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| |-+  March 2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  March 21, 2009 Red Mountain Snoqualmie Pass
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Author Topic: March 21, 2009 Red Mountain Snoqualmie Pass  (Read 2416 times)

Posts: 376

March 21, 2009 Red Mountain Snoqualmie Pass
« on: 03/23/09, 02:31 PM »

Victor, Wayne, Climber Dave, Jamie (Thane) and I met up at the Mercer Island Park and Ride on Saturday morning. 
With a less than ideal forecast we were pleasantly surprised to find blue skies when we arrived at Snoqualmie Pass.  We figured skiing conditions would be rough from the prior day of rain but chose to climb and ski Red Mountain for some healthy exercise none the less.

Upon the start, we ran into the Forest Service leading a snowshoe trip into Commonwealth Basin so we quickly set off through the trees to get ahead of the enormous group.  The ski in went quickly and we reached the base of Red in short time.  Then began the arduous steep climb up, making short switchbacks over frozen avalanche debris on the lower south face before gaining the southwest face.  Four hundred feet from the summit we chose to boot up the steeper slope.  Wayne started the booting and Dave, Jamie and I followed in pursuit while Victor kicked his own path across from us having been scoping out a different ascent route for us.

At some points the steps became shallow snow on ice and I was growing uncomfortable with such perilous climbing and the difficult purchase my tele boots were not allowing.  I kept close to Jamie finding comfort in his company as he worked hard to provide me with more adequate steps. 
I finally decided to put my skis back on and skin the route being more comfortable on such steeps with skis under my feet.

Upon the summit we took obligatory photos and relished in our success as we took a healthy lunch break.
By the time we had to ski through small sections of avalanche debris the snow had softened enough that it was not as horrendous as we thought we might otherwise encounter. 
However, before reaching the creek, the unscathed slopes we had been elated to ski were now heavy which required a stable stance to avoid being sucked into the deep glop and thrown down. 
Once on the snowshoe track back down the creek the skiing went fast.  It deemed a luge run which required rotating one leg out of the track to manage speed around tight corners and wet trees that occasionally reached out to smack us as we sped by.  We called in the ‘one leg luge run’ having burning quads and occasional smiles as we whipped down the trail.

More photos can be found at:

* Jamie_Medium.jpg (51.12 KB, 450x600 - viewed 844 times.)

* RedMt_061_Medium.jpg (59.25 KB, 800x533 - viewed 861 times.)

* RedMt_0572_Medium.jpg (66.06 KB, 800x534 - viewed 850 times.)
« Last Edit: 03/23/09, 04:05 PM by Lisa » Logged

Posts: 295

Re: March 21, 2009 Red Mountain Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #1 on: 03/23/09, 06:54 PM »

Here are some more photos from the trip.  Lisa also wanted me to add that the trip was a FULL body workout and I completely agree.  I actually snapped a BD expedition pole in half on "one leg run" due to an accident involving me+pole+ski+very aggressive snow snake  Angry
I'll add commentary to the photos later.


« Last Edit: 03/23/09, 10:45 PM by climberdave » Logged

"Are we rolling down hill
like a snowball headed for hell?"
Merle Haggard

Posts: 53

Re: March 21, 2009 Red Mountain Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #2 on: 03/23/09, 07:28 PM »

My first post for a very nice "ski de randonnee-alpinisme" tour.  Missing the skyline and a summit shot.  Here they are.  Great company!

* RedMt_034.jpg (111.55 KB, 1000x666 - viewed 716 times.)

* RedMt_041.jpg (111.44 KB, 531x800 - viewed 715 times.)

Posts: 3

Re: March 21, 2009 Red Mountain Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #3 on: 03/23/09, 11:53 PM »

Thanks for the report and leading the way. I toured up there with friends Joe & Kristy on Sunday. We encountered some heavy snowfall and whiteout conditions on the way up, but that at least gave us slightly more dust-on-crust to work with before hitting the avy debris and glop further down. The luge run down the Commonwealth drainage was quick and surprisingly fun.

For those interested, our pit at the lower part of the slope showed said dust on top of a crust that sat bonded atop several feet of well-consolidated snow.

Posts: 48

Re: March 21, 2009 Red Mountain Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #4 on: 03/24/09, 08:24 AM »

Hey Lisa,

Thanks for the TR. As Fredd said, Kristy and I joined him on a tour up there on Sunday. We also chose to boot up the last few hundred feet. I certainly didn't look very sharp on the way down, taking many a spill in the heavy glop. I hope you represented us freeheelers a little better than I.

« Last Edit: 03/24/09, 08:29 AM by joepa » Logged
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