March 18-20, 2020, Hidden Lake Couloir Party
Thomas and I spent three days at the Hidden Lake Lookout skiing couloirs around Hidden Lake and also Lost Marbles.
We drove to 2,200 on Sibley Creek road, stopped at the first snow, and started skinning a few hundred feet further. Took the summer trail up to 4,400 then cut up through the trees to avoid the steep slopes baking in the afternoon sun above. Due to our 1pm start our skins had gotten soaked on the approach and we experienced the worst glopping I have ever seen when we hit cold snow. In a futile attempt to clean my skis I whacked them with my pole until the handle sheared clean off. Above treeline we found widespread wind board on northern aspects, generally firm snow with small isolated pockets of preserved powder. Southern aspects at least to 7k were transitioning to corn with widespread loose wet avalanches on steeper slopes.
Getting to the lookout was a surprisingly long day with life-of-luxury overnight packs. We found it empty and enjoyed a beautiful sunset, no-moon stargazing, and insanely plush accommodations for 7k in the North Cascades. Sure beats sleeping on the snow!
1. Torment and Forbidden at sunset.
2. Hidden Lake Lookout from Hidden Lake Peak with Three Fingers and Whitehorse in the background.
3. Thomas skiing down to Hidden Lake.