Parsons Peak NE Face
Glacier National Park
Meshwell Boschmann , Tuesday 16th March, 2021 9:30PM
Fast glazed skin track up Loop Brook. The elephant trunk was as scary as I have seen it but luckily, a great bootpack made things easier/safer on the up. We followed the uptrack to Ross Pass and saw eight people heading for Mount Green/Ross Slidepath. We skinned with ski crampons on halfway up the NW shoulder of Parson and transitioned to bootpacking with crampons and one ice axe for the remainder of the climb. The more rugged section of the upper ridge was bypassed by traversing into the west face (which held really good snow!) until almost directly below the summit block from which point we booted straight up towards the top of the ridge. From there we traversed on the NE face and went straight up towards the summit on ever increasing slope angle (45 to 55ish?). 15m below the summit we had a 15cm slab over 15cm of facets and depth hoar sitting on near vertical rock slabs with many sharks lurking not too far below the surface. A 5-15cm thick soft stormslab had released naturally SZ 1 recently on the climber's right of the feature roughly 25m below the summit. The ski down was close to boot top the whole way down to the glacier and the bergschrund was easily passed. A recent cornice fall looker's left of the line had triggered a hard windslab (40-50cm deep) and the resulting SZ 2 avalanche has run roughly 400 vertical meters. We also saw one SZ 1.5 loose wet off a steep solar between Mount Green and Ross Peak. Outside of the avalanche debris mentioned above that we had to cross, the glacier skied well until the very last pitch which had some wind affect from downflow winds over Ross Pass. The skier's right side near the uptrack to Ross Pass skied okay until reaching the main Bonney Trees exit from where hard refrozen tracks and moguls with the odd spot scraped down to ice became the main theme. Skiing down the elephant trunk was terrifying and one member of our party opted to bootpack down. Once at the bottom, the ski out was extremely fast on what many would call a "luge run".
Snow conditions were: Powder. Weather conditions were: Sunny. We rode: Alpine slopes, Convex slopes, Steep slopes. We avoided: Sunny slopes. Riding quality was good.