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Year round backcountry skiing : Lake Valhalla, Lichtenberg Mountain, Stevens Pass
Turns All Year: Previous Home Page Galleries
This is a gallery of images which appeared on the Turns All Year home page in the past. Thumbnail images on this page can be clicked to view the full-sized photos, and lead into a slide show sequence for the gallery. The photos are from a backcountry skiing trip to Lake Valhalla, near Lichtenberg Mountain, Stevens Pass, Washington. Warm days had resulted in heavy wet snow, and avalanches, but the snow we found was stable, if not easy to ski.
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Over 180 photo galleries from Pacific Northwest backcountry snowboarding and skiing trips are available on Turns All Year CD-ROM.

Like the gallery below, each CD-ROM photo gallery contains a thumbnails page linked to captioned full-sized photos, and usually a trip report. Full-sized photos are available for browsing in the gallery below.

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Turns All Year CD-ROM
from April 14, 2003:
Lake Valhalla, Stevens Pass, Washington, March 30, 2003
   (Click any photo to view large version)
Lichtenberg Mountain and avalanche debris
Lichtenberg Mountain
and avalanche debris
Skiing up from Nason Creek
Skiing up
from Nason Creek
Upper Lichtenberg Mountain
Upper Lichtenberg Mountain
Skiing up above Lake Valhalla
Skiing up above
Lake Valhalla
Skiing up above Lake Valhalla
Skiing up toward
bump 5560+
Skiing down from 5560+ bump
Skiing down
from bump 5560+
Trying different skiing styles
Trying different
skiing styles
Gliding down the skiing track
Gliding down the track
Closeup of Lichtenberg avalanche
Closeup of
Lichtenberg avalanche


Photos by Charles Eldridge

Associated trip report: Pete and I parked at Yodelin, then crossed Hwy 2 and followed the  plowed road to its end, staying on the south side of Nason Creek. It was mostly overcast with a deck of clouds, but warm, and the forecast moisture seemed to be looming to the N. We skinned for about a mile through the forest along the creek, crossing the side creek on a precarious snow bridge, then Nason Creek on an ample one. Nothing had frozen overnight, and there was a layer of moist snow over a layer of rain-soaked snow. A very large avalanche had come down from the SW-facing upper slopes of Lichtenberg Mountain, scouring down through the prominent gully and piling up to 30' high in the flats just short of Nason Creek. A crown (1-2'?) could be seen arcing across most of the bowl, about 300-400' down from the summit. It appeared that the slide was a couple of days old, since it seemed to have a little new snow on it.  
   Once we were into the old-growth near 4000', we started climbing NW away from Nason Creek, and pretty much followed the route of the PCT, through a nice meadow, over a shoulder, and up to a knob overlooking Lake Valhalla, where we had lunch and got cold. We decided to aim for the 5560'+ bump west of the lake, so skinned NW around a shoulder and then up a NE open slope to the top. The snow became more difficult above 5000', with a deeper top layer of moist snow, but we were still staying on top of the rain-soaked second layer, and although there were pinwheels and other tree-induced debris, it was older and the snow was quite stable.  
   The rain arrived just as we were reaching the top of the knob, so we quickly de-skinned and then started down, following a forested ridge southward. This would have been a great run if the snow had been better, as it led across our uptrack and then right on down the fall line through nicely spaced trees to our tracks by Nason Creek at about 4100'. The snow was consistent and allowed us to stay in the top layer, without plunging down into the rain-soaked layer, but it was heavy and slow and demanded a fair amount of effort to ski. Below about 5000' the snow under the big trees became fast, which led to some interesting skiing displays as our skis rocketed ahead of our bodies. We were able to make the several little climbs along the last half-mile of creek without putting on our skins, due to the heavy surface snow.
Charles

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