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Black Tusk from Decker Mousetrap # 6257

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Date: 2004.12.20
Vantage Point: From the Decker Mousetrap

Caption: A small knoll off Disease Ridge lines up with the Musical Bumps, The Black Tusk, and the Tantalus Range, as a weak Pacific disturbance tries to move inland.

PhotoDescr: On an Alpine Club trip to explore the early season conditions on the Decker Glacier, we were hoping to find more than a little "dust on crust" after some tough warm weather had left us with a firm crust on 041212. Because of the low snowpack on the east side of the East Col, we had chosen to do an end run of Disease Ridge from Xhiggie's Meadow below Blackcomb Peak. Conditions were fast and the snow stability was bomber, as a thick, icy crust held everything in check.

Touring up Decker Creek, we found enough soft snow to get 10-12cm of ski penetration in places, but as we climbed to the narrow cliff-lined gap of the Decker Mousetrap, we were treated to hard crust with rime feathers on top. At the narrowest portion of the mousetrap, we had to remove our skis to get over a rock step. Ascending to the moraine beneath Decker's 9th Hole, we turned to look southwest, and this was the view.

The rocks in the foreground are part of the moraine beneath Decker; the rocky knob beyond is a small protrusion off the main spine of Disease Ridge. The heavily percolation-channeled bowl to its right is often a good ski run--when temperatures are more seasonal. It's easily accessed from the top of Body Bag Bowl.

Behind the rocky knob is the snowy top of Flute Summit, recently added to the Whistler Mountain Ski Area. Behind this snow summit is the well-known and often photographed Black Tusk. Behind Black Tusk, the cloud-shadowed Tantalus Range provides a backdrop.

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