Course Dispatches

2014 Gore-Tex Grand Traverse Embedded Dispatch #5

Location: Friend’s Hut
Date: March 27, 2014 PM
Team Members: Ben P., Tom S., Zach S., Ian H., Jason B., Kevin K.

Days Mission: Assess avalanche conditions considering the 44cm (20”) of new snow. Pack in the skin track below the hut for new team members and race day.

Report: Another day inside a ping pong ball or the Star Base Tent. We rallied up the normal route through a heavy 20” into the white room. Managed to get to Star Base to find it buried in 5” of new snow. The wind and visibility prevented us from doing much work or seeing anything. There were a few short openings of visibility and we did get out to chop some cornices but were forced back to the tent each time. We sent Ian and Zach to break downhill trail to Block and Tackle to meet with Mitch and Stewart.

Things are unfolding as they will, our abbreviated team is pouring over data in order to make a call tomorrow on the course route so please stay tuned.

From the Friend’s Hut Embedded Dispatch; signing out and hoping for a better tomorrow, no doubt today was a bit of a beating – Kevin Krill

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2014 Gore-Tex Grand Traverse Embedded Dispatch #4

Location: Friend’s Hut
Date: March 27, 2014 AM
Team Members: Ben P., Tom S., Zach S., Ian H., Jason B., Kevin K.

Days Mission: Assess avalanche conditions considering the 44cm (20”) of new snow. Pack in the skin track below the hut for new team members and race day.

Report: With 20” of new snow there will be some work to do today. Hoping to mitigate wind slabs and clean out tracks above and involved with race track. Without a visual yet we are not sure what has happened at the pass. The team is excited and anxious to get out in the new snow to make more observations and decisions.

We will need to break trail below the hut today for the incoming team members and to make sure the race route is clean and set correctly.

The EMGT is in good hands considering the teams deployed on course right now. The Friend’s Hut Snow Safety Team is in their element and comfortable with the situation but cannot say much more until at Star Pass. We have word from the Aspen side that the course is set from the Opa’s Hut to the Sundeck. The remaining section from the fire to Opa’s Hut will be done today.

From the Friend’s Hut Embedded Dispatch; signing out and heading out into the powder –

Kevin Krill

Click here to view full risk assessment 3/27-AM.

 

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2014 Gore-Tex Grand Traverse Embedded Dispatch #3

Location: Friend’s Hut
Date: March 26, 2014 PM
Team Members: Ben P., Tom S., Zach S., Ian H., Jason B., Kevin K.
Days Mission: Travel to Geo’s Bonfire spot to meet with Mortimer. Watch incoming storm and patterns on the surface. Flag trees and place probes for strobes and height of snow measurements.

Report: Mission accomplished and then some. Despite white out conditions the team pushed up the normal route and over Star Pass in 3” of new snow. We split up to mark the route into Star Basin and were successful as the clouds broke a few times and gained our landmarks. The skiing down the ramp to basin bottom was pretty darn good too. Just as we finished finding and marking the entrance to the wooded section of trail to the Opa Hut and Taylor Pass the John Mortimer Team showed up on snowmobiles for our resupply and to share some lunch. Ben and John and teams exchanged their ideas for the upcoming days and incoming storm. Once again the weather and winds will play a role in the assessment of course conditions.

We traveled back up and out of Star basin in moderate snowfall and completed the tour with a descent of High Life, skiing good, visibility bad. Luckily for us refreshments were served at the ice bar as the snow set in for a hard evening pulse

Tomorrow we find out what it has done overnight and expecting some reactive conditions at the pass. The storm and timing are looking favorable for the race to go on time but it will take some luck as there is weather on either side of the race window. We have been lucky before! Until tomorrow; we will enjoy our last night as a team of 6 as we are expecting Stewart, Mitch and Emma to join us.

From the Friend’s Hut Embedded Dispatch – Kevin Krill

Click here to view full risk assessment 3/26-PM.

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Location: Friend’s Hut
Date: March 26, 2014 AM
Team Members: Ben P., Tom S., Zach S., Ian H., Jason B., Kevin K
Days Mission: Travel to Geo’s Bonfire spot to meet with Mortimer. Watch incoming storm and patterns on the surface. Flag tres and place probes for stobes and height of snow measurements.

Report: It’s snowing! Went to sleep under clear and calm skies but by 6am just before light it began to snow lightly. 8am a little heavier but still light. Forecasts and models are mixed so the next 24 hours will be a critical time to watch the incoming storm from the ground and internet. We are not anticipating any significant changes to current snow pack but a blown forecast and bigger than expected storm could change things.

Sunburns have subsided and it does not look like we will need sunscreen again until race day. Looking forward to seeing John at the basin bottom today and the light snow will make for softer and quieter travel.

Keep your fingers crossed for a nice coating of fresh by Saturday without a bunch of wind!

Click here to view full risk assessment 3/26-AM.

 From the Friend’s Hut Embedded Dispatch- Kevin Krill

2014 Gore-Tex Grand Traverse Embedded Dispatch #2

Click here to view full risk assessment 3/25-PM.

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Date: March 25, 2014 AM
Location: Friend’s Hut
Team Members: Ben P., Tom S., Zach S., Ian H., Jason B., Kevin K.

Days Mission: Establish Star Base at Star Pass and entrance. Check cornices. Investigate snow profiles on various aspects on East side of Star Pass.

AM Report: Clear overnight with light breeze dying overnight. Day plan: Haul tent to pass. Dig out tent pad. Set up and anchor tent. Evaluate cornices. As many profiles as time allows.

Click here to view full risk assessment- 3/25 AM.

Fell asleep to Dark Side of the Moon. Woke up to bacon and coffee during morning meeting. Until PM report, signing out.

From the Friend’s Hut Embedded Dispatch – Kevin Krill

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2014 Gore-Tex Grand Traverse Embedded Dispatch #1

 

Date: March 24, 2014 PM
Location:
En route to Friends Hut
Team Members: Ben P., Tom S., Zach S., Ian H., Jason B., Kevin K.

Days Mission: Attain Friend’s Hut with supplies and communications equipment. Find Water source at Hut.

Report: Began skin from Brush Creek Trailhead at 10:30am. Arrived at Friends Hut at 3:30pm without incident. Trail and stream crossings in great shape. Death Pass slopes are melted out and trail remains packed and snowed in but trail is slick and sporty along Death Pass. Full skins and full metal edges are recommended at this point. The trail above Death Pass is cruiser and has seen a lot of traffic. Some fresh snow would help this week before the race. Water was not found in the typical place or by the organized probe line but found lower downstream.

Click here to view full risk assessment.

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Clear evening at the Hut and the high ridge top winds have subsided. Snow Safety team doing PM report and planning for tomorrow. Fajitas are cooking.

 

From the Friend’s Hut Embedded Dispatch -Kevin Krill