Williams Lake Conditions?/ Advice

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23, 25 Mar Anyone?

Postby Kerry » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:46 pm

Am interested in revisiting the area on 23 or 25 Mar. Anyone interested?
Would appreciate any new info from others.
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Wheeler cirque conditions

Postby cmcquade » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:56 pm

Has anyone been up recently? Thinking about sin nombre, lake peak tour on Saturday.

chuck
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conditions 4/25

Postby scotthsu » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:03 pm

Did a tour today in the Williams Lake area with Amy. There was up to a foot of new snow in places. W aspects already had roller ball and point release activity (presumably from yesterday). E aspects were hinting at heading toward breakable crust. We started booting up one of the N facing steep couloirs between Lake Fork and Sin Nombre (to the right of the very prominent one near the right edge of the first photo below), but it was DEEP and slow going, and I was concerned about signs of slab formation. So we quit and headed for the NW face (just left of center of the first photo below) of Sin Nombre, which was money: perfect powder turns on a gorgeous, non-windy April day! High N facing aspects might hold dry snow for another day or two. I'd wait several days for the freeze-thaw cycle to do its job if spring corn is what you're after. On the way down just above the lake, we had mounds of snow sticking to our skis, had to break out the glop-stopper and apply it to our skis, otherwise we'd still be leadfooting it back there. Had a great time "ski-luging" down the Williams Lake trail which got pretty well packed pretty quickly! The only downside of the day was I couldn't find the beer I stashed in the snow next to my car. We saw only one other party beyond Williams Lake the whole day, turned out to be fellow Los Alamos'ers Mark Schraad and Toti Larson who summitted Lake Fork and enjoyed turns down its south slopes. (Oh, and one more wet spring storm within the next week, and I think the W face summit ski descent from Wheeler might be in.)

Image

Image
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Memorial weekend

Postby Kerry » Mon May 10, 2010 12:40 pm

I'm planning on skiing the Wheeler cirque a couple mornings between Sat-Mon of 29-31 May. Will probably be early mornings; back out around 1pm. Anyone else?
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17-18 May

Postby Kerry » Sun May 16, 2010 9:26 pm

Still on for Mem Day weekend. Additionally, if anyone would like to join Mon evening (17 May) for a camp at Williams Lake, followed by very early Tue climb of Vallecitos (SW of LFP), ring on the telephono.

463-8434
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Williams Lake 5/15/10

Postby semicolin1 » Wed May 19, 2010 1:46 pm

5 of us were up in the Lake Fork area on Saturday right after about 12" of fresh snow. We dug a pit on the north-facing shoulder of Lake Fork Peak, just below the wide boot-up shoot, and found about 2" of graupel under the 12" of fresh snowpack. Shovel-shear and Rutshblock (spelling?) tests consistently failed at the graupel layer with *very* little compression, so we decided to ski the shoulder on down for a few laps rather than taking on the peak. Harder compressions ("Bigger hits with full arm extension" as Mark put it) caused failure at a second graupel layer a little over a meter below the surface. There was >3.5m of snowpack at that spot since my probe didn't touch the ground from inside the pit.

It was still great powder skiing conditions especially for mid-may!

We met two other groups- one of which skied one of the narrow NE shoots from the peak without incident.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/semicolin1 ... 078587906/

Colin
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Thursday May 20th ski?

Postby semicolin1 » Wed May 19, 2010 1:49 pm

I forgot I was going to mention that I have a free day tomorrow, Thursday. If anyone is up for a ski tour in either the Santa Fe (preferred) or Taos areas, feel free to PM me.

Colin
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snowpack

Postby Kerry » Wed May 19, 2010 10:32 pm

Colin, thanks for the snow observations. That almost-meter-down level of graupel might be what fell 2 weeks ago. I was in Nambe on the Mon following that older storm. Within Nambe on both N & W aspects we found good bonding of a few inches of pow, mostly mixed with the graupel. However, on the E aspect just north of Lake Pk, we found very unstable conditions at the same interface and bailed from that aspect. Will be interesting to see how deep the Mon-Tue warming firms the snowpack (assuming a freeze this morning and tonight). We could have corn on hard freeze, still on top of buried graupel :( Or we could have ice anchors bonding the whole thing together :D Or something else :? Wish I could join tomorrow, but can't until Fri at earliest; planning for early Sun for sure.
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Postby Kerry » Thu May 27, 2010 10:42 pm

Anyone planning on a Sat or Mon morning ski in Williams Lake area?
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5/29 update

Postby Kerry » Sat May 29, 2010 8:56 pm

Departed the Williams Lake TH before 6 am this morning. Despite a temp of 42F before sunrise at the TH, the snow was surprisingly firm. Less snow than I've seen this time in previous years. Walked to the sign that says "Williams Lake 2-mi", and had to shed skis a few times to cross some rather wide dry areas, including above Williams Lake. Skied Sin Nombre at 9:30 after waiting over a half hour for the sun to soften up the crust. None-the-less, the sun crust was bullet proof until reaching treeline. No instabilities observed all morning.
Contrary to previous post, I will not ski on Monday.
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Re: 23, 25 Mar Anyone?

Postby danshorb » Sun May 30, 2010 8:12 am

Kerry wrote:Am interested in revisiting the area on 23 or 25 Mar. Anyone interested?
Would appreciate any new info from others.


Sarah and I are heading up there today, Monday, and Tuesday, Kerry. It's a date, otherwise you'd be invited. Did you find good conditions?
The only two things you can truly depend on are Gravity and Greed. -Jack Palance
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Further details on conditions

Postby Kerry » Sun May 30, 2010 9:03 am

Dan, no problem on the hook-up. As I mentioned earlier, the stability was better than I expected given the warm temps (42F @ 5:50am @ TH)--skiing a north slope at 9:30 am was chattery, solid, sun crust. If I were to go in the next few days, I would consider the following options: climb and ski an E aspect early with expectation of finding stable corn even if morning low is in 40's (I did not get on an E bowl--no beta); climb through the ski area up Mainstreet to Kachina Pk to avoid the intermittent dry ground along the Williams Lake route that persists well into the talus field WSW of the lake (don't know how much dry ground exists in bounds, but expect some); try to avoid wooded areas as much as possible (lots of debris on snow); take a pair of sandals for crossing streams; yo-yo N-E aspects of Lake Fork Pk or the false summit north of LFP, then climb back to Kachina for Mainstreet in bounds back to TH. Have Fun!
Want to go to CO next weekend?
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Postby Bob » Mon May 31, 2010 7:29 am

Thanks for the report Kerry.
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east face of wheeler

Postby scotthsu » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:53 am

according to this post, the east face of Wheeler is in as of May 30.
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Postby danshorb » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:49 pm

May 31-June 1 Williams Lake Basin is Sun-cupping and becoming a bit survivalish in some places but Lake Fork and others are skiable.


Lake Fork:
Image


Sin Nombre:
Image

Unnamed peak south of LFP, northfacing couloir:
Image

Same Couloir (NAME?) from a distance:
Image


More Pics here:

http://www.summitpost.org/object_list.php?parent_id=626453&object_type=3
The only two things you can truly depend on are Gravity and Greed. -Jack Palance
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