Chutes above Swall Meadows
Monday, February 11, 2019 - 12:00pm
I went touring from Paradise (5000') up one of the east-facing chutes west of Swall Meadows and on to the summit of Wheeler Crest. I saw some golfball- to occasionally softball-sized roller balls coming down the south-facing side of the couloir below 8000', but no natural avalanche activity nearby. I did not trigger any slides myself, either skinning up in the morning, or skiing down around 2:00 PM.
The climb was laborious, with up to 30cm ski penetration higher up, and knee-deep boot penetration when I briefly tried taking off my skis. The ski down was tricky up top, with unpredictably-breakable wind crust on NE/E/SE slopes in the couloir causing a few face-plants. The snow from 8500' to 6800' was more pleasant, with consistent 10-20cm heavy powder.