July 24-25, 2001, Spray Park-Flett Glacier
What a difference a month makes! When I came up in June, the continuous snow started before Mowich Lake, but now it starts at about 6500ft, above Spray Park. Going in over Knapsack Pass, I was surprised to find no snow at all on the east slope of the pass - I have always been able to ski that. Once in Spray Park, I took the Wonderland Trail to its high point, then traversed east and found a nice site for my bivy sack at the bottom of continuous snow below Echo Rock. I did a number of different runs below and between Echo and Observation. The lowest snow was fairly runneled, especially east aspects, but between 7000 and 8000ft there was good corn, consistent and fast, on most north slopes. On the first day, sunny above a sea of valley clouds, the surface snow was soft, so runs with small suncups were still great. Everything froze solidly overnight under the clear skies, and the next day the snow softened slowly despite the brilliant sun. I headed up toward Observation in the morning to make a rendevous with friends who might be coming in for the day, and then, as the chosen time had passed, began a run when up over the ridge came David. He had never been to the area before, so we did several different runs, each one getting better as the surface snow softened, with the best snow in the late afternoon. I didn't get packed up and leave my camp until 7:00, and got back to my car via the regular trail about 9:30. It ain't over...ever!
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