8:19 am 
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Jawohl, Frank left us in the dust going up  smile.gif
I think there were tracks in the Pass area coming from skier's right.
N
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Birthday Tour 5-16-14
  Happy Birthday Kathleen, eplanajr, Pepper!
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