Mt Daniel Tour (East, Middle)
WA Cascades East Slopes Central
Intending to do a variation on the Snoqualmie High Route from 5/29-5/31, we left a car at the Gold Creek TH and then parked where snow blocked the road towards Hyas lake TH, about 1 mile up from Fortune Creek TH (N47.4900 W121.0496). Slept Friday night there in a cold, below freezing night. Hiked in 9+ miles up the road and then along trail towards upper Hyas Lake. Miserable hiking + skinning up down and around everything. Started up Mt Daniel and realized we didn't have it in us to make the distance we'd need to get to Gold Creek on time. The hike in just took at lot out of us.
So we bailed to a very fun alternate plan: camp in the cirque below Mt Daniel. We toured Daniel East and Middle Peaks on Sunday, then descended to our camp in the cirque. The upper slopes were awesome skiing. Ski cuts were required to slice off the wet loose from some of the lower slopes on the way down from Daniel (there had been at least 3-4 inches of new snow on Thursday night). Some of the big wet slides in the photos were natural, and some were our cuts. The surface left after the wet loose released skied really nicely. We are likely the source of the tracks reported here (https://turns-all-year.com/trip-reports/mt-daniel-main-middle-east-june-2-3)
To have the full multi-sport adventure, and cause we were carrying ropes and harness and ice axes, we rappelled down to the cirque on saturday night and snow climbed up a gulley with some trees and rock steps in it on the way out on Sunday night.
Camped Sunday night down nearish to Upper Hyas lake, and then skinned/hiked the 9+ miles back to the car on Monday. On the way out, we leveraged our observation that snow was more continuous near the water (theory: higher on the slope to the west got more sun, and so had less snow that low in the valley). Lots of slide alder was walked across. One person in the group had a tick on them by the time we got back to the cars.
Had yummy lunch at Roslyn Cafe.
Mt Daniel main slopes
East on the left, middle on the right. new wet loose down the middle from our ski cuts.
Hyas lake and valley
There's snow in the valley from Hyas lake TH, but the skinning is rough.
High quality terrain
Mandatory skinning across the slide alder picture
Mandatory pretty picture with blue sky that made all the bushwhacking worth it.
Nice! So cool. We suspected someone had to have been skiing out there over Memorial Day Weekend, and kept hitting "refresh" on TAY hoping to see up-to-date info on the road. Glad you waited till today to share -- if we'd had confirmation for how much road we'd have to walk, we might have bailed for a lazier plan.... But I'm sure glad we didn't.
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