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| | |-+  Feburary 12-13, Kendall Circumnavigation
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Author Topic: Feburary 12-13, Kendall Circumnavigation  (Read 4104 times)
Alex Ford
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Feburary 12-13, Kendall Circumnavigation
« on: 02/14/11, 07:21 PM »

Gerhard and I, in a fit of adventure seeking behavior, decided to spend the weekend scouting the Kendall Catwalk and Ridge Lake traverse, with the ostensible goal of climbing Mt. Thompson or descending the south face of Mt. Alaska. Given the absolutely delightful forecast (http://www.atmos.washington.edu/mm5rt/data/2011021200/images_d2/ww_5k.24.0000.gif - red means fast right?) we opted to keep our bailout sensors at high sensitivity.

The day began slightly behind schedule after a quick jaunt back to Seattle (only to discover "forgotten" boots in the trunk) and quickly encountered the first of several obstacles. No more than ten strides into our approach a territorial Sahalie drove us back down to our trailhead, resolutely defending the vast fields of untracked powder we had hoped to defile while advancing into Commonwealth Basin. We quickly hoofed down the road, claiming that we'd preferred to start on the correct side of the creek anyway, and make excellent time through the remainder of the morning.

Accelerating upon espying the entrance to the catwalk from the bottom of the basin, we quickly booted to the saddle just east of Red Mountain. After admiring the view, and half-heartedly attempting to boot along the ridge, a thoroughly crusty and unpleasant downward traverse landed us at the correct entrance.

The catwalk itself was nearly unidentifiable, and certainly no help in crossing the slope, so we opted to belay the 75-85 meter scramble along the ridge line to gentler slopes. At this point the rising winds took the opportunity to throw a carelessly placed pole downslope, necessitating a quick run to retrieve the errant gear. (Score!)

The traverse toward Ridge Lake proved quite tricky on skins, with alternating soft wind deposits and hard crusts. Sloughs on the crust were able to entrain surprisingly large amounts of new snow at ~5.5k', so we opted to bail along Silver Creek before committing to longer the traverses ahead.

A dusk run found at a decent campsite around 4k', though not without several increasingly picky relocations. The storm lived up to the forecast, with a moderately blustery night and a clear morning.  A reinforced stream crossing, some tricky up-down skinning across windfall timber and a wet boot each left us on the east side of Gold Creek for the easy skin out.
Thanks again to a sporty partner willing to support a sketchy plan. In the words of the gubernator, we’ll be back.
« Last Edit: 02/14/11, 08:03 PM by asford » Logged
Splitter
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Posts: 191


Re: Feburary 12-13, Kendall Circumnavigation
« Reply #1 on: 02/14/11, 07:43 PM »

awesome
sounds like a good score on the adventure-o-meter
mislaid plans make for the best memories
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: Feburary 12-13, Kendall Circumnavigation
« Reply #2 on: 02/15/11, 08:41 PM »

Smiley. Snoqualmie may not always deliver powder, but it's always an adventure. Nice work!
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Snoqualmonix
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Re: Feburary 12-13, Kendall Circumnavigation
« Reply #3 on: 02/16/11, 10:04 PM »

Smiley. Snoqualmie may not always deliver powder, but it's always an adventure. Nice work!

Well said.

Nice vision guys, thanks for sharing.
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