Mustang Powder Snowcat, B.C., Feb. 20-22, 2016

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Mustang Powder Snowcat, B.C., Feb. 20-22, 2016

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:32 pm

This was my 6th year at Mustang and the second for Tseeb, Flyover and John. Mustang decided to try helicopter transfers into the lodge instead of the nearly 2 hour bus plus snowcat transfer. I have done this 4x at Chatter Creek and once at Baldface, where road access to the lodges is even more remote. However, weather prevented flying both directions, as has been true for most Mustang tours this season. Some of this is bad luck, as there would have been no problem flying the other two days we were at the lodge.

On Saturday it remained cloudy but the clouds were fairly high and started to break up in mid-afternoon. The snow was dense by Monashee standards, but there was minimal evidence of a rain layer below as we had seen at the Okanagan areas, probably due to more snowfall during the intervening week. The only crust was on south facing areas if the sun came out. In the morning we started with tree runs ending in cut blocks but moved higher with the clouds. I was pleased to see our guide Alex lead us to Showtime in early afternoon. It's a steep open pitch of ~1,100 vertical which had been off limits due to instability in 2014 and poor conditions in 2015. Flyover:
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John
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Tseeb
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Late afternoon we got up on Cloud 9.
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We 're skiing right side of the ridge as the left is still in the fog.

The clouds were breaking up when we returned to the lodge ~4:45.
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This is also the view from the hot tub, now relocated to the roof of the lodge. No more dash across the snow, particularly memorable in 2012 when it was -15F.

With transceiver drills in the early morning we skied 13,300 vertical.

Sunday conditions improved as it cleared overnight. This dried out the snow so there was less resistance skiing the powder. It also gave us access to some longer steep runs. Here's Tseeb on the first run, followed by a tail guide:
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He took a steep drop coming out of those trees.

With the nice weather we were soon up on Cloud 9.
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Next lap we moved out into the wide open alpine, Tseeb at right.
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I'm lazier. My tracks are farthest looker's left.

Before too long we were back on Showtime Right.
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Zoomed view of Flyover laying down some telemark turns on Showtime Right.
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Next we moved to the "Roman name" runs in the Fourth Creek drainage. Here guide Alex inspects the steep entry to Hail Caesar.
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Snowboarder Jay from Ontario here on the upper part of Hail Caesar.
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My track is far looker's right.

New this year was a family from Bath in the UK, parents Chris and Shirley and sons Adam 15 and Cameron 13. Like most accomplished kids, Adam and Cameron were on the lookout for air opportunities. Here Cameron is about to land on Hail Caesar.
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At upper left Garrett from Ontario is waiting to launch even more air.

We then moved to the Colosseum Trees. Flyover at the bottom there:
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We worked our way back toward Cloud 9. Flyover here:
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John:
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Garrett airing out of the trees:
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From areas west in Mustang's tenure there's a view to Shuswap lake.
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Late in the day it clouded over but that didn't keep us out of the Cloud 9 area. Lower down on Silver Lining there was a cliff band in the trees. Those of us who got there early squeezed into a couple of chutes but a lot of snow sluffed out, making it harder for the rest of the group to get through.

View down our last run to the lodge:
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Total for the day was 17,600 vertical. Snow had dried out to a typical Monashee "settled powder" state, and we got a great selection of many of Mustang's steeper runs.

It snowed 6 inches overnight plus most of Monday morning. This confined us to the trees and limited photo-ops. However, the light powder occasionally blowing over our heads was a worthy tradeoff. There were many steeps with great spacing, some ending in cut blocks: Porcupine Hill, West Bank, L'Epaule, Flying Squirrel, Crème Brulee. Tseeb got one pic of me in the cut block of Mad Hatter.
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The snow continued to get better. Late afternoon runs on Mumbo Jumbo and Hitman were steep & deep but I skied a bit conservatively as fog got between my goggle lenses. I went back to my glasses for the final run Samba to the lodge but Tseeb and I managed to get cliffed out and had to retrace a few steps to get around.

Total for the day was 17,500 vertical. I was pleased to see Tseeb, Flyover and John get a normal Mustang experience this time after dodging a bullet during last year's very difficult season.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Tony Crocker
 
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Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mustang Powder Snowcat, B.C., Feb. 20-22, 2016

Postby flyover » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:25 am

Some photos from the first day:

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Tony Crocker


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Jay


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Stuart


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Snow was pretty creamy on the first day.
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Re: Mustang Powder Snowcat, B.C., Feb. 20-22, 2016

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:33 am

Tony Crocker wrote:I was pleased to see Tseeb, Flyover and John get a normal Mustang experience this time after dodging a bullet during last year's very difficult season.

I forget -- what happened last year?

How many acres do they access?
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Re: Mustang Powder Snowcat, B.C., Feb. 20-22, 2016

Postby flyover » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:41 am

Some photos from the second day:

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Sunny morning. Photo credit: Stuart Manwell


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Snow had dried out and lightened up overnight. Photo credit: Stuart Manwell


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Photo credit: Stuart Manwell


Feb 28, 2016 import 349.JPG


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Garrett


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Cam


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Jay


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John. It was deeper in the trees.


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Chris
Last edited by flyover on Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mustang Powder Snowcat, B.C., Feb. 20-22, 2016

Postby flyover » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:54 am

Some photos from the third day:

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A short break in the snowfall.


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It was getting deep. Gearing up after drop offs involved some significant wallowing.


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Jay


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John


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John again


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Wipe outs often resulted in more wallowing.


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Stuart


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Tony Crocker


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More Tony Crocker


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More John
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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Mustang Powder Snowcat, B.C., Feb. 20-22, 2016

Postby flyover » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:03 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:
Tony Crocker wrote:I was pleased to see Tseeb, Flyover and John get a normal Mustang experience this time after dodging a bullet during last year's very difficult season.

I forget -- what happened last year?


viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11729

Last year we had good snow, but not particularly deep. We were fortunate to have excellent weather and stability, so almost all the skiing was in the high alpine. Conditions were far less favorable before and after we arrived.

This year was almost like skiing a completely different tenure.

jamesdeluxe wrote:How many acres do they access?
Mustang says their tenure is 30,000 acres.
flyover
 
Posts: 301
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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Mustang Powder Snowcat, B.C., Feb. 20-22, 2016

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:03 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:
Tony Crocker wrote:I was pleased to see Tseeb, Flyover and John get a normal Mustang experience this time after dodging a bullet during last year's very difficult season.

I forget -- what happened last year?

There was rain crust starting about 200 feet below tree line. If weather had kept us out of the alpine (as on the two days before we arrived) skiing would have been quite ugly. We got an occasional sample, notably the bottom 1,000 of the 3,500 vertical Love Me Longtimes. Exposures are all over the compass rose. The tour after ours would have had melt/freeze on south exposures, and our group had skied a lot of the north facing alpine.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9819
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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