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| | |-+  Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
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Author Topic: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass  (Read 9537 times)
chmnyboy
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Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« on: 01/24/10, 04:56 PM »

In the Park's infinite wisdom, all trails in the vicinity of the Hurricane Road washout were closed (even those below the washout), thus our planned trip to Heather Park and Mt. Angeles were crushed. Instead, splitgirl, brother of splitgirl, and myself got up to the Appleton Pass area.

I started off the trip by stumbling in a creek and filling my shoes with water, so I was stuck with ski boots for the 7 mile hike in. After setting up camp on Saturday at 3700', we ascended through the basin until above treeline. At this point we spotted a nice line off the ENE aspect from the summit of Mt. Appleton. The terrain persuaded us to climb up the far NW edge of the bowl, and soon we found out that our route was a fine example of how not to ascend a mountain. Undeterred and on top of a very stable snowpack, we traversed steep sections around the bowl until we were in a safer area. Here we found that on the lee slopes (NE facing) of the last storm (Monday or Tuesday) lay some fairly reactive windslab, thus our route through the ENE face of Appleton was a no go. Still, a safe route allowed us to gain the col between the N and S peaks of Appleton just before the sun set, allowing good views of High Divide and the Northern Baileys. In the flat light provided by the setting sun, we used our uptrack to give our eyes perspective as we rode the windpacked snow 2100' before hiking back to camp.

This morning we woke to angry skies and instead of further exploration in decreasing visibility and snow/rain, we opted to bail and make it down in time for happy hour.

The vitals: There are two creeks to cross, the first being rather small and right after the parking lot, and the second, relatively large creek, was at 2500' and required me to have barefeet and roll my pants above my knees. Aside from that the approach was simple with no blowdown. Probing the snowpack showed no layering, aside from the 5" to 10" of windslab on the NE aspects.

Hopefully we can get a link to some more pics of the surrounding area. This area could easily support a week's worth of skiing.


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Snow Bell
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #1 on: 01/24/10, 05:22 PM »

Great job on the recon.  It looks like the HR closure may spur some new exploration from you peninsula prisioners.   Wink

I would love to see some more pictures.  The Baileys wisper my name.

Joe Bell       Joe Bell      Joe Bell     come ski me
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Life is going to slide by you one way or another
Marcus
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WWW
Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #2 on: 01/24/10, 05:53 PM »

Love seeing all these Olympics TRs -- great stuff.
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runcle
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #3 on: 01/24/10, 07:54 PM »

Thanks for the report!

I have a feeling I am going to miss access to the high country via my car! I hope that sink hole on the Ridge Road gets filled long before the predicted 6 weeks!   

I was interrogated by the flaggers and turned away by the Ranger yesterday as I made my way to the Lake Angeles trailhead via the Klahanne Club access rd. She told me one of the neighbors was pretty ticked off at all the cars using the road since the washout and that they were thinking of closing all the hiking trails leading out of Heart of the Hills.

I hiked the spit instead.

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Gary_H
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #4 on: 01/24/10, 08:56 PM »

Great job you guys, sounds like "plan B" turned out to be a good choice. Wish it would have worked out for us to join in on the adventure. We are looking forward to hearing more details.

We made an effort to get to the Ridge today. Hiked up the Little River Trail. We made it to elev. 3,800 ft (6+ trail miles) before getting turned around by increasing wind and snow. Here is a link to a few pictures from our day.

              http://picasaweb.google.com/GaryJanH/2010124LittleRiverSkiAttempt

Gary and Jan
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There is no such thing as too much snow............... Doug Coombs
jp_
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #5 on: 01/24/10, 10:12 PM »

According to the newspaper, the park rangers are hiking around the slide to access the ridge road with vehicles parked on the far side.  Sure seems like they could do the same thing for the rest of us with a bus or two until the road is repaired.  I'm not sure who's calling the shots up there at the washout site, but if anyone's trying to hike it, it might be useful to know that the Lake Dawn Road on the west side of the lake is shown on county maps as county owned right of way clear to the Park boundary. The boundary is only about 400 feet from the parking lot for the Heather Park and Lake Angeles trails.
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haydenslides
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #6 on: 01/25/10, 05:39 AM »

so...what's the story here?  as i understand it, you cannot access the hurricane ridge area via the hurricane ridge road...are they saying it's okay to be up there if you don't go via that route ONLY?  I'm planning on trying the Wolf Creek trail next week to access the Hurricane Hill area...
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haydenslides
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #7 on: 01/25/10, 05:42 AM »

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20100124/NEWS/301249991
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jhamaker
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #8 on: 01/25/10, 10:14 AM »

chmnyboy:  Where did you park?  Where can you start skinning?
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trees4me
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #9 on: 01/25/10, 01:09 PM »

Wow, that's a great trip!  I'll have to keep that area in mind next time the Olympics are calling.   The webz had said that you could drive to the Upper Dungeness TH, so we almost went over there... but the thought of a long hike with skis/boots on my back deterred me. 

What elev did you find skin/ski -able snow at?
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chill people, skiing is fun
chmnyboy
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #10 on: 01/25/10, 07:18 PM »

Great job on the recon.  It looks like the HR closure may spur some new exploration from you peninsula prisioners.   Wink

I would love to see some more pictures.  The Baileys wisper my name.

I'm usually too focused on the destination to do any good recon, but here're a few more pics. A ski trip in the Baileys looks pretty ambitious!

Edit: I don't know why these don't have a proper text link. Re-edit: fixed.

traversing under the north peak
appleton pass panorama
looking across the pass towards Mt Carrie
Mt Carrie
Looking up towards the West side of the basin
View to the East

runcle, jp, and hayden, I'm not sure what the deal is with the HotH trailheads. We were definitely disappointed when we were denied the Heather Park trail, even though it didn't require access (foot or car) through the washout.

chmnyboy:  Where did you park?  Where can you start skinning?

Wow, that's a great trip!  I'll have to keep that area in mind next time the Olympics are calling.   The webz had said that you could drive to the Upper Dungeness TH, so we almost went over there... but the thought of a long hike with skis/boots on my back deterred me. 

What elev did you find skin/ski -able snow at?


Thanks! We were juggling between Appleton and something in the Upper Dungy/Royal/Buckhorn area. We parked at the Olympic Hotsprings lot up the Elwha. Patchy snow started at 3000' and was continuous above 3500'

Thanks for all the comments!
« Last Edit: 01/25/10, 07:42 PM by chmnyboy » Logged
jeff_s
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #11 on: 01/25/10, 08:23 PM »

Patchy snow started at 3000' and was continuous above 3500'

What a difference a year makes! This time last year I started skinning at the closed gate at the overlook above Lake Mills (I think that's ~1800'), and there was 3 feet of snow at the hot springs.

Thanks for the TR and pics. Someday I want to recruit people for a midwinter tour from Appleton to 7 Lakes Basin. In the summer I've hiked through the meadows east of Oyster Lake through Spreadeagle Pass (I think that ramp on the right side of your "View to the East" picture is the start of the meadows). Once you're at Appleton there's not a lot of elevation gain & loss; you stay right around 5000' the whole way to 7 Lakes, with many days' worth of great slopes all along. It would probably be even easier to do the route with snow on it.

Gary, Jan, Greg & Jeff: Very impressive dedication to the cause. It does my heart good to see evidence that I'm not alone in my snow addiction.
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Gary_H
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #12 on: 01/25/10, 09:27 PM »

Tyler,
Excellent pictures, if you ever get tired of engineering, it looks like you have a bright future as a photographer.  Wink

Jeff,
When you start looking for recruits for that trip, keep us in mind. We also have hiked that route several times in the summer and I agree it would make an excellent ski tour. There are endless options in that area.

Gary and Jan
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There is no such thing as too much snow............... Doug Coombs
splitgirl
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Re: Jan 24th, 2010, Appleton Pass
« Reply #13 on: 02/22/10, 11:08 PM »

Good job on the report Chmnyboy but you left out a few details about who did all the work to get us up Mt. Appleton, Kular, Blanco and Honcho deserve some credit for bringing way too many luxuries for us on our overnight excursion!
-Splitgirl


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