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|-+  2010 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  March 2010 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  March 17-20, 2010, Forbidden Tour - Sibley Exit
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Author Topic: March 17-20, 2010, Forbidden Tour - Sibley Exit  (Read 2618 times)

Posts: 49

March 17-20, 2010, Forbidden Tour - Sibley Exit
« on: 03/22/10, 01:15 PM »

David, Dwayne and I decided to go high after a splitter 4-day forecast starting March 17th. We dropped a car a Sibley Creek Road (drivable to only 2950’ due to 3”+ overnight snow and 2WD) and headed for MP 21 gate at CRR on Wednesday morning under flurries and clouds. The next 4 days provided the best possible weather (cold, bluebird) and travel (6-12” fresh snow) conditions for the “Forbidden Tour” plus side trips and ski ascents of Austera, Primus and Eldorado peaks with a fun exit variation via the Sibley Creek route to Hidden Lakes trail. We had full winter conditions the entire route with dry snow and not a track to be seen; North Cascades wilderness at its very best! Here are a few details that might be useful for others traveling the area in the near future – at least until the snow starts to melt (or dump again). We hope our skin tracks were useful to others out touring over the amazingly beautiful weekend. Lots of good powder snow still out there...

BB Approach: Walked the CRR to within 100-yards of the summer parking area. Mine road (climbers’ trail) is very brushy and only partly skiable due to thin snow cover. Skiable once you get through brush at the bottom of lower boulder field (~3600’+). Kicked steps and groveled through steep, alder pitch b/t lower and upper boulder fields.

Sharkfin Col: Ascent to notch is icy and crampons are necessary. Cornice is ripe and hollow. We dug out rap anchor slings and cornice entry groove. Rappel is currently possible with 120’ rope to get to snow. ‘Schrund is skiable but breaking up.

Boston Glacier: A well-graded and pleasant skin track is possible from 7100’ “rib” toe directly to the steep snow slope below N ridge notch. Crevasses are bridged (or avoidable) and present limited route finding obstacles. We roped this crossing since we were setting track in fresh, deep snow.

North Ridge Notch: Skied to within 30’ of the notch with a moderate skin track though recent solar sluffs/rollers. Unconsolidated snow for boot pack to notch.

Forbidden Glacier Descent: The best of forbidden fruit, with winter powder for almost the entire run. Best exit below ~5600’ is to ski the gut (left line) and follow a left-trending ramp/gully feature that threads through the cliff/headwall below the ice snout (we missed this feature but saw it clearly from other points in our tour – especially from the lake). This ramp/gully feature leads easily to the broad, plush debris fan down to Moraine Lake. Right tree exit benches are okay but glide cracks are starting to form already in slabs below 5000’. Looks better to ski the gut for now…

Primus Peak: A worthy side trip after skiing Austera Peak. Approach by rounding 6800’ bench that skirts around E ridge of Austera. South flank of Primus is skiable to summit and provides a fine ski descent.

Eldorado Peak: We were able to ski easily to the summit (on early morning of 3/20) via E ridge. Ski crampons necessary unless you want to boot back the last ~100 VF. Summit ridge is broad, causal and largely cornice free. Fine powder skiing down NE flank of Inspiration Gl.

Sibley High Route Exit: Instead of tramping down Roush/Eldo creeks (at current high snow levels), we opted for a last-day exit around the south side of the Triad after our Eldo Pk ski descent. We stayed high below the Triad Col (climbing a short, steep avalanche slope at ~6620’) and crossed the S ridge of the Triad at ~6520’ to enter the NE terminus fork of Hidden Lake Creek. We ski-glissed this basin (S-SW of Triad summits) at ~6550-6400’ and crossed into the S terminus fork via a steep rib crossing at ~6350, always on skis. This put us into the “descent gully” mentioned by Becky and Nelson, where we climbed 400’ to the notch at Point 6804’, with an easy 30-ft boot pack at the top. An hour of pleasant powder skiing and traversing (dropping below the toe of an obvious rock buttress at ~6230’) brought us back to the Hidden Lakes Peak divide/ridge at an obvious saddle (elev. 6560’-) just south of the westernmost snow shown on the quad sheet. The ridge between here and Sibley Creek Pass is a spectacular series of corniced bumps with great views and exposure – all very tour-able with ski crampons and careful route finding. Highly recommended. The descent from Point 6440’+ to Sibley Creek Pass is relatively steep and exposed but skiable after the steady groove of four days in the alpine. Over 2000’ of skiing (first corn of the trip) brought us down to the Hidden Lakes trail. You can currently ski the gulley to the north of the trail to ~4300’ then thrash 50-yard south into the woods to pick up the trail at the summer bivy/camp spot. The traverse from Eldo E ridge camp to HL trail took 6.5 hrs at a casual pace. Longer but far more interesting that standard Eldorado Creek exit.

Hidden Lake Trail: Icy but walk-able from ~4300’ to road end lot at ~3600’ Road can be skied down to ~3300’ where you can currently drive with 4WD. Spring snow events will change this driving end point (bring chains!). We walked for ~1.5 miles to fetch our 2WD car at 2900’ then completed the car shuttle back to MP 21 CRR.

We had a great four-day outing with mid-week solitude. Alpine nectar all the way! Thanks to Dave and Dwayne for willingness to try the Sibley exit option and for always charging.

* Austera_Gl-800.jpg (43.28 KB, 800x600 - viewed 979 times.)

* Fruit-800.jpg (55.35 KB, 600x800 - viewed 944 times.)

* Eldo_Sibley-Exit-800.jpg (41.46 KB, 800x600 - viewed 948 times.)

Posts: 2434

Re: March 17-20, 2010, Forbidden Tour - Sibley Exit
« Reply #1 on: 03/22/10, 01:21 PM »

Beautiful Crispin -- great TR.

Posts: 273

Re: March 17-20, 2010, Forbidden Tour - Sibley Exit
« Reply #2 on: 03/22/10, 02:40 PM »

That second shot is awesome.  One for the wallpaper.

Posts: 190

Re: March 17-20, 2010, Forbidden Tour - Sibley Exit
« Reply #3 on: 03/22/10, 02:59 PM »

from high on Little Richard, we saw you guys traversing Triad's S flank on Saturday, wondered from whence you came--nice idea for an exit.  beautiful day and conditions.  envious you got several days of that...

Posts: 25

Re: March 17-20, 2010, Forbidden Tour - Sibley Exit
« Reply #4 on: 03/23/10, 12:02 AM »

It was a great trip!!!

Here are a few more photos...

return to Klawatti Col after a ski of Austera and Primus.....

Crispin skiing Eldo.....

The ridge traverse on the Sibley exit....

*Fixed thumbnails - Marcus
« Last Edit: 03/23/10, 07:30 AM by Marcus » Logged

Posts: 323

Re: March 17-20, 2010, Forbidden Tour - Sibley Exi
« Reply #5 on: 03/23/10, 11:45 AM »

Nice exit alternative Crispin and co!!  Real nice track to follow up to N ridge of Forbidden - thank you guys!!  An yes going down the gut on Forbidden Gl is more money right now than skiers right.

Lytt til erfarne fjellfolk!
Snow Bell

Posts: 532

Re: March 17-20, 2010, Forbidden Tour - Sibley Exit
« Reply #6 on: 03/25/10, 04:34 PM »

That second shot is awesome.  One for the wallpaper.

For sure.  Great shot.
Thanks for the TR.  Your report conjures both good memories of and wide aspirations for that area.

Life is going to slide by you one way or another
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