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| | |-+  March 3-7, 2010, N Cascades Heli Yurtopia
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Author Topic: March 3-7, 2010, N Cascades Heli Yurtopia  (Read 1648 times)
Squakmtn
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March 3-7, 2010, N Cascades Heli Yurtopia
« on: 03/10/10, 06:07 PM »

The Squak MountainEars scored a home run last week with the North Cascade Heli Yurt operation out of Mazama. The yurt located at the base of Tamarack peak adjacent to the Pasayten wilderness offered extensive quality terrain.

The weather was storybook; storming so hard on day 1 that it didn't clear enough to fly in until the very end of the day. We managed a quick 800' tour in the storm before it was dark.

The morning of day 2 dawned with total bluebird skies and temps in the teens. NWAC had been calling for .25" of precipitation from the storm, but we ended up with 25cm of new! We proceeded to ski the south exposure of Tamarak and an adjoining ridge known as B1, following lunch by moving to north facing slopes.

Day 3 we went N of Tamarack to Oregon Pass and skied more boot top pow with noisy 2cm long hoar frost crystals on it. Snow pack was plentiful, but pits reveal persistent weak layers on the north slopes at 34, 70, and 90cm depths. The size and shape of the buried hoar frost crystals were impressive, something I have not seen in my years skiing the west side of the Cascades. With the risk of climax slides on the north faces high, we were limited to low angle slopes (not that it was much of a sacrifice given the hero snow!).

Day 4 was spent working to the south, with excellent views of Slate Peak and the basins to the north. We worked a series of NW facing bowls packed with more hero snow.

Day 5 the weather changed, and we toured some nearby NE facing slopes under overcast skies. The heli came and picked us up around 4 returning us to the "civilization" of Mazama. Four hours later we were back on Squak Mountain, tired and very happy.

The 2 story yurt is well equipped with an "indoor outhouse" propane kitchen and a big woodstove. Our guides Ken and Michelle were very professional, entertaining, and generally fun folks. The food from the Freestone Inn was plentiful, and the pony keg of Snoqualmie Ale we brought with us was the perfect after ski tonic for our crew of 7.

I have been to huts in BC, and they don't have anything over the experience at this place. It is great to have such a cool operation closer to home.

More Pics:
2010-03 N. Cascades Heli-Yurt


* IMG_1644.JPG (101.32 KB, 720x540 - viewed 803 times.)

* IMG_1715.JPG (118.22 KB, 720x540 - viewed 795 times.)
« Last Edit: 03/10/10, 08:34 PM by Squakmtn » Logged

Squak MountainEars
"We hear there's powder up there"
~Link~
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Posts: 265


Re: March 3-7, 2010, N Cascades Heli Yurtopia
« Reply #1 on: 03/10/10, 07:11 PM »

Thanks for the snow pack analysis, good information!  Beautiful pics!  Hero snow, uh?  Good call! 
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Stefan
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Re: March 3-7, 2010, N Cascades Heli Yurtopia
« Reply #2 on: 03/10/10, 07:13 PM »

Is this yurt in Barron, the old mining town?

If it is, is there some old dude who lives there year round trying to still get gold?
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Squakmtn
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Posts: 62


Re: March 3-7, 2010, N Cascades Heli Yurtopia
« Reply #3 on: 03/10/10, 08:31 PM »

The yurt is located about 2-3 miles up valley from Barron. Apparently it is road accessible in summer, though you have to pass through several locked gates on private land (mining claims) to get there.

Yurt location:
+48 46' 3.40", -120 42' 57.00"
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Squak MountainEars
"We hear there's powder up there"
stoked
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Re: March 3-7, 2010, N Cascades Heli Yurtopia
« Reply #4 on: 03/11/10, 05:31 AM »

Hi SquakMtn,

I assume you flew in but do you know if the Harts Pass road is open? Last few years in spring it's been plowed to Cache Creek to allow the sleds to get in.
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Squakmtn
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Re: March 3-7, 2010, N Cascades Heli Yurtopia
« Reply #5 on: 03/11/10, 07:39 PM »

The guides said this year due to low snow the sleds have been getting as far as Harts pass.  We did hear one sled in the distance on Saturday when we were at our southern most point of the whole trip, but according to the guides they can't get any closer due to private property and gates.
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Squak MountainEars
"We hear there's powder up there"
Ritalin Kid
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Re: March 3-7, 2010, N Cascades Heli Yurtopia
« Reply #6 on: 03/11/10, 09:31 PM »

I am planing a trip for next year.
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