Ski Mountaineering

Dana and Blue Couloirs
July 3-4,1998

Randy Lamm

I skied Blue & Dana Cols on Fri & Sat. The approach on the flats up Dana was very heavily sun cupped, but on the steeper slopes it got smoother. Once on top the ski down to the top of the col (at around 2pm) was moderately heavy mush, with a small cornice to negotiate for the slope down to the saddle. Temps were in the 60's on top.

Once into the col, the snow was very firm and smooth, with just enough softness to set an edge. At the bottom of the "throat" of the col, was a large bergshrund which was not very visible from above as you are skiing down - I recommend staying to the skiieršs far right until you get below it - it is deep!. Once out of the col, we had a long traverse around the mountain with heavy mush, we crossed over much recent avalanche debris, including stuff that looked like it came down that day. We crossed the wreckage from the party that was heli rescued last weekend and managed to bring back a few of their things to the search and rescue. There are still big cornices hanging down and with the warm afternoon temps it seems like they will continue to be falling off. The slopes themselves were steep enough and mushy enough to slide -- along the return traverse route. Overall there was plenty of coverage, the problem was the sun cups on the flat return slopes.

Ellery Bowl, did not look like it was in good shape from the road -- lots of sun cups, rocks, dirt and hanging cornices.

Blue Col was good skiing in the col, but the approach and return were heavily suncupped, plenty of coverage.

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