Intermediate Snow Skills, Mt. Hood April 30th, 2017

On Sunday April 30th 2017 I'll be leading a Chemeketan intermediate snow skills class.   We will carpool up to Mt Hood on Sunday morning, arriving at Timberline Lodge parking area (same place as for climb school) between 8 and 8:30 AM.  After gearing up and hiking to the training area we will practice intermediate snow skills including:
  • intro to avalanche assessment/snow pit tests,
  • belaying, and escaping belays, off a snow anchor
  • z-pulley rescues and
  • (for the newer climbers) some exposure to crampon use.
This will be an opportunity for climbers of all levels to test and improve their snow climbing skills. This will be a full day on the snow  I expect we will be wrapping up and back to the Timberline parking lot about 4 pm or so.




Roster: (Full)
  1. Mike Niemeyer (Leader)
  2.  Gill, Forrest
  3. Johansen, Christopher
  4. Langford, Shonee
  5.  Leesman, Christopher
  6. Maerki, Christopher
  7. Morell, Edward
  8. Solis, Lance
  9.  Steiner, Kristi
  10. Zaichenko, Dmitry
  11. Folkenberg, Randy 
  12. Folkenberg, Chantel
  13. King, Rory 
  14. Dewet, Michelle 
  15. Bennett, John 
  16. Bennett, Chuck 
  17. Fansler, Powell  
  18. Moffatt, Bruce
  19. Mclean, Heather
  20. Sierra, Scott
  21. Sierra, Yesica
  22. Nascimento, Emily
  23. Beckner, Lawrence
  24. Angel Munoz
  25. Davis, William (Billy Bob)
  26. Salaz, Chris
  27. Croft, Jerry
  28. Eric Vargas
  29. Wilcox, Rick
  30. Blanton, Craig
  31. Blanton, Sarah
  32. Leslie, Evan
  33. Pennington, Mike
  34. Canfield, Chris
  35. Mevis, Kayla
  36. Martin, Christine
  37. Parks, Daniel
  38. Christiansen, Susan
  39. Gregory, Leora 
  40. Avery, Jay
Waitlist
  1. Destine Davis
  2. Garvey, Shane
  3. Bays, Ken
  4. Sakon, Keita

Objectives:
  1. For the recent climb school students with little snow experience this will be an opportunity to practice being an effective member of a roped team on snow/glacier.  This includes: being able to efficiently tie into the rope system,  move confidently on steep snow using crampons and ice axe, clip efficiently through snow anchors and self-rescue after a fall into a crevasse.
  2. Snow pit compression tests
  3. For the more experienced climbers and assistants (Bold on the roster) this is an opportunity to set up and lead a rope team, belay off of an anchor to bring the team up to your location on steep terrain, and set up and execute a rescue using a z pulley system (for this later skill we will be looking at managing the rescue scene and teamwork - not just the mechanics of building a z-pulley).  
Equipment:
We will be getting into steep snow conditions for this outing. Ice axe, harness, helmet and crampons (fitted to your boots ahead of time) are required. Crampon compatible boots and gators. Sunglasses are also required. I recommend that you pack as you would for a Mt Hood Climb. this will be a good chance to test your gear and food/water options out.

Prussik cords are required. Pulleys, a couple extra carabiners and a snow shovel will be helpful if you have them.  I'd like to have one shovel per rope team.  If you have pickets bring those (But don't go out and buy them if you don't have them already.)

I'll bring snow probes so you can get a feel for what is like to probe the snow for voids (If you have your own probes bring them.)

Please have your gear together and be prepared to carry some group gear (ropes, shovels, etc.) Its best to have a larger pack and have some external straps for lashing down a rope and strapping on an ice axe (i.e., don't come with a small textbook type daypack.  I've got nothing against Care Bears but their equipment line rarely includes ice axe loops.)

We will be getting into the snow so a waterproof outer shell layer is important and an extra set of gloves to swap out when your first pair gets wet. See Gear List #4.  Bring plenty of water (at least 2 liters) and food as we won't be returning to the cars during the day. Leader will be carrying, hypowrap materials, first aid kit, SPOT rescue beacon and cell phone 503-910-9726. If you have a Motorola type recreational radio please bring it set to Channel 10 code 5.

Location
We will head NE out of the Timberline parking lot and about 1000 ft vertical to seek some suitable steep terrain on the edge of the white river canyon. 

Travel
For carpooling Sunday morning those leaving from the Salem Motor pool lot should plan on leaving at 6:00 am.  I'll send a group email out to give you a chance to connect with others for a ride.  Please don't plan on showing up at the park-and-ride lot without pre-arranging a ride - there may not be anyone there!  State Motor Pool in Salem - This will be the best option for folks in Salem or points south. Let me know if you are interested in this option.  

Permits? - This will be the last official day of snow park permit season.  So technically you need a permit.  Will they be enforcing it on the last day?  Do you feel lucky?

Training Curriculum:
1) Assistants and helpers (Bold on the roster above): Chris Salaz is coordinating a pre-training event on Saturday for assistants who are interested in getting in a little more skills practice.  Chris will be emailing you directly with those details. (Please bring your own pickets if you have them as we will need to augment the club pickets for this event.)

2) Sunday about 8 am- Group assembles at the end of the "climbers" parking lot: Assign teams; Issue group gear: Pickets (1 per person) shovels (1 per team), ropes (1 x 50 meter half-rope per team). Leaders check teams gear (e.g., no sharp things swinging off of the packs, everyone has sunglasses, has put on sunblock, etc) FRS radios to Channel 10 Code 5.

3) Once in our practice area we will do snow pit tests to access avalanche conditions and briefly discuss snow cave construction.   I have a snow saw and various snow assessment tools.  We will be doing the compression test after digging out and isolating a snow column and also assessing the hardness of the snow layers. 
4)Establishing and moving rope teams rigged for Glacier travel. The goal of this exercise is for the recent climb school students to practice being an effective member of a roped team on snow/glacier, using crampons (if conditions are appropriate.)   This includes: being able to efficiently tie into the rope system and move confidently on steep snow. (For the more experienced climbers and assistants this is an opportunity to set up and lead a rope team.) The rope team leader will take their team to an area suitable for crevasse rescue practice.  (Coaching on good rope management, improving steps, etc.)

5)  Crevasse rescue scenario: The goal of this exercise is for the recent climb school students  be able to self-rescue after a fall into a crevasse using prussiks and gain familiarity with the Z-pulley system. For the more experienced climbers and assistants set up and execute a rescue using a z pulley system (for this later skill we will be looking at managing the rescue scene and teamwork - not just the mechanics of building a z-pulley). SCENARIO: Rope team members 1 and 2 arrest fall of member #3 and set up z Pulley. Member #3 initiates self-rescue.  This will be a full scenario beginning with the fall and team arrest. (i.e. not just the mechanical aspects of rigging the system)

6)  Belaying on steep snow: The goal of this exercise is for the recent climb school students be able to belay the leader on steep snow. For the more experienced climbers and assistants this is a chance to practice establishing and belaying off of anchors on steep snow and, as time allows, escaping the belay using a Munter-Mule.  

Mt Hood weather

Optional Online Homework:
  1. Z - pulley (Mazamas) 
  2. Z-pulley (Mountaineers) 
  3. Crevasse Rescue Fails
  4. Avalanche Pit Test  , Avalanche Pit Test #2Avalanche Pit Test #3
  5. Extended column avalanche test
  6. Munter mule
  7. Direct vs indirect belays
  8. Snow Cave Limitations/Dangers
  9. Snow Cave construction
  10. Snow Cave Construction