Naches Peak, Chinook Pass, was our destination to work off some of the excesses of t-day on the day after. There were plenty of folks out in the area; overheard several groups chatting about the turns-all-year site (TAY). It’s a rare treat to have this area accessible by car with this good coverage in the “early” season.
We were a group of three, our first time meeting each other after answering posts for partners on TAY. We met one other splitter on the trail and told him to get his ass up on this site to hook up with others. Mostly AT/tele groups were out in effect though there was evidence of a couple board carrying snowshoers too.
We went out Chinook Pass, climbed around on Naches Peak, fit in 3 runs each to a different area, all fresh tracks. Conditions proved stable, some slight sluffing that didn’t very far, but no slabs. 1cm+ hoar had developed. It was bluebird all day. But, there was a temperature inversion developing. The sun exposed areas we skinned through were gloppy. So, all runs were on N to E aspects in the shade. Even though there were so many groups out there we still had opportunities to break trail and head where we wanted.
Breaking trail, heading in to the sun:
After our first run, looking for a place to do the second, we saw another peak we thought we might skin out to. But, as we rounded a corner to go look at the way there the trail got interesting – traverse on steep with exposure below and then a descent into a valley then back up again to the other peak. It reminded me of an attempt I made last year out to Jove Peak last season in crappy conditions. Would’ve taken an hour at least, probably more. We decided to save this one for another day.
The peak we wimped out on:
We went back to an untracked glades run we had scoped out earlier. On the way there I coincidentally ran into another acquaintance from that Jove-attempt, and his dog Cosmo. Was good to see them again, funny, though not at all surprising, to meet up in the bc. They were headed to the same peak we looked at and we told them about our decision. As were skinning back out of the gladed run we saw their group again, they had made the same decision and followed our run. So, we chatted some more on the steep climb back out of there.
After we climbed out of there we saw some beautiful turns up on that nameless wimp-out peak (happened to meet that group later and congratulated them on their triumph). We were envious because it looked so alluring, but not because they had gotten any better snow than us. Up at that elevation (5400-6400) all N to E aspects were sweet blower, even 4-5 days after last snow, and that’s all we rode on today.
alecapone coming out of a notch between cliffs:
Third run was back up to Naches and off on an aspect that led us to the skin trail out. Still fresh tracks left on that face where probably the most tracks were laid down. It turned out to be one of the funnest runs for me because there were two big jutting cliffy formations that had good coverage so I pointed at each of those to enjoy nice drops.
Yup, that’s me. So sorry we missed getting you out yesterday. It was a long haul but well worth the workout. So, that’s what you call it, “Hanson”? We are having a discussion about it’s name over on snoslut’s crystal recon thread.