June 8, 2019, Sacajawea peak, Wallowas OR

6/8/19
879
2
Posted by clubber on 6/15/19 6:24am
It had been close to 17 years since I was last in Joseph OR. The Wallowas are beautiful mountains and feel a bit like Montana in Oregon. We ski a lot in the western idaho mountains and are always remarking on how good the Wallowas look. Having a few days to explore, my girlfriend and I packed the bikes, paddle boards and headed west over the snake river into Oregon. After a beautiful drive on the Wallowa Mtn loop, we found ourselves gawking at the snow covered peaks in NE Oregon. My girlfriend is recovering from acl surgery, but was happy riding her bike in the valley (who wouldn't though with the views!) I had the go-ahead and made an attempt at the disputed high point in the range the following day.

I started up the main hurricane creek trail enjoying the views and kept an eye on the clouds swirling around the summit.. After 1.7 miles, I began looking for a way across the raging creek. Unable to find a log, I picked a relatively shallow spot and had a crotch kissing crossing (say that 3 times fast!) and found the trail on the other side. It starts to climb and after 5 miles from the trailhead I was transitioning to skinning. Suncups at the start gave way to smooth snow and I enjoyed the excellent scenery. The east face was melted out, but I was hopeful the south side might still hold snow. Rounding the corner I could see plenty of snow to the summit. Wahoo! I was able to skin to the top and enjoyed the views of the surrounding mountains. The Eagle Cap Wilderness is beautiful and still buried in snow. A quick look down the NW face had me drooling and I weighed my desire to be gnar and the conditions. 6-12 inches of new snow from the previous few days and the sun shining in and out... I went conservative and skied back down my ascent route during a visibility window. Hot Pow!! So good I needed more. I turned and boot packed up a northerly aspect and snuck in another 1000' shot again during a sunny window. Roller balls following my tracks told me to head home and I enjoyed the smooth apron with a few scattered corn turns in the more easterly aspects near the bottom. The way out was enjoyable and I took my time. The climb to the summit ended up being 7 miles and 4800' one way about 4.5 hours. Not too bad for June and month 21!

Pic 1-view of NW face from valley
Pic 2-SE face Sacajawea and run 1
Pic 3-view looking back up run 2.
What a great ski!! I have looked at that many times. Completely green with envy! Looks like you could not have hit it any better. Thanks for the report!
2019-06-19 13:44:19
jtack
That's rad - I love to see reports from the Wallowas!
2019-06-24 07:36:57
DG

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june-8-2019-sacajawea-peak-wallowas-or
clubber
2019-06-15 13:24:40