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Author Topic: Jan 21 Mt Catherine West Ridge  (Read 2407 times)
dennyt
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Jan 21 Mt Catherine West Ridge
« on: 01/21/12, 08:00 PM »

Slept in this morning and got a crack-of-9:45 start from Seattle with Rachel and Mike.  He wanted to check out Mt Catherine, and I wanted to see how it was on skis, so off we went. 

Rode the Hyak lift, and found very heavy snow on the backside, with a 4" cohesive, cracking layer on top of a foot of light stuff. 

Stumbled through the Nordic trail network, and missed the bridge, staying on the north side of Mill Creek.  This meant we couldn't go up the North face as Volken describes, but we were OK with that given the avalanche forecast.  Halfway to Nordic Pass we heard a very loud crash on the North face, which could have been a falling tree or an avalanche, we're not sure.  The wind was quite gusty at times, and tree bombs were still coming down.

We followed a day-old skin track to Nordic Pass and up the West Ridge.  Didn't see any down tracks, so this party must have skied down the North face of Mt Catherine. 

We turned around at 4400' where the ridge mellowed out, as it was getting late and we didn't see much fun skiing on the ridgeline above.  The skiing below wasn't much to look at, with several downhill kick-turns required to navigate the trees without straying off the ridge onto steeper terrain. 

GPS Track: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1425119

This would be fun to explore in good conditions, and with an earlier start.


Luckily we had a few miles of down-skinning as our reward at the end of the day.
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