2017 Snow Safety Dispatch #1

Date: March 20, 2017

Location: Friend’s Hut

Team: Ben Pritchett, Megan Paden, Jake Beren, Geo Bullock, Kevin Krill, Mike Holt, Mike Kingsbury

Mission

  • Split the team of seven into two groups and reached the Friends Hut via two different drainages: Brush Creek and Cement Creek.
  • Observed Death Pass, snow conditions, creek crossings, and slide paths on the way up Brush Creek.
  • Used snowmobile access via Cement Creek to haul heavy loads up to Star Pass, close to the Friend’s Hut.
  • Reached and turned on the radio repeater located near Star Pass.
  • Established radio communication with Crested Butte Mountain Resort and Grand Traverse Dispatch (Elk Base).

Observations from the Cement Creek Team

  • Warm start right around freezing and lots of mud at the Trailheads
  • Widely supportable snow structure
  • Less supportable snow structure near shrubs and rocky areas
  • The Cement Creek approach was a snowmobile highway and the route to Tilton Pass was well established
  • Star Pass has more earth showing than normal
  • The descent off of Star has plenty of snow

Observations from the Brush Creek Team

  • Warm but good snow structure all the way
  • The snow bridge at the first creek crossing (West Brush Creek) was thin
  • Death Pass has melted out.  It is dirt and snow

Conclusion

The entire team of 7 arrived safely to the Friend’s Hut.  The Star Repeater has been turned on and radio communications have been established at the Hut.  Despite very warm temperatures, the deep snowpack is maintaining a solid, supportable structure.  Death pass has melted out for the most part.  The West Brush Creek snow bridge will likely not be there on Friday night.  In this case, racers will have to wade across the creek.

For photos from the day, check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/grandtraverse/

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