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