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Backcountry skiing photos: backcountry skiing Jim Hill Mountain, Stevens Pass, Washington
Turns All Year: Previous Home Page Galleries
This is a gallery of skiing Jim Hill Mountain photos 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 telemark skiing and randonee skiing photos are from a trip to Jim Hill Mountain, in the central Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Cold temperatures, bright March sunshine, and nice powder snow combined for a great day of spectacular skiing in a beautiful location.
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Turns All Year CD-ROM

The complete version of this photo gallery is now available on Turns All Year CD-ROM. Below you can view thumbnail photos from this gallery.

Turns All Year CD-ROM contains over 180 photo galleries, containing more than 3200 full-sized photos, from backcountry skiing and snowboarding trips in the Pacific Northwest.

from April 10, 2006:
Skiing Jim Hill Mountain, Stevens Pass,
Washington, March 19, 2006, part 2  (part 1 is here)

backcountryskiingjimhill01.jpg Kick turning out of the Henry Creek ravine
Kick turning out of
the Henry Creek ravine
backcountryskiingjimhill02.jpg Jon in big tree forest along Henry Creek
Jon in big tree forest
along Henry Creek
backcountryskiingjimhill03.jpg Sun-induced snowfall from the trees above
Sun-induced snowfall
from the trees above
backcountryskiingjimhill04.jpg Skinning into the first opening, around 4000 feet
Skinning into the first opening,
around 4000 feet
backcountryskiingjimhill05.jpg Jim and Jon skinning up around the lower cliffs
Jim and Jon skinning up
around the lower cliffs
backcountryskiingjimhill06.jpg Sparkly snow and tree shadows
Sparkly snow
and tree shadows
backcountryskiingjimhill07.jpg Approaching the 4800 foot bench, with Nason Ridge-Rock Mountain
Approaching the 4800 foot
bench, with Nason Ridge
backcountryskiingjimhill08.jpg First good view of the upper slopes of Jim Hill Mountain
First good view of the upper
slopes of Jim Hill Mountain
backcountryskiingjimhill09.jpg David skinning into the untracked powder wonderland
David skinning into the
untracked powder wonderland
backcountryskiingjimhill10.jpg Jon breaking trail just below the 6300 foot notch
Jon breaking trail just
below the 6300 foot notch
backcountryskiingjimhill11.jpg Jon and Jim approach the 6300 foot notch
Jon and Jim approach
the 6300 foot notch
backcountryskiingjimhill12.jpg Getting ready for some turns
Getting ready for some turns
backcountryskiingjimhill13.jpg Jon starts down the first run, with Glacier Peak
Jon starts down the first run,
with Glacier Peak
backcountryskiingjimhill14.jpg David starts down the first run
David starts down the first run
backcountryskiingjimhill15.jpg David trailing a plume of Stevens smoke
David trailing a plume
of Stevens smoke
backcountryskiingjimhill16.jpg David
David
backcountryskiingjimhill17.jpg David skiing sparkly Jim Hill powder
David skiing sparkly
Jim Hill powder
backcountryskiingjimhill18.jpg Looking down toward the end of the run
Looking down toward
the end of the run
backcountryskiingjimhill19.jpg Final turns of the first run
Final turns of the first run
backcountryskiingjimhill20.jpg David breaking trail for a second run
David breaking trail
for a second run
backcountryskiingjimhill21.jpg Looking across to the Monte Cristos and Glacier Peak
Looking across to the Monte
Cristos and Glacier Peak
backcountryskiingjimhill22.jpg Snowy Lichtenberg Mountain and the Monte Cristo Range
Snowy Lichtenberg Mountain
and the Monte Cristo Range
backcountryskiingjimhill23.jpg Close-up of Glacier Peak from the 6400 foot notch
Close-up of Glacier Peak
from the 6400 foot notch
backcountryskiingjimhill24.jpg Close-up of Nason Ridge and Rock Mountain
Close-up of Nason Ridge
and Rock Mountain
backcountryskiingjimhill25.jpg Looking down the second run
Looking down the second run
backcountryskiingjimhill26.jpg Composited skiing sequence of Charles on the second run
Composited skiing sequence
of Charles on the second run
backcountryskiingjimhill27.jpg David blasts the powder
David blasts the powder
backcountryskiingjimhill28.jpg David on the second run
David on the second run
backcountryskiingjimhill29.jpg David
David
backcountryskiingjimhill30.jpg Jon sports a big plume
Jon sports a big plume
backcountryskiingjimhill31.jpg Jim on the second run
Jim on the second run
backcountryskiingjimhill32.jpg Jim
Jim
backcountryskiingjimhill33.jpg Jon finishes the second run among a myriad of tracks
Jon finishes the second run
among a myriad of tracks

Click for more backcountry skiing Jim Hill Mountain photos from this trip.

Photos by Jim Dockery and Charles Eldridge
Stevens Pass backcountry skiing trip report:
Jim Hill Mountain via Henry Creek, Stevens Pass, Washington, March 19, 2006

   Indecision gave way to a plan to head for the north-facing slopes of Jim Hill Mountain after David's experience Friday of great powder on north facing slopes around Heather Ridge. We arrived fairly early to the train tunnel pullout with just one car present, and as we were gearing up Jim and Jon pulled in.We found out that we were all headed the same place so, experienced bc skiers that we are, we messed around with gear just long enough to let the others get a head start, just in case there was going to be trail breaking. A brilliant blue sky day, pleasant in the sun but still quite chilly in the shade.
   Skinning up the logging road, it appeared that trail breaking wouldn't be a problem, as there was a superhighway from the day before. When we got to the Henry Creek route ("Jim Hell" in lower snow conditions), however, all tracks except Jim's and Jon's continued up the road. We ended up following their tracks for a while, but then climbed up away from the ravine a bit until we could traverse to the base of the open slopes around 4000 feet. Except for the first few hundred feet above the logging road, the snow in the trees was nice, with maybe 6 inches of loose, cold, and non-dripped snow over a firm base.
   We caught up to Jim and Jon at the sunny east-facing climb around the lower cliffs, but still managed to let Jim stay in the trail breaking lead. Jon was busy stripping down to shorts and t-shirt. The snow here was already getting moist on top, sure to crust over later in the day, but as we turned south again and skinned up the north-facing slopes the snow was still loose and cold.
   It was a beautiful sight to see the completely untracked upper slopes of Jim Hill as we reached the 4800 foot bench. The grazing angle of the sun made for beautiful lighting but prevented any significant warming of the snow, which was cold, loose, and about 12 inches deep over a much more consolidated layer (the big dump of 10 days prior?). The four of us made our way up along the edge of the best lines to a 6300 foot notch in the north ridge coming off Jim Hill's summit. It was very chilly at the notch, with some east wind but a big plume of snow blowing of the summit of Jim Hill just a few hundred feet above. I think it was about 11:30 when we started down, and another group had just caught up with us, with a couple more making their way up our skin track.
   The turns were fabulous! Everyone was trailing huge plumes of smoke as we skied the skier's left line back to 4800 feet, trying to conserve the powder for everyone else. The first couple of turns had very slight wind effect, but after that nothing but perfect powder, and we saw nothing to raise any avalanche concerns. Really fast turns produced some Cheneys, but mostly it was just one Clinton after another.
   With four other groups now skinning up or starting to ski down, we figured we'd better head right back up if we wanted more untracked lines, so we followed the now-superhighway to just below our first notch, then traversed SE up to a 6400 foot notch in the ridge east of Jim Hill's summit. A beautiful spot, in the sun, windless, with views south into White Pine Creek and beyond to the Chiwaukums, Stuart Range, and more westerly to Mount Daniel with Mount Rainier in the distance. The view to the north included the Monte Cristos, the Sloan/Bedal/White Chuck triad, Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, and all kinds of wintery looking lesser peaks.
   Skiing from the notch, the top 200 feet were more wind affected, slightly cohesive but very shallow (a few inches), but after that it was pretty much powdery cruising like the first run. On the lower part the scattered small trees made fun gates.
   We left the 4800 foot bench, which had now become lunch and sunbathing central, at about 2:30 and had more fun cruising through the small trees on the powdery north-facing slopes. Instead of traversing out onto the crusting over east facing slopes, we tried to stay right in shaded snow, making our way through the cliff bands via little chutes - wouldn't want to try this in lower snow conditions. Below 4000 feet the snow was at first good in the big trees, but began to get pretty stiff from the morning sun effects and tree drip in the tighter small trees as we approached the logging road. Fast glide back to Highway 2. Our only real mistake of the day was forgetting that the Stevens Pass ski area no longer has night skiing, and getting caught in the long procession of skiers returning from a day of lift skiing.
   Charles

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