Home > Trip Reports > May 22, 2003, Cutthroat Pass, NCNP

May 22, 2003, Cutthroat Pass, NCNP

WA Cascades East Slopes North
Posted by Alan Brunelle on 5/22/03 9:20pm
For those who plan to make a weekend trip into the Washington Pass area...

I did Cutthroat Pass yesterday (Thursday) and the conditions were less than ideal, yet loads of fun.  There had been new wet snow the previous day or so not far from the Porcupine creek/ rt. 20 start, just an inch or so just above the road to maybe three inches at the pass.  The light rain and drizzle made it wet and it had not bonded at all to the lower corn layer.  Up high this made for difficult skinning.  While the skins certainly gripped the surface layer the surface layer tended to slide underfoot.  Not too bad though, just couldn't take as direct a line.  I did have to boot it up to the short spur just south North of the pass proper because switch backs failed to hold under weight.  It was kind of fun dodging the snowball rollers on the way down though.  The best part under these conditions was skiing the trees in the top 2/3rds of the way back down.  In fact the trees is were I stayed even up high because of the flat lighting conditions and the difficulty of judging the terrain up high.  (Its a bummer to be linking turns and then suddely fall over because the terrains levels unexpectedly and you lose speed!)  The last 1/3 of the trip, I booted it.  The snow was still hard down there with ice chicken heads.  Much faster getting out on foot.

Because the new snow layer was so shallow, the conditions for the weekend should improve very dramatically as that layer dissappears or melds into the old surface.  Enjoy!

On another note, this was my second trip into the Porcupine creek basin in two weeks.  Two weeks ago I opted to explore the the little basin adjacent and just south of the Cutthroat Pass basin.  This is a fun short trip that ends a bit higher than the pass though it has far less possibilities than the expansive areas around the Pass proper.  Both times the weather was less than ideal and I can't wait to get back soon under good conditions to spend more time yo-yoing.

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Alan Brunelle
2003-05-23 04:20:15