White Chuck

WA Cascades Central W
Posted by aleski on 7/29/20 12:25am

Inspired by PeterC's report in the TAY Facebook group about skiable snow on White Chuck Mountain outside of Darrington, I set out last Sunday to find out if it was still there 9 days after he skied it. Given the small size of the snow field, I also threw my mountain bike on the car to make it a multi-sport day.

The > 1 hr drive from Darrington up the forest service road is straight-forward, and rewards with a sharp ridge a mile or two from the end with great ~270 degree views. The "high clearance vehicle required" road is not that---just deep potholes and one hill where its nice to have AWD. Was easy in Honda Pilot and there was a Subaru Crosstrek at the trail head.

After fleeing from the monstrous flies at the trail head, the snow field was a quick ~1 mile hike up the ridge trail, with great views to the north of Baker and Shuksan, and South+West views sweeping from Mt. Pugh to Jumbo and Whitehorse. If I'm reading the terrain correctly, the pretty diagonal couloir (is that Stujack Couloir?) on Mt. Pugh needs skis.

Clicked in to skis ~10:30am.
~300' vertical of mildly suncupped north-facing snow, mostly protected from the sun by White Chuck Mountain.
Snow was firm, not mushy or slushy despite warm nights. Not smooth corn, but decent snow.
Put in two laps and headed back to the car.

Finished day off with a mountain bike ride up to the single tracks on North Mountain, with north face of Whitehorse Mountain staring at me from across the valley.


North face of Whitehorse from North Mountain.

2020-07-29 09:13:48

This is what summer skiing in eastern WA is all about! I'm glad to see someone patch skiing in western WA. Thanks for the report!

2020-07-29 16:49:19

We skied off the summit of Pugh and down straight glacier (maybe what you are seeing?) a few year back. Definitely a worthy early spring destination. It would taking your skis for a long walk right now. I need to check out the WC someday.

2020-07-29 20:49:27

Nice! Will have to check out white chuck or that run on Pugh this august

2020-07-30 00:09:01

@snowboy, the WC patch will be gone soon. If you want August turns on it, August 1st would be the best option :) It'll be short.

Scouting the Pugh line on Google Earth, it'll be a long walk for ~1,000' of skiing in a stunning position with rock walls on both sides. 
Seems compelling.

2020-07-30 23:25:36

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2020-07-29 07:25:44