May 11, 2001, Silver Creek Meadows, Wenatchee NF

5/11/01
WA Cascades East Slopes Central
2333
0
Posted by Charles on 9/15/02 11:30am
Drove over Snoqualmie Pass, and found the road was snow-free to the trailhead (2400ft), as was the trail climbing up south slopes into the hanging valley. But, true to form, a snowpack appeared at the lip of the valley, about 1-3 feet deep (3600ft). The ski up the valley through the woods was beautiful - not too dirty or crunchy due to some newer snow, pretty much continuous coverage, and all the side creeks still bridged. The meadows (4800ft) had 3-6 feet of snowpack, with the top 6" of newer snow softening during the warm day. I did a number of short runs on east and south facing slopes surrounding the meadows, and found lots of mushy snow. I some places in the afternoon I could easily push my pole in over a foot, into very crumbly, large-grained snow. North-facing slopes appeared to be the worst, but all aspects had this snow. Triggered large snowballs on some slopes, about 25 degrees, and it appeared that on steeper slopes the mush would readily slide, 6-12 inches deep. Great view of the whole Stuart Range for the northern valley rim. A mountain goat trashed my tracks between two runs, and then plunged down the mush on slopes way steeper than I wanted to try. The glide back down the valley was enjoyable, until the last mile where the refrozen, crunchy snow was a bit tedious. I used my lightest equipment, Karhu XCD waxless and Trak leather 3-pin boots, and it was a good choice overall, although wider skis would have made skiing the mushy slopes easier.

Observations from the drive: The southwest ridge of Granite Mountain still looked skiable, but not nearly to treeline. Silver Peak bowl has lots of snow, and Olallie clearcut above Windy Pass looked like it has good coverage; the Cold Creek road to Windy Pass still has snow blocking it right at Summit East. Summit West still has good coverage (80% skiable), but East is history. Mount Snoqualmie looked like it is still skiable down to Cave Ridge."

Charles

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may-11-2001-silver-creek-meadows-wenatchee-nf
Charles
2002-09-15 18:30:22