Friend’s Hut Field Team Dispatch #4

Dispatch #4

Date: March 24, 2016
Location: Friends Hut, Star Pass, Geo’s Bonfire
Team: Friends Hut Team of 6 from Wednesday. Rendezvous with Opa’s Hut Team

Mission: Get up to Star Pass via Miller Point and assess storm snow. Bolster the Star repeater. Assess and cut cornices if necessary. Ski cut both margins along Morty’s Ramp. Mark Morty’s Ramp with bamboo. Pick up medic Rob W from Opa’s Hut Team. Mark the traditional route from Friend’s Hut to the ridge and then to Star Pass/Base. Receive
Obs: Spectacular start to the day with a glorious sunrise to only a few inches of new snow but enough to transform or alpine world back to white instead of brown dust layers. Snow totals ended up being far less in the Friend’s Hut zone than other areas. Our storm total was only 3” and transport was minimal. Cornices, drifting and loading upon observation was minimal and controlled by the team moving about on both sides, above and below Star Pass. Teams split up and moved into the basin systematically in radio contact to slice and dice any suspect slope. Most cuts we did were no more than a few inches of new snow on hard surfaces. Obs are decidedly thin new snow, some snow collection in low lying gullies and persistent slabs are stubborn and triggering unlikely. Good, supportable skiing. Bamboo gates in place on trad route to ridge and Morty’s Ramp.
Phase 2 of the day was a welcome rendezvous with the Opa’s Team for a lunch party at Geo’s Bonfire spot. Hugs and high fives were given, food was passed and special presents exchanged. All in all, the field teams were in their element today by checking the snow, hauling and chopping wood, discussing the new snowfall and finalizing plans for the run into the race.
At 0230 we skinned up and headed back to Star Base with Rob our newest addition. We set our race night skin track for patrolling from the Bonfire to Star Pass and made our 4PM call in to CBMR Ski Patrol from Star Base. We returned to the Hut by skiing (Miller) High Life and settled into the evening chores and waiting for Paul, Lisa and Mitch to arrive.

Sign Out: Words of the day overheard on the hike up to Star Pass were “perfecto” and “fabuloso”. Is that enough said? Today was a great day in the mountains. Conditions are great for travel and even racing. We are monitoring the incoming race day weather closely but are sitting nicely at the moment for safe travels in the mountains. Of course Mom Nature will have the last say. Until then, signing out from the Friend’s Hut with a crew of 10 tonight.

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Full moon rise at the Friend’s Hut

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Thursday morning in Star Basin

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Gaining the ridge on the traditional route from Friend’s Hut.

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Conditions on the ridge on Thursday.

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Conditions on the ridge on Thursday

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Word of the Day

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The Friend’s Hut Team on Miller Point

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The core Friend’s Hut Team on Miller PointThe core Friend’s Hut Team on Miller Point

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Cornice control and snow assessment along the ridge below Miller Point to Star Pass

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Ben and Tom communicating via new radio system

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Ski cutting under the loading zones

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Shafer doing load assessment with Star Peak in the background

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Bigtime terrain and snow assessment in the Crystal basin

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Megan mixing it up with a big load

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Chiefs and Indians. Real good vantage point for directing snow stability assessment

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Looking up Morty’s Ramp from basin bottom

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Team x2

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Lunch party at Geo’s Bonfire

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Geo’s (future) Bonfire

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Morty in his element

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The gals of 2016

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