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Author Topic: June 27-28 2008, Klickitat north side ramble  (Read 1695 times)
Charlie Hagedorn
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June 27-28 2008, Klickitat north side ramble
« on: 06/29/08, 09:31 PM »

The forecast and the elevation of the sun called for a trip to visit Adams' north side. As I'd never been up there before, I placed primary importance on exploring. I'd hoped to explore the NW ridge on Saturday and Lava Ridge on Sunday. My plans were unfortunately modified by the double whammy of an unruly experiment in the lab Friday afternoon/evening and a 12:30-3:30 am solo conflict with a seductive snowdrift. With both obstacles placated, sleeping in and refocusing my energy on Sunday seemed in order.

Saturday morning as I hiked the road, I got my first close look at the north side. I'd always seen folks write things to the effect that "I looked at the mountain and felt the mountain look back into me....", but hadn't experienced it personally. Once that was (temporarily) over with, I was saddened to note that I couldn't see a way to ski Lava Ridge without traversing way out onto the headwall, something I didn't wish to do, to finish the route. I did, however, see the little sneaky snow line I'd seen in pictures from similar vantages on the internet that I thought would allow me to ski a less exposed line down the NW ridge. So, off to the NW ridge.

I bivied at ~7k near the base of the NW ridge after making sure I'd avoided any glacier travel problems for the morning. A 6 pm arrival at camp left plenty of time for ogling the north face (NFNWR). I believe it presently requires a pretty big huck to ski it the "normal" way. Further inspection showed that linking patches at the ridge top was perhaps possible with a couple carries, but seemed to carry with it the same exposure to cliffs associated with the NFNWR proper. I resolved to constrain my ski options to less exposed terrain and hunt for the elusive sneaky line. The sunset was sublime.

Long story short, the elusive line is actually a north-facing snowfield that overhangs the Pinnacle  Glacier from the south that deceives a distant viewer. I wasn't feeling physically all that great, so I opted out of climbing the chossy ridge-top to see if I could find a line onto the Pinnacle Glacier Headwall that I liked.

When I left 7k at 5 am, the snow was already corn, so it took just a twinkle of sunlight at 8800 before it was ready to ski. I dropped from my high point on a W facing snow finger on the ridge at 9 am (it got sunhit at ~8:45). T'was good, if short. I opted to traverse low toward the car and took the E fork of Adams Creek toward the road. A few hundred feet above the road on the S side of the creek I encountered young dense timber with well consolidated tree well divots. There are better ways.

Road 2329: I made it a mile or so from the junction with 5603 with my Escort. On my way out, a stock-looking SUV had made it to the Spring Creek campground. Several burly 4WDs with boats (how bizarre!)  forged a path to Horseshoe Lake but no further. If left untouched, the rest of the road to Killen Creek TH might be SUV-compatible in a week, perhaps longer. If the north side calls you, just go. There's a lot less snow higher on the mountain on the north side than the S/W sides. Incidentally, there aren't any volcano pass envelopes at the fee station at Killen Creek...


* NSideOverview.jpg (97.52 KB, 800x600 - viewed 407 times.)

* NWRidgeGoat.jpg (98.53 KB, 600x800 - viewed 411 times.)
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toby_tortorelli
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Re: June 27-28 2008, Klickitat north side ramble
« Reply #1 on: 06/30/08, 08:17 AM »

I thought that rock band on the NFNWR might present more difficulty when I saw it on the circumnavigation report from a couple weeks ago. Looks like it turned into a full-on cliff! Do you have any more pics from a closer vantage of the NFNWR?
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: June 27-28 2008, Klickitat north side ramble
« Reply #2 on: 06/30/08, 08:27 AM »

Yep. Sure do. Wink.


* TobyTsStoke.jpg (96.21 KB, 800x600 - viewed 384 times.)
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Salal
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Re: June 27-28 2008, Klickitat north side ramble
« Reply #3 on: 06/30/08, 10:16 AM »

Yikes...thanks for that
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