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Author Topic: March 20-22, Caribou Mountain Lodge  (Read 1500 times)
Marcus
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March 20-22, Caribou Mountain Lodge
« on: 03/23/09, 11:02 AM »

Endless refreshing of the National Weather Service forecasts does not seem to have an effect on the amount of rain that they predict, or the temperatures at which it falls.

We met Mark & Lynn near the trailhead and loaded our food and extra gear onto their snowmobiles.  We had a seven mile, 3-4 hour skin in from the parking lot, so there wasn't a lot of touring to be done Friday afternoon.  The lodge is unbelievable.  Two water heaters, refrigerator, water in the taps, upstairs/downstairs bathroom, gas grill.  The whole shebang.  Really, really nice.  Best hut our crew has been to yet, in terms of creature comforts. 
 
Those comforts made the breakable crust and thoroughly saturated snow on Saturday much more easy to accept.  Watching Tundra (the pooch) skitter across the crust in the morning, punching through every 30-40 seconds, was amusing, but kept us in the lodge until things softened.  By the time they did, it had rained a bit and the runs close to the hut were sopping wet, especially down low.  So we built a kicker.  And I dug some emergency snow shelters.  And we sauna-ed and read and played games and drank.  It was great, actually, though we all would have loved some good snow.
 
4-5 inches fell overnight and that effectively sponged up a lot of the moisture in the snowpack.  We packed up our stuff Sunday morning and decided to do a short tour with a descent that cut off several miles of logging road cruising.  We climbed up from the lodge about 1300 feet to the flanks of Caribou Peak and dropped into the north side -- wow.  SO much better than we had expected and we all were whooping and hollering as we bounced in and out of the heavy "chowder".  I haven't had that much fun skiing snow like that in a long time.  We got a good 1000 feet out of it before it turned wet again, after which we picked our way down through the mank and hooked up with the logging road, for a mostly uninterrupted fast cruise down to the cars, with a little skating and poling (and a snowmo tow for the boarders) mixed in for good measure.

We're already booked to head back up there for New Year 2010 -- the terrain around the lodge isn't as big as some of the other huts we've been too, but the tree skiing is fantastic and there are some above-tree ridges/bowls off of Caribou, Keokee and Blue Peak that are drool-worthy.  Hopefully we'll get lucky with the snow next year and have good conditions, but there are worse places to get stuck in crappy weather.  Highly recommended, and much less expensive than a week long heli trip.
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Scotsman
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Re: March 20-22, Caribou Mountain Lodge
« Reply #1 on: 03/23/09, 11:50 AM »

Sessioning a kicker, saunaing and drinking ! You're behaving like a hedonist Marcus.
Thanks for the link. It's already been bookmarked as I didn't know this facilty existed.
Looks perfect!
thanks
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Zap
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Re: March 20-22, Caribou Mountain Lodge
« Reply #2 on: 03/23/09, 02:47 PM »

Thanks for the TR.  Over the weekend, I saw a portion of a TV program on Skiing in the Northwest and there was a segment on Caribou Mtn. Lodge.  Looks like a beautiful backcountry lodge.
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BillK
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Re: March 20-22, Caribou Mountain Lodge
« Reply #3 on: 03/23/09, 10:42 PM »

It is a wonderful place!  I can see it from my house! 

The place is hallowed ground:  my friend died in a slide off the southern face of Keokee several years ago....I was up there skiing last weekend with thoughts of him.  You might find a little memorial that I left the day I went up and retrieved his gear from the rescue site.  RIP, Tim:  a mountaineer is always free!

Enjoy your visits, folks! 

The warm storm conditions are common up here, often raining to the mountaintops,  and the snowmobiles quite often rip the shit out of the area, but you learn to cope Wink
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Stugie
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Re: March 20-22, Caribou Mountain Lodge
« Reply #4 on: 03/24/09, 08:46 AM »

Marcus, I don't know how you did it, but you painted me green via a tr.  Nice trip!  I'm jealous - and that's just from the lodge info!  Glad you guys got some whooping snow! Wink
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Marcus
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Re: March 20-22, Caribou Mountain Lodge
« Reply #5 on: 03/25/09, 08:21 AM »

Ha!  If breakable crust and knee deep shmoo do the trick for you, Stugie, MAN do I have some stashes to show you. Smiley

But yes, can't say enough about the lodge and it's in a really beautiful spot.  The terrain isn't huge, like you'd get in Golden or Revelstoke, but the tree skiing is plentiful and there are lots of aspects to play on for powder hunting.  It'd be an excellent spring destination too, as the ridgelines and steep shots would be very conducive to some interesting longer tours.


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