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Chinook Pass 4/4: Naches Peak
Washington Pass 4/7: Whistler Mt. Couloir
Cascade Pass 4/9: Yawning Glacier
It felt great to finally get out and accomplish something a little spicier for a change. You can drive easily to the trailhead right now. We chose to wear shoes on the intermittent firm snow to the meadows which ended up being very efficient. Most of the group was tired from too much skiing already so we started at a leisurely hour and moved at a leisurely pace. As a result, we dropped into the couloir later than we should have. Colfax is a fun little summit and the visibility was as good as it gets. We could see from St. Helens into Canada and the San Juan Islands were easily identifiable. New snow over rain crust and strong solar effects made for some significant wet sloughs in the chute. In addition to starting a little late, 5 people is a bit awkward for steep skiing. It is difficult to keep everyone in safe zones and makes for a lot of waiting. We found ourselves baking in a solar oven getting pelted by falling rime for much longer than I would have liked. Despite the inefficiency, the couloir was filled in enough (10 ft. wide at the choke) and the bergschrund was filled completely. It was a fun little ski mountaineering objective and not all that steep. We skinned back up to our uptrack on the Easton and skied about 1k’ of inconsistent but softened snow which transitioned into the best 3k’ corn run of my life! We were all skiing together at high speed slashing berms and airing off rollers while the sun reflected off the Puget Sound. Balance restored to the universe.
Another bitterly cold day on Mt. Baker. Perfect powder, blue sky, new friends, old friends, whiskey, and a twilight hike out in the winter wonderland. Perfect day.
Very windy and cold but some decent packed powder. We transitioned to ski boots just before Hannegan Pass. Click HD