Last weekend was the real deal spring time in the PNW.
Our group of 9 peeps met at the Lynnwood P&R for car minimization and grouping into ground clearing rigs. Out through Arlington and Darrington, the cascade river road and then simbly creek FS road, found us at snow. We parked about 1.5-2 miles from the summer trail head, and hit it, the damn boards on and off again skinning when encountering the ever present 100 yard sections of dirt road. Encounterd a few recent (1-2 days old max) wet slides across the road just shy of the trail entering the woods. From here we headed up a narrow valley, with huge cirques all around. There were some large slides on all sunny aspects, including one (6 ft crown??) that was down to dirt. We skirted up the side of the valley and avoided sketchy slopes. At this point in the tour I had to shoulder the boards for a few undred yards and stay in the shade so as not to post hole to much. The AT kids were also having trouble w/ this section sans ski crampons. I should get a set of those for the remaining spring months. Here is where I got Dusted by the AT and Tele Kids…Gone they were once in the open…No worries though twas a stable day and I didn’t mind the peace and quiet…something about the North Cascades makes you feel really small in a good way!
The conditions were prime- cloudless, bright sunshine, and just enough wind to keep things comfortable. After ~ 4800 ft of skinning, the summit finally was ours- and the view was striking- it is truly an amazing spot. . The first 1000 feet of riding was sublime- cold windbuff with occasional patches of softer fluff. The sight of nine sets of perfect tracks (along with some doggie prints from Cosmo) was pretty stunning! Lower, the snow had softened quite a bit and was pretty grabby, but the sun and company made it fun all the same; some mellow XC touring and then dirt skiing (for some) or hiking (most) we arrived back at the cars around 4pm. The posse then reconnected at the Mexican place in Arlington for some excellent eats. All in all, a near perfect tour!
Wet releases above valley
Skin Track continues up to the lookers right then around the ridge…up up and away
Looking into Hidden Lake from our high point appx. 7100 feet.
Hidden Lake peak and North Cascades Looking N/NW towards Canada.
Gang of 4..I mean 9! Eat, Rest, Repeat!
Cosmo (Jerry’s wonderdog) atop our high point. Look at them purdy shadows… Looking dead west.
Down, Down for about 4500′ Top 2800′ above tree line…Fast Snow!:D
Some times ya can’t hold the edge you need at speed, the 158cm dosent cut it at high speed, open snow insert head… 😈