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NWAC Avalanche
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|-+  2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  March 2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Bedal Peak, March 26, 2009
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Author Topic: Bedal Peak, March 26, 2009  (Read 1805 times)
James Wells

Posts: 484

Bedal Peak, March 26, 2009
« on: 03/27/09, 10:32 AM »

So mosetick wanted to adventure to the Mountain Loop “Highway” and after checking TRs on TAY and other places, we came upon this good one posted by kevinsteffa 
I messaged Kevin for beta and it turned out he could also go, then mangerk joined us as well, so we were 4.

We found not much snow (and all of it old) at MLH road level coming in form Darrington, but finally got stopped by a pile of snow just beyond the Bedal campground.  We could have dug through but it was not worth the effort since our turnoff was only a thousand feet down the road.

Some of FS 4096 was skinnable to the trailhead at 2100’, then the initial stretch of trail was very marginally skinnable, the only reason to do so was that it was better than postholing.  After scrambling under fallen trees and up some steep gaps between cliff bands, we were beginning to wonder about this route.  The ubiquitous little pieces of pink flagging, plus Kevin’s unerring navigation, led us onward.

At 3000’ things improved to nice gladed woods with some obvious nice pillowed chutes for the return.  At about 4500’ we started across into the open chute that goes down to Nels Lake.

It is super tempting to just go up the glorious open slope from here, but Kevin knew from prior adventures that this would lead to a major cliff out above.  So on the second try he found and led us across an obscure and exposed traverse above a 40’ cliff into very open glades above and to the east.

From here: amazing winter wonderland.  Moderate open north-facing slopes of sparkling powder decorated with clumps of trees led us on onward with spectacular views from Whitehorse to Glacier, with Pugh front and center.   We moved into somewhat more serious avalanche travel mode but it was pretty easy to get on to a series of ridges heading up slope that appeared safe.  Despite hearing the regular sound of massive avalanches on the sunny south and west facing exposures on Pugh, Spring Mountain, and the ridge heading east toward Glacier, all was good here – we had chosen well with a straight north aspect.

By 3:30 we had run out of enough daylight to summit and also get back down through the lower purgatory in daylight, so we found a good spot at 5900’ and started a most excellent run back down, through the open alpine then down into the glades to 3000’.  The rest of the deproach from 3000’ to 2100’ was tedious and accomplished with various modes of transportation.  I found that skiing with skins on worked pretty well.

If you want to summit Bedal by this route, it would be better to go a little later in the spring.  Drive FS 4096 to 2100’ when 4096 is free of snow.  Then simply hike to 3000’ (easier if dry), get to the snow level, and start skiing somewhere around there.  This is what Kevin did last May.  But, you would not get the powder!

The other three were the photographers and have agreed to post some pix and/or links to pix.  Thanks for Chris, Kevin, and Kyle for an awesome day out!

[Corrected based on comments below]
« Last Edit: 03/27/09, 09:48 PM by Travertine » Logged

Posts: 160

Re: Mt Bedal, MArch 26, 2009
« Reply #1 on: 03/27/09, 11:49 AM »

Thanks for the report, I'm looking forward to some pictures, gotta add this one to my Mt. Loop list.
Kevin Steffa

Posts: 92

Re: Mt Bedal, MArch 26, 2009
« Reply #2 on: 03/27/09, 03:02 PM »

Thanks for the invite, and a great day out!

A few corrections, the road number is 4096 - easy to remember, it is 2^12

Definitely will be an easier approach next month with a little more melted out on the road and more visible ground on the 'purgatory' section of trail to 3000'. I was surprised to be able to skin as much of the lower route as we did. However, it is remarkable that there was no evidence of storm damage to either road or trail, no additional blowdowns or washouts.

- Mossman

Posts: 159

Re: Mt Bedal, MArch 26, 2009
« Reply #3 on: 03/27/09, 04:01 PM »

What a interesting, challenging, and fun trip!  I had several gear issues, the main one being that my skins need to be re-glued, and the other being that one of my ski poles was sucked into a worm hole when I fell on the way up, never to be seen again.  Fortunately, my ski straps worked well on my skins despite needing to be adjusted constantly.  Also, it is possible to do a backwards somersault down this mountain with yours skis in free heel mode and end up with a tree branch in the back of your pants scraping your butt and leg.  This is actually near where the worm hole is located, so watch out.

Thanks to everyone for a great trip and memories. Kevin, thanks for being an awesome guide!

Also, from what I remember and can see in my photos/video the sildes on Mount Pugh were more west facing then south facing, but I may be wrong.


Travertine rips bedal

Mangerk tears it up

Glacier Peak

Snow Mushrooms
Rusty Knees

Posts: 811

Re: Mt Bedal, MArch 26, 2009
« Reply #4 on: 03/27/09, 04:35 PM »

Hey Chris - great photos!  Your photography is getting pretty dang good!
Beautiful area.  Man am I jealous!

The best part of summer skiing is napping on a warm rock.

Posts: 808

Re: Mt Bedal, MArch 26, 2009
« Reply #5 on: 03/27/09, 05:46 PM »

Glacier Peak (insert drool).

James Wells

Posts: 484

Re: Bedal Peak, March 26, 2009
« Reply #6 on: 03/27/09, 09:56 PM »

Corrected a few things in original post.  Obviously I mixed up 4096 (easy to remember as 2^12) with 4070 (similarly memorable as 10 * 11 * the twelfth prime number).

From Pugh there is a striking west-facing ridge (including the pretty extreme looking west face of Pugh) that curls around to south-facing gullies on Spring Mountain (I did not know it had a separate name until a minute ago).  The common properties of all of these places are that they are steep, were loaded with about 2-3' of new, the sun was shining right on them, and they were avalanching.

Posts: 443

Re: Bedal Peak, March 26, 2009
« Reply #7 on: 03/27/09, 11:58 PM »

pugh awaits.....
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