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| | |-+  Mar 18, 2012 Jim Hill Mtn NW. Face and Beyond
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Author Topic: Mar 18, 2012 Jim Hill Mtn NW. Face and Beyond  (Read 2270 times)
John Morrow
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Mar 18, 2012 Jim Hill Mtn NW. Face and Beyond
« on: 03/18/12, 07:36 PM »

This one is located in the Central Cascades off Hwy 2.  No guidebook mention that I know of.   Easy access to the trailhead: head about 5 miles east of Stevens Pass to the Stevens Pass Nordic Center parking lot.  Stevens Nordic has a sign above the groomed ramp directing folks (mostly snowshoers) onto the USFS Lanham Lake summer trail.  The start was fast going on broken trail 2 miles to beautiful Lanham Lake.

Jake and I have been begun exploring the country behind Lanham Lake for the last two weeks.  After scoping last week, and favorable stability today, we went up onto the NW Slope/Face of Jim Hill for the day.  Again, we were not disappointed!

But first, we stopped by Blewett on Saturday with Jake's brother Justin.  Sweet recycled powder all day.

Onto today, at Jim Hill Mtn and the points beyond.  The approach is great, follow the trail out of the Nordic Center to Lanham Lake and then follow the logical main drainage beyond to the base.
At the giant avy fan of the NW Face find a series of logical (lower left to upper right trending) treed ramps at first.  Then switchback up a center band of oldgrowth.  Finish the climb on low angled climbing terrain, climbers left of the big bowl, to the base of the summit area cliffs. Jake's thumb points at the whole route and ski in the first pick below.  The top of the big bowl tops out at about 5800 feet.


Strip 'em and go!  First we skied the bowl, then entered the baby avy slope forest and rolls, finish either on steeps in the gullies or exit skiers left below the big cliffs to the SW.

Then we climbed back up last week's route to the 5800+ ft. saddle at the back of the valley, then east along the ridgecrest to ski off the 6040+ ft. point on Jim Hill's west ridge.  This is the slope we wanted last Sunday but bailed due to potential slide conditions.  The point is visible in the far right of pic one with a bit of sun on it.

Snow was absolutely incredible for this N/NW facing run all the way back to the valley floor!

Stability:  We pretty consistently found anywhere from 8 to 12 inches of lightly recycled powder (looks like deformed fragments on the ski topsheets) over 4 finger stiff refrozen snow.  We were thinkng that this stiff snow may have been moisture saturated new snow from late in the workweek that the warm temps really heated up but not enough to crust.  However, on the upper slopes of the big bowl there was some wind effect on previous storm snow, at intervals, making for some easy shears on a couple tug tests that Jake did at 5700 feet.  That was enough for us to say, 'Let's climb no higher".  Our second run in the back of the valley was simply nice deep wind protected and recycled powder!

Another fantastic weekend Jake and Justin!!!

More pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23557848@N03/sets/72157629615864625/


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« Last Edit: 03/19/12, 10:11 AM by John Morrow » Logged
deeppow
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Re: Mar 18, 2012 Jim Hill Mtn NW. Face and Beyond
« Reply #1 on: 03/20/12, 08:18 AM »

Your pics are excellent. Always wanted to get that area, maybe later this season when things calm down again. Thanks for sharing!
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AlpineRose
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Posts: 170


Re: Mar 18, 2012 Jim Hill Mtn NW. Face and Beyond
« Reply #2 on: 03/21/12, 03:41 PM »

Really enjoy reading your trip reports; this one is no exception.  Thanks for sharing information on this imaginative tour. 
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