October 16, 2010

Up to the Abyss

The place is magical, Crow Pass, and Summit Mountain Glacier particularly so because its unique position protects it from the wind and it accumulates early season powder.  After stumbling upon this powder field many seasons ago, and not studying the map, we called it October Glacier.

Part of the Pain
October powder has its price, 2000 vertical feet of hiking on a rocky trail.  Crow Pass skiing is a wonderful experience, but the arduous journey there is painful one.
Part of the Pleasure

Enjoying a most elegant entry to Raven Glacier via Patrick's Line, Kruser and yours truly toured up the Raven and skied the Milk.  The Raven-Milk loop is one we've skied several times, but this one was remarkable for its elegant entry to the Raven, and its perilous crossing of crevasse fields in a cloudy, snowy whiteout. 

Patrick's Line
Kruser on Patrick's Line between Summit and Raven Glaciers

We found a trail up the Raven, set apparently the day before.  As the clouds moved in, the set track helped with our decision to continue our quest to ski the Milk.  Raven Milk Loop is a marvelous tour.  The top of the icefield where the Raven becomes the Milk, and vice versa, is a crevassed ice field with fissures so deep they look bottomless and black.
Up We Go
With many trips to the top of the Raven between the two of us, we knew what to expect.  Raven Milk met our expectations of enormous, gaping crevasses.  Yet, knowing of the abyss does nothing to the fear of falling into it.
The Abyss
Milk Glacier
Bottom of the Milk Glacier
Descending Lateral Moraine to the Barnes-Jewel Saddle
Photocredits:  Kruser


Dante said...
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Dante said...

Looked magical indeed. Those are some big dark holes in the ice though.