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May 2-3, 2003, Washington Pass (sun and fun)

WA Cascades East Slopes North
Posted by Joe on 5/6/03 2:50am
On Friday CP, CB and I skied up to the col by South Early Winter Spire. We got baked on the ascent (because of our fashionably late start). The descent was fun, albeit challenging. Snow was funky cold medina: thick breakable crust mixed with heavy mush. Any effort toward graceful turns was abandoned; although, full throttle did seem particularly helpful (and a helluva lot of fun). Once we got down into the trees we found some large snow covered boulders with nice drop-offs (seemed like a good distraction from less than perfect skiing conditions). General carelessness and youthful antics ensued. Cooper Bean charged the first drop-off without any hesitation; it was a heroic demonstration of total commitment. Taking pictures from below, I watched Cooper launch, his four furry legs taking full flight into space. And then face first, he plowed into the snow by my feet, shook off, but then did not even look back at his accomplishment. Serious style points, that is all I have to say about Cooper, serious style. Not to be outdone by his canine, CP employed a very nice gelandesprung and cleared a fair bit of ground in the process. Once back at the parking lot we were greeted with cold beers from some friendly late arrivals (thank you, Eric and ?).

On Saturday CP and I parked at Blue Lake Trailhead, but headed across the north side of the highway instead. We skied up through a steep treed slope and entered the east side of a high bowl that is NNW of the Blue Lake parking area. Once we reached the bowl, we ascended a 7000ft. plus peak with beautiful treed ridgeline and occasional big open glades. Views from the summit were breathtaking in every direction (Cutthroat Lake was directly below us). Thanks to an early start the snow was PERFECT: not-too-soft corn adhered to a nicely frozen base (a.k.a. HERO SNOW).  Our first run made the whole weekend. Starting right from the summit, we skied a steep south facing ridge with perfectly spaced trees and large exposure below. We spent the rest of the day chasing shady slopes in the bowl, ending up on peak 7250 (just east of Cutthroat Peak).

Go while the skiing is good.


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2003-05-06 09:50:28