Crooked Couloir Bluebird
Sunday proved to be the perfect antidote to the grey and dreary weather that proceeeded it- brilliant blue skies, a thin layer of new snow, and windless conditions promised a fantastic day in the mountains.
I decided to approach Snoqualmie from the Commwealth basin approach over the shoulder of Guye Peak, more or less following the summer trail. Skintracks up from the basin were excellent, and I made good time to the west ridge of Snoqualmie. This is the typical snowshoe route, so many of the prepared tracks were a bit too steep for comfortable skinning. I made good use of ski crampons, and made sure to avoid drifted snow- blustery winds had created some low drifts, which broke into slabs with little provocation.
Once up top I was greeted with incredible 360 degree views- and a clear path down to the Crooked Couloir. The entry is steep, and had some crusty wind-drifted snow, which added a little chatter, but was otherwise stable. Skiing down into the more protected middle section of the line I found stashes of protected soft powder. The crux of the couloir is a steep and narrow section north of 50 degrees, that's currently a frozen waterfall (it's probably skiiable on bigger snow years with good powder). This was avoided by skiing off to the right to bypass the steepest section through the small trees.
The apron below the Crooked and Slot was the best skiing of the day, with protected powder and easy fast turns. The skintrack up to the shoulder is as solid as usual, with nicely firm steps for the last bit, and the ski down the phantom slide path was perfectly fine as well, with some legitimately good turns to be found.
A very cool route, and absolutely glorious conditions to be out and about!
Views of the pass. Definitely not typical!
Shoulder of Guye and Cave Ridge
Bottom of the couloir from the apron
Looking north to the entrance and the Middle Fork