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Early Season Trappers Peak Jaunt

WA Cascades West Slopes North (Mt Baker)
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


Terror, the Chopping Block, Degenhardt, and Inspiration.

Eldorado and Backbone Ridge




Southern Pickets Panorama


Glee Peak at far right

Brilliant and rewarding! VeryNice pics!

"Enjoyed slush skiing" gotta like that!

Thanks for posting this nice report!

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2023-12-17 20:05:32