March 30-31, 2019, Snow Queens on Snowking
The lovely Torrey and I skied Snowking Mountain over the weekend. Cascade River Road was clear all the way to our turnoff just past mile 14, and FR 1570 can be driven to the boulders. We assumed Cascade River Road would be drivable all the way to the gate but picked up a hitchhiker on the way out who had gotten stuck in a ditch up the road. We didn't completely follow what had happened, but it sounded like the incident was related to a patch of snow. At any rate, snow for us started abruptly around 3,800 feet. The approach is arduous, steep with lots of up and down. We definitely earned our downhill skinning participation awards! We dropped overnight gear at the mini col near Cyclone Lake and contemplated saving the summit for the next day but elected to push on. We were able to skin to within about 50 feet of the summit and then donned crampons and ice axes, though there turned out to be more rock than snow. We had virtually no wind but a few snowflakes which seemed appropriate. The skiing was firm but not terrible, and stability seemed very good. All in all, we had an amazing time in a spectacular area!