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2017 Backcountry Trip Reports => May 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: Peels on 05/30/17, 05:19 AM



Title: May 27-29, 2017, Dakobed Traverse
Post by: Peels on 05/30/17, 05:19 AM
David and I skied the Dakobed Traverse this weekend. It was beautiful but exhausting. The route has more objective hazard, at least right now, than most of the routes we ski.

We kicked off the trip Saturday morning with a 6 hour warm up hike up the Indian Creek Trail (oops!). Don't cross the bridge at the trailhead!! We finally started up the (correct) White River Trail around noon. We transitioned to skins at about 3900 ft. We'd been hoping to make it all the way to Clark on our first day, but between the lengthy route finding error, a bee sting, and a dropped ski on the climb to Boulder Pass, morale was deteriorating rapidly so we decided to make camp at the pass.

We got up Sunday morning and headed over to Clark. The glacier was straightforward. We wore harnesses but didn't rope up, as was the case for virtually the entire trip.

The biggest challenge of the day was the super soft, wet slidey, conditions. After Clark, we'd been planning to ski the fall line on the Richardson Glacier (the presumably gentler alternate option described in Volken's book), but it started sliding because of our rollerballs. We retreated on skins, and fortunately, the steep col between Clark and Luahna was nicely shaded and primed for a pleasant side slip. The crux of the afternoon turned out to be descending onto the Pilz Glacier which was also very slidey. David did a long ski cut which helped, but we were worried about slides from above too. We second guessed our decision to drop in there.

We eventually wound up skiing straight down to the col above Moth Lake rather than heading to the col east of Neyah Point (which would have been accessed by traversing high on the Butterfly Glacier). After 5 hours of sunbathing and R&R at this delightful col (undoubtedly the highlight of the trip), we began the steep traverse around Ten Peak Mountain at 7 PM with hopes that the cooler evening temps would improve stability. There is a lot of objective hazard along this section. However, we felt fairly committed to completing the route, because turning around and climbing the Pilz Glacier didn't seem like a good option either. Luckily, we made it through the traverse without any issues and retired for the night near the small lake just below the Ten Peak Couloir.

The rest of the trip passed smoothly. The alder on the Lightening Creek exit was the worst we've ever encountered and seemed absolutely endless, but we can handle the alder! Our only other challenge was crossing Thunder Creek which was true to its name and wound up killing about three hours. Though usually fearless when it comes to creek crossings, we were a maxed out on our willingness to take on more risk. After a futile search for reasonable options, David bravely crossed the best log we could find (right near the washed out bridge) without a pack and created a hand line. I then ferried our packs across one at a time, humping the log but prusiking for back up. David then went back and retrieved our rope. Not efficient (or even necessarily safer), but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

All in all a good trip. Though we didn't see anyone else, we were able to make out faint tracks from a previous party for much of the traverse. If the creators are out there, thank you! It was always very reassuring to see and we thought your route finding was great!



Title: Re: May 27-29, 2017, Dakobed Traverse
Post by: Scottk on 05/30/17, 09:49 AM
Beautiful area. One of my favorite trips ever.  We exited via White Pass and Indian Creek, which might add another day, but it has a trail and is free of slide alder and creek crossings.


Title: Re: May 27-29, 2017, Dakobed Traverse
Post by: david23 on 05/30/17, 10:06 AM
More pictures from our trip:


Title: Re: May 27-29, 2017, Dakobed Traverse
Post by: Peels on 05/30/17, 10:17 AM
Quote from: Scottk on 05/30/17, 09:49 AM
Beautiful area. One of my favorite trips ever.  We exited via White Pass and Indian Creek, which might add another day, but it has a trail and is free of slide alder and creek crossings.


Thanks Scott!  We checked out your post before the trip and it inspired us! 


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