Dispatch #5 – Race Day
Date: March 25, 2016
Location: Friend’s Hut and Star Pass
Team: Ben, Tom, Megan, Jake, Kevin, Geo
Mission: Travel to Star Pass to ski cut the whole pass area and assess the snow load. Cut any problematic cornices and loading zones.
Obs: Have you met Mother Nature? I mentioned her in my last Dispatch. Travel from the Hut to the Ridge was straight forward without a lot of new snow. By the time we gained the ridge the wind had picked up to a soild rip. We got a great view of Star Basin just before the milk jug effect set in for literally the rest of the day. The Team got in one set of ski cuts but by then the visibility had turned to zero. The Team spent the day inside the Star Base tent waiting for windows of opportunity to see and do more clean up. As I write at 5:07 there has not been a workable window and the wind and snow has not let up. Currently the Hut Teams are comparing notes and making a plan as we settle into the eve of the race.
Obs or no obs, the racers should anticipate winter conditions especially at the ridgetops. There is enough new snow to create ground blizzards and dangerous wind chills. March is still roaring.
Sign Out: From the Avalanche Team, the SAR Team and from all of us at the Friends Hut, we wish all racers, volunteers and support personnel a great 2016 Elk Mountains Grand Traverse! See you at the Friend’s Hut!