Monday, December 24, 2007

Eureka Dec 23

Went over to Eureka on the 23rd with hopes of doing Stairway with a gentleman from back east. The snow was starting to fall as we left the parking lot. It was also blowing very hard from the north and moving alot of snow. You could see the wind slab building in the gully you cross right before the route. We decided to go back and try Whorehouse instead. We made the drifty walk up to the base and started up. The spindrift was pretty intense, and after many minutes of waiting for it to end I downclimbed. On the way out of the approach gully, enough new snow had blown in to cover our tracks and create a new slab. The gully isn't steep enough to avalanche in most places, but the shooting cracks and loud whumps we got on the way out we still exciting. Overall, an excellent reminder in the extreme variability of weather conditions and snow pack in the San Juans .

More snow is forecasted this week. It may take a while for things to settle down enough to do the bigger routes there. There are a crazy number of other ephemeral routes in though. The Dukes of Hazzard is fat and to the ground, Bad Ass Pencil is big, and the Outward Bound Wall has mulitple drips and smears all over it.

Photos are Whorehouse thru the spindrift, Outward Bound Wall, and Stairway.