View Full Version : TR: Occidental Powder on MTW

12-24-2010, 11:36 AM
Hi all. I'm posting a few pictures from a trip I took to the occident of Mt Wash last weekend (12/19). Myself and a few friends decided to have a look around for some snowfields, and see if we could find a few patches worth skiing. Little did we know we would find several hundred vertical feed of Utah-esque unconsolidated powder on a slightly immature occidental snowfield. We ended up taking a few laps on it, and although we hit a few rocks, ended up having an experience we won't forget for a long time. As the day wore on a beautiful undercast presented itself and as the sun sunk lower in the SSW the scenery went off the charts (on the beautiful side)... I'll let a few pictures do the talking:
http://www.famousinternetskiers.com/wp-content/uploads/greg/2010/12/occidental-powder/IMG_4190.jpg (http://www.famousinternetskiers.com/trip-reports/10-11/occidental-powder/)

There's a bunch more pics and a bit of a different style of discussion of the day on my website famousinternetskiers.com (http://www.famousinternetskiers.com/trip-reports/10-11/occidental-powder/). For instance, for anyone who's interested in avalanche discussion/analysis we actually had planned to ski a couloir on the NW side of Mt Wash, but got scared off it by some weak layers in our test pits (http://www.famousinternetskiers.com/trip-reports/10-11/occidental-powder/). There's some discussion of that on our website. The little discussion I posted however IS NOT intended to supplement or supplant the MWAC resources (http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/), but instead encourage folks to get serious about avalanche safety.

In any case, as it turns out, at the time we were upset that we couldn't safely ski that couloir, but this turn of events was incredibly fortuitous since if we had been able to ski the couloir without avalanche risk, we would have likely had to miss our occidental (accidental) powder day!

Indeed, all things considered we got super lucky to have such a safe, fun, and beautiful day. Mt Wash doesn't give up perfect days like this every time one ascends the mountain. I'd love to get another day like this on the mountain, but I'll take this one and cherish it for a long time. Hope you enjoy the shots!

12-25-2010, 11:23 PM
Stunning photographs! Looks like you guys found some nice powder. I don't think I'd ever have the courage to back-country ski...I'll stick to the slopes haha.
Thanks for sharing!

12-30-2010, 06:02 AM
Hi to all:

I am new here, and have tried making a post seeking information on the West side of Mt Wash--I want to hike it tomorrow or Saturday, but have questions. For some reason, a moderator has not yet cleared my post and I am running out of time to gather the information I need to have a successful hike. Can anyone help who has been in this area of late? Is the road to the Cog open, accessible? Anyone been on Jewelltrail since the snow of this week? I have a 4-hour drive up there, so my access to sources of information are limited--was really hoping this forum could help me out. Tx.

Regards, JT

01-04-2011, 10:55 AM
Ha thanks OW2010... the powder was VERY nice... albeit a bit thin. The backcountry terrain is ever changing up on the mountain, so getting a day like this one was a real treat. You never know what you're gonna get. Sometimes (in fact MOST times) MTW dishes out boilerplate and stiff windbuff waiting to avalanche... but every once in a while it dishes out blower pow on some base above a beautiful undercast...

01-04-2011, 11:05 AM
BTW for anyone who has a continued interest in this particular day, I put together what I call on my website a "Skiing Photo AMalgamated (SPAM) (http://www.famousinternetskiers.com/category/skiing/spam/)" of my friend Noah Harwood making a turn through the powder up there. I personally hate video on the 'net, but I like to convey a sense of motion nonetheless... These SPAMs do the job alot more quickly and elegantly than video, and that's why I continue to put these things together. I think this one came out rather nice:
http://www.famousinternetskiers.com/wp-content/uploads/greg/2010/12/spam-11-i-swear-officer-it-was-occidental/occident_noah_crop-300x217.jpg (http://www.famousinternetskiers.com/spam-11-i-swear-officer-it-was-occidental/)