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| |-+  April 2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 7-8, Snoqualmie Pass, Alaska Lake
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Author Topic: April 7-8, Snoqualmie Pass, Alaska Lake  (Read 1939 times)
MJS
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Posts: 37


April 7-8, Snoqualmie Pass, Alaska Lake
« on: 04/09/12, 10:41 AM »

Schedule and budget have conspired to keep me from doing another guided trip with Forest at Pro Guiding Service.  But I have still been anxious to get out for a tour.  Luckily Jens was feeling the same way and after a stormy winter of little tours around Newton on Hood we decided to try to take advantage of the nice weather to get farther into the mountains. 

Our early plans were to try to do a Snoqualmie Haute Route as by Martin or Lowell.  Thanks to everybody here that let us know about road access for these different routes.  Unfortunately with the current access neither route seemed realistic with the amount of time we had, so we decided to head to Snoqualmie Pass anyway and see how far we could get.

Starting Saturday morning we made good time up Commonwealth Basin thanks to all of the skiers and snowshoers creating a highway.  Things were a little tougher as we chose a crappy route to head up to the Kendall Catwalk, but after wallowing in the snow we made it.  We transitioned to boot crampons and axes and worked up the ridge from the saddle and traversed to transition back to skis.  While skiing north the cold wind eroded our aspirations and the steep face with recent avy activity deterred us from climbing and skiing into the base of Mt. Thomson.  It was also about this time that we saw a couple drop into the Kendall chutes.  It was clear from their turns that they had an awesome run and I think Jens and I both agreed they had made a better decision for the day's route selection.  Our intention was from Mt. Thomson to ski to Huckleberry, but neither of us felt comfortable pushing that hard in what seemed could be potentially challenging conditions.  Instead we opted to ski powder down to Alaska Lake.

At the lake we set up camp, and Jens proved to be an exceptional Megamid interior decorator.  We had a very comfortable home with a bedroom, comfortable couch, kitchen, and a mudroom to get boots on and off.  Once camp was set we headed back up for another lap in snow that was quickly crusting up.  We finished the day by skiing back to camp, cooking dinner, and passing out. 

That night proved to be warm, we left a water bottle out and there was no ice forming at all in the morning.  With the crusty snow we experienced we believed anything south facing was going to be a struggle and decided it made more sense to ski north facing powder in Commonwealth on our way to earlier than planned burgers and beer.  We had a great trip and resolved to return in spring/summer conditions to get to the farther peaks. 

This trip was an almost identical trip to last March with Forest.  Thanks go out to him for introducing me to the amazing potential of Snoqualmie Pass.  Also if anybody sees a pair of Dynafit ski crampons north of the catwalk please let me know.  Somehow I failed to get those back in the pack. 


* Snoqualmie_April_2012_Small.jpg (50.37 KB, 845x634 - viewed 705 times.)

* Snoqualmie_April_2012_Megamid_Small.jpg (79.05 KB, 845x634 - viewed 703 times.)
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TobiasT
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Posts: 22


Re: April 7-8, Snoqualmie Pass, Alaska Lake
« Reply #1 on: 04/09/12, 11:18 AM »

Awesome looking trip, and excellent use of the skis as back country transportation.  Inspires me to start exploring some new terrain. 
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chrism
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Posts: 150


Re: April 7-8, Snoqualmie Pass, Alaska Lake
« Reply #2 on: 04/09/12, 12:00 PM »

Liz and I were just behind you two.  We followed your bootpack over the catwalk (thanks for the nice work!) and then spotted you on your traverse around to the high point SW of Alaska Lake.   We took a similar line down to the lake, and saw you guys relaxing after your run as we headed on up Alaska Mtn on our way to Joe Lake for the night.  There were some decent turns to be had in those trees on the way down to Alaska Lake.  Glad you guys got some more runs in there before heading out!  We didn't go back over the catwalk so no ski crampons - sorry. 

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MJS
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Posts: 37


Re: April 7-8, Snoqualmie Pass, Alaska Lake
« Reply #3 on: 04/09/12, 08:31 PM »

Liz and I were just behind you two. 

We saw your turns when we were headed back up.  Apparently we passed each other.  Nice work heading over Alaska to Joe Lake.  I was happy to drop the camp gear at Alaska and call it good. 
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