December 18, 2010, Skyline Ridge

WA Stevens Pass
Posted by jj on 12/18/10 10:54pm
In an effort to sweat out the remnants of my hangover and to scout conditions for a possible Cascade Powder Cats trip later this week three of us headed up to Skyline Ridge on Saturday.  A late start (due to the hangover) didn't put us on the skin track until well after noon.

The good news: As usual there is a well trodden track up to the ridge that made the skinning effortless.

The bad news: Wind transport has made things really variable.  The rain crust from last week has been scoured bare by the wind on eastern aspects.  In the trees and on other aspects there were patches of goodness but we didn't have the time or the willingness to work on finding where all the good snow had gone.  Suffice to say, the ski back down to the car was pretty poor.  I would be very concerned about wind loading and possible slides due to all the wind.

In the end, the dogs probably had the best time of anyone.

And snowball free, too -- I've had Pam recommended to me several times, looks like it's time to finally try it.

Did you get over the ridge north of the lake?  We may tour up there in the next couple of days.

We stopped at the second radio tower which, I think, is about 1000 ft. east of the lake.  We were going to ski down into the gully north of that radio tower but it was somewhat windswept in there too so we bailed on that idea.

We didn't top the ridge to the north of the lake so I can't tell you much about what might be over there.

We were planning to go to Cascade Powder Cats on Wednesday but I just got an email from Ryan that things are still too thin on their property for a full day of cat skiing.  Guess we will have to wait until January.

Another foot or two of snow would do wonders for the hills around Steven's Pass.

Don't slowshoe on the skin track!

After skiing the area on Sunday, I ran up to moonlight bowl for a sunset lap.  Found pockets of boot top bliss surrounded by wind affected snow.  With more daylight or moonlight (it was to cloudy) there would have been plenty of good  lines to be had.

Telemack,  I will  also be touring around the Stevens environs  the next few days.  Shoot me a p.m. if you want another partner or two.


north aspects off Heather Ridge skied really nicely on sunday...occasionally in thick trees the rain crust would show up, but keeping out in the more open areas, the snow was consistently light calf-deep powder.  Could use a bit more snow up there to cover up the multitude of tracks, but still plenty of space to get untracked lines if you hunt around a bit.

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2010-12-19 06:54:48