Home > Trip Reports > May 21, 2003, Fortune, NF Teanaway

May 21, 2003, Fortune, NF Teanaway

WA Cascades East Slopes Central
Posted by Charles on 5/21/03 11:04pm
The road is still blocked about 1/2 mile before the Camp Yahoo cabins at DeRoux. There are several substantial blocks in the first 1/4 mile which probably won't melt out by the weekend. Then mostly bare road until the last 1/4 mile. Overcast with sprinkles at first, not very cold (no overnight freezing). The trail became skiable at the fork, where Pete and I debated Fortune or Longs Pass. Low energy levels and possible mush on S slopes were factors, but we decided to give Fortune a try.

An otherwise fairly tricky route up through the trees was made easy by abundant snowmachine tracks, which seemed to fill every available open lead up through the trees. First stream crossing involved using willows as a bridge, but the 2nd was snow. We had lunch in the flats below the big bowl, ~5700'. A "snowbench pit" showed a similar profile to what I had been seeing in the area, except the top layer had been solidly frozen on previous trips: 3" wet medium granular, a thin ice layer, 3-5" crumbly (and now very wet) large granular, resting on dense winter-like snow (fine-grained, probably cold but didn't have a thermometer).

We got up onto the main SE ridge at ~6100', and took it to the top, booting the last 500' where skinning meant too much zig-zagging. The ridge was untracked with a little new (last weekend?) at the top which had mostly become moist. The SE bowl did not look quite as attractive for the descent with all of the snowmachine tracks, avalanche debris (mostly old), and a general cluttered look. A cloud deck had been keeping the sun at bay all day (good), but earlier had lowered to about 7000', so we could only see fog when we arrived on top (bad). We messed around long enough on top, however, that suddenly we began getting glimpses down - Lake Ann basin, then Headlight Creek basin, Ingalls-Longs Pass area. So we waited little longer, and the cloud deck lifted above 7500' and brought out the entire area. Slowness occasionally has its benefits (it was 4pm by now).

We skied S down from the top for about 400' (great corn, 1-2" soft), then traversed left onto the the SE ridge, took it to 6100', and dropped down to the lunch flats. Great corn, 1" soft, all the way down, a couple of spots of semi-mush toward the flats but never breaking through below the ice layer. From there, the challenge was to follow the skin-snowmachine track through the trees without having to ski in it - it's amazing how those machines trash the snow for the long term. The snow in the trees was otherwise pretty good.

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2003-05-22 06:04:54