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Burchey

Mill Creek Head-wall...Avalanche?

Hey gang,

With the major weather coming in this Friday/Sat - I'm looking to get out and battle the tail end of it on Sunday in the SGW.  Picture below shows my intended route in and out ( in red ) for a Galena Peak summit attempt.  I was going to head up the Gauntlet, but that can wait for a day with consolidated conditions.  



My question is this:  For those of you with experience on this route in winter (I've never seen the headwall), is it foolish to attempt a route up it after a big dump?  I'm guessing the snow that was there had melted away for the most part in afternoon sun/heat we've had the past couple weeks, but I'll do an analysis when I get there.  From the topo map, it doesn't seem that steep until the last section, and then I'm heading up a ridge from there.  I know it won't be easy going, but the avalanche danger on the ridge would be low for me, assuming I stay on top.  

Thoughts?  Remember, I've got the ability to jump over snow sliding down the mountain, so keep that in mind.
Taco

I'd say if you were to go now, you'd enjoy some alpine swimming, and avy danger would exist.
Burchey

Taco wrote:
I'd say if you were to go now, you'd enjoy some alpine swimming, and avy danger would exist.


Heard, thanks Taco.  I'd envision, based on the prediction for snowfall, that snowshoes with tails would be required for sure.  Even so, I know it's going to be a serious pain getting up it, but that's part of the challenge.

As far as avalanche danger goes, I've read that hanging to the side of the slope reduces risk (center normally goes ), and wearing one of those little bells so you don't sneak up on the snow would help as well.
Taco

Bear bells will definitely help.

Or, you could call for artillery on the slope in question. Cool
Burchey

Taco wrote:
Or, you could call for artillery on the slope in question. Cool


You got the hookup for that?

Otherwise I'm just emptying my huge 9 round clip of .40cal into the hill before I head up.
Hikin_Jim

Burchey wrote:
Taco wrote:
Or, you could call for artillery on the slope in question. Cool


You got the hookup for that?

Otherwise I'm just emptying my huge 9 round clip of .40cal into the hill before I head up.
Put a couple of gas canisters on the slope immediately prior for improved results.  Oh, and don't stand immediately down slope.  Shocked

HJ
Sam Page

You may have already seen my trip report from last winter.  I would recommend an ice axe and crampons for the ascent (snowshoes might come in handy for the approach).  There was a lot of avalanche debris below the gauntlet, so I would wait a few days after fresh snow.  The traverse along the ridge is somewhat complex.  It is too steep to walk along the crest, so you need to side-hill along the south side.
Burchey

I did see that report, Sam.  Thanks for the advice.  I went to that area this weekend, didn't try the gauntlet though.  Too much fresh snow.  Trip report posted.
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