Skiing Mount Goddard

21-29 May 1995 - by Harlan Suits

Just returned from 9-day ski trip, started North Lake, exited Glacier Lodge. East side snow level is at about 9000 feet. At our Western low point, 8500 feet at the junction of Evolution Creek and San Joaquin River, there was still a couple feet of snow. Above 10,000 feet the snow coverage is awesome: every slope less than 45 deg is plastered. Big cornices on many ridges and some of the steeper cross-country passes-this made for some exciting 60-70 deg step kicking on two occasions (Hutton Col and another unnamed pass).

Because of late season storms, the upper two-three feet of snow is pretty soft and mushy: good corn skiing only until the frozen crust melted-then we sunk a foot into the slush underneath. Definitely a hazard of wet loose-snow avalanches-one member of our party set off a small slide Sunday (200 feet runout) on a slope of about 25-30 deg.

We got about 6 inches of powder early in the trip from light snow showers and thunderstorms. At our Mt. Goddard camp the skis anchoring our tentsbuzzed with electricity! (We removed them) Also at that camp, two big ravens ate about 3 pounds of my lunch food while we were skiing Goddard. I left it in a plastic bag outside my tent. Ah, wilderness!


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