March 25, 2001, Snowking Mountain

Posted by ema on 7/14/02 12:04pm
Forwarded to me by JerryS. This is too good to be unreported.
"Subject: MORE USEFUL REPORTS Just got back from a day trip up Snowking Mountain. Here are some details to let people know how snow conditions are around the Cascade River Road: The road (FS Road 1570) was open all the way tot the end. The USGS maps mislabels it at about 2400' but it actually seems to be at about 2200'. There was one patch of snow at 2000' that 4x4 helped, but this will probably be gone in the next day or two. From the end of the road the climbers trail is visible and easily followed straight up until about 3400'. At 3400' the snow quickly takes over and I was able to start skinning up on skis at about 3800'. Snow in the trees was below 5000' was crusty (easily breakable and not too icy). Above 5000' had about 2"-3" of new DRY snow (some hoar frost had formed on the top). In places, the new snow was on top of semi-solid hardpack. On south facing slopes the new snow was not evident and harpack persisted, and higher up (above 5800') on northeast aspects there was little to no signs of any crust, just windpacked powder. Snow conditions up high will inevitably change daily, but it was surprising to see the snow level on north facing slopes all the way up to 3400'. As far as the route goes, gaining and following the ridge south to Cyclone Lake did not pose any problems. Some route descriptions say to go clockwise around/above Cyclone Lake, but it seems much less direct and more exposed to cornices above and cliffs below than the alternate route of going counter-clockwise. It's probably easier to go clockwise in the summer, but not right now. No difficulties gaining the summit (7433'). The icing on the cake was the snowboard back down (I ride a Split- Decision, ski up and snowboard down). From the summit down to Cyclone Lake (was the best ride this winter). Lightly windpacked 2" powder on top of pack- powder. The descend to the lake was about 2100' of bliss. Overall, ~10 miles and 10.5 hours (6 hours from Car to summit .5 on the summit and 4 hours back out). Wahoo! Tod"

Brent Hostetler

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2002-07-14 19:04:28