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  • Bennies

    Has anyone been there recently? Some of us are looking for a nice, tame excursion, not ice climbing!
    Think outside...no box required !

  • #2
    I might be there Saturday, will gladly report back if I do go.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jjp24hockey/

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    • #3
      AL,

      I can only tell you what I experienced Sunday on the Macomb slide, just to give you an idea of general slide conditions. I think I was on the packed down track some of the time, only plowing through a foot of new snow/drift, but when I wasn't, I was into three feet of loose, unconsolidated crap. One step up, three foot slide back down. Where the sun was hitting the slide, the top couple inches of snow were quickly consolidating and turning slushy (I stayed to middle/right out of the sun). I found this also to be the case on Carson and there was already evidence of an icy crust over the snow. Since we aren't expected to get any new snow this week, you should be fine, but it will be an adventure. I know you aren't crazy enough to go alone, and friends will definitely be helpful in packing it down.

      I reached my limit Sunday on what I consider to be a reasonable risk. I did it. I'm glad I did it, but I won't ever climb that slide alone in the winter again.
      #8335W, Solo 46W
      Four Season 31/46
      46 Grid 256/552
      NE 111 113/115


      One list may be done, but the journey is far from over...
      Half Dome, 2009

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      • #4
        Be careful. With the high wind and temps, classic wind slab conditions could be forming on slides. Keeping close to the sides might be a good idea.
        "The mountains are like a museum where the exhibits change every month" ...Ralph Ryndak, Catskill Explorer

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Peakbagr View Post
          Be careful. With the high wind and temps, classic wind slab conditions could be forming on slides. Keeping close to the sides might be a good idea.
          Agree to be aware of avalanche danger, the upper sections of Bennie's are certainly steep enough to slide. However keeping close to the sides is not necessarily a good idea. The trees transfer heat to the snowpack and could result in a more faceted snowpack.

          http://arc.lib.montana.edu/snow-scie...90-095-096.pdf

          The best advice is to constantly be taking observations on the snowpack, as well as have a beacon, shovel, probe, and the knowledge of how to use them.
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/jjp24hockey/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by AlpineLamb View Post
            Has anyone been there recently? Some of us are looking for a nice, tame excursion, not ice climbing!
            I was there last weekend. There was certainly ice, but no ice climbing required. Definitely lots of snow, too. It's difficulty or tameness depends on what you are used to, but there were some challenges getting up there, to be sure. If you want tame there, then wait for a dry summer day. Read all about it here:

            http://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=27703
            "How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top." ~ Yvon Chouinard

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            • #7
              Yes Howard I have already read your report, but I also saw you on the trail that day! I was glad to read you all had a safe trip.
              Remember I was looking for the bluebird day to go via the slide.
              Think outside...no box required !

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AlpineLamb View Post
                I also saw you on the trail that day! I was glad to read you all had a safe trip. Remember I was looking for the bluebird day to go via the slide.
                So that was you, eh? Sure, I remember that encounter. Well, it might not have been a so-called bluebird day, but it was certainly mild enough for a March day up there and the limited views had their own special charm.

                My sense of general conditions on that slide are that it is likely to be good in summer and winter, but you might want to be careful in the shoulder seasons when the snow may start softening up. Have a great time when you make it there.
                "How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top." ~ Yvon Chouinard

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                • #9
                  As I said when we met on the trail, I have been there twice. I made the inquiry about conditions a month ago. I have a good undertanding of how this and other baby slides might be in the winter and the conditions you reported for that day were pretty much what I would have expected. As I recall you thought maybe there would be not much snow.
                  Originally posted by Howard View Post

                  It would have been tedious, not to mention finger numbing, to switch back and forth between snowshoes and crampons, but there were definitely some places where the latter would have been the better choice of traction. That being said, snowshoes got us to the top, but there were several places of thigh deep snow where we had to struggle and scramble to slowly get up the steeper icier sections. Also, the limited visibility made it hard to get relative bearings and see what was ahead. You sometimes have to choose your paths carefully up there.

                  By the time we got to the really steep section where you exit on the left to bushwhack to the top of the ridge, over two hours later, we were very happy to be done with all that snow. That was definitely a tough and tiring two hours to travel 1.5 miles (2.4km). The actual temperature was never more than several degrees below freezing, but two hours in the fairly constant wind can chill a body down. Fortunately, the wind was mostly on our backs.

                  For anyone thinking of Bennies in the winter, DO NOT scrimp on equipment or fail to take it seriously. For sure, about a week ago, before a fair bit of fresh snow came down, it might have been an easy, albeit icy walk up. But with a lot of fresh deep snow, it can give you quite the workout. That's certainly what we got. Some avalanche awareness might also be a good prerequisite. It was fine on Sunday but I can envision some circumstances where a large wide slab could give way, triggered by a few climbers' footsteps.
                  This was not what we were looking for and thus the reason we took the trail.
                  Again I am glad you all had a good time and made it out safely! Nice pictures.
                  Happy Trails
                  Last edited by AlpineLamb; 03-22-2015, 10:33 AM.
                  Think outside...no box required !

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                  • #10
                    I know this is too late

                    Two years ago Claudia led us up the middle branch of the triad on Bennies. The snow was deep sometimes and sometimes not too bad. When the middle branch closes in and ends you are not too far from the trail. Just keep climbing. You'll get there.

                    Don

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