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Early Season Trappers Peak Jaunt

12/16/23
WA Cascades West Slopes North (Mt Baker)
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Posted by galenweld on 12/17/23 12:05pm

Yesterday I took advantage of the nice weather to head up to Trappers Peak for a solo sunset romp. I was able to make it all the way to the summer trailhead with only a little bit snowy driving with three or four inches of snow on the road at the TH. I saw one other car at the trailhead - thanks to them for clearing a bunch of trees off the road!

I started hiking a little before noon. There's currently only patchy snow on the old road grade. After following the trail to where it leaves the road bed at 3100 ft I caught the party of three, fully kitted with snowshoes, ropes, ice axes, and pickets. I booted, following the trail, through the very minimal snowpack to 4,000 feet, where I transitioned to skinning - a marginal 6 inches or so of snow on the ground. Once in the 4,300 foot basin, the snow depth improved somewhat, and I left the trail and just headed towards the ridge - maybe 3 feet of snow on the ground, all of it wet and heavy, with plenty of rain runnels. 

I got on the south ridge of Trappers at 5,100 feet, and, after booting a short steep snowless section at 5,300 feet, was able to skin all the way to the summit without much trouble. There was a nice breakable crust above ~5,000 feet, which made for easy skinning but unpleasant skiing. Pretty windy above tree line, and I reached the summit at 15:30 - stunning views. I hung out on the summit for sunset, then headed down a bit before 17:00, skiing by headlamp.

I ran into the other party, who had turned around at 5,300 feet, and were just finishing up a rappel - glad they got to use their ropes after all!

The skiing improved as I descended below the crust, and I enjoyed entertaining slush skiing as low as I could go, retrieving my boots most of the way down. I called it at around 3,700 feet, and hiked back to the car, arriving at 19:00. What a gorgeous evening!

Degenhardt and Neighbors

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Terror, the Chopping Block, Degenhardt, and Inspiration.

Eldorado and Backbone Ridge

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Jack

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Southern Pickets Panorama

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Glee Peak at far right

Brilliant and rewarding! VeryNice pics!

"Enjoyed slush skiing" gotta like that!


Thanks for posting this nice report!


Reply to this TR

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early-season-trappers-peak-jaunt
galenweld
2023-12-17 20:05:32