On Saturday, we regrouped at the start of Rutherford FSR and drove up together to Km 15.5 or thereabouts. We parked at the start of south-facing Branch 550 and started hiking. The road was free of snow and heavily modified with tank traps. At the top of the road in the clearcut we were able to put on skis. A couple of hundred meters up valley we ran into mega alder and veered off right to go up a steep avalanche slope. It turned out we'd have been better off in the forest, which is the way we came down.
[photo]50530050-EndofBr550.jpg[caption]Ryan at the end of Branch 550[/photo]
We climbed steeply for 300 meters through shattered trees, isothermal sugar snow with a crust. Crawling on all fours was the only way. We then gained a nice avalanche bowl near 5000 feet with still a long way to go and already 12:15 PM.
[photo]TopOfgully.jpg[caption]Top of the avalanche gully[/photo]
[photo]PaulAndLinus.jpg[caption]Paul and Linus at the top of the avalanche gully[/photo]
Steadily plodded up to 7600 feet where we intersected the sprawling summit... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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