Home > Trip Reports > May 15-16, 2003, Mt. McCausland

May 15-16, 2003, Mt. McCausland

Posted by Larry_R on 5/16/03 6:33pm
With the forecast for snow Thursday - Friday, I thought Mt. McCausland might be nice. No walking up the trial for 3 miles like last week at Little Navaho. (But that sure was a nice run - thanks for the tip John!)

Thursday morning was quite pleasant. Parked at the turnout at the start of Smith Brook Road #6700, with about a foot of snow to ski on right off the bat.  Snow was like a piecrust with a little fresh on top, but it gradually improved after a couple of miles. I left the road near the hairpin (~ 3 miles) and followed the creek up. Set up the tent at a favorite spot on a rib at ~4600 feet. Nice views of Lichtenberg, Nason Ridge, Union Peak, etc. I was just done when it started to snow. There was maybe 2 inches new by bedtime and 6 inches new the next morning. Low temp for the night was 24 deg, and it was 26 at 7:00 am when I started up the hill. Clouds and fog at least held the effects of the sun off for a while.

From the top of Mt. McCausland 5747' I skied the east shoulder down to a small saddle at 5400' in exceptional snow. Got a good look at the line down to Dow Lake that John told me about. Very inviting - - except that it probably would have slid. At the saddle, turned right a bit, and skied through a variety of glades, with the snow gradually deteriorating. A few sun breaks were not helping either. The snow was well on the way to mush by the time I got back to the tent. Ski out was a mixture of alternating periods of heavy graupel and then sun breaks. Snow on the road was getting rather soft too, but at least it was down hill. And the car was still there when I got to the highway.  Had the whole drainage to myself the entire trip. By the way, I had a good view of the south side of Union Peak. Not skiable now unless you love boulder hopping.

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2003-05-17 01:33:59