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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  April 2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 20-21, 2012 Hadley Pk- Cougar Divide+
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Author Topic: April 20-21, 2012 Hadley Pk- Cougar Divide+  (Read 2141 times)

Posts: 50

April 20-21, 2012 Hadley Pk- Cougar Divide+
« on: 04/23/12, 11:04 PM »

We left the ski hill at 0900 Saturday and skied out Ptarmigan ridge on great, firm, refrozen snow. Super fast and fun travel and good skiing too, esp. on solar aspects. 'Toured around the N side of Coleman Pinnacle then over to the flats of Park Glacier, and set up camp there. A group of four had skied the Park (Headwall?!?) earlier on 4/20 and left some nice tracks, exiting via the Rainbow. We had gusty east winds all day & clouds rolled in by 6p. Saturday was mostly clear and a nice "seasonal" temp - keeping the proto-corn soft with wind-packed powder on the lower Park & other sheltered aspects. The temp continued to climb overnight (45F?) at 6800', and the wind kept blowing, maybe 40mph gusts, creating a warm wind-press in places.

Sadly, the snow did not freeze overnight and got a bit mushy instead. The summit of Baker was in a cloud cap at 6am (didn't lift until >1pm), so we aborted our plan to climb and ski the upper Park Gl. Too windy and viz obscure above 8500'. We shifted to our fallback tour across the Mazama Glacier, over to/around NE shoulder of Hadley Peak, and down the Hadley Glacier cirque to the floor (a fantastic ski run) on mushy corn - ok skiing but better touring. Saw a group heading N on E flank or Skyline Divide; how was the exit & ski/walk out? We then toured up to & out Cougar Divide (north) and ski-adventured our way directly to Wells Creek crossing (el. ~2800'), where we picked up the snow covered FS road and skied out to snow line at ~2600', through many climax avy fans across the road, followed by a ~3 mile walk to Hwy 542 at Nooksack Falls turnoff at 5p. Unfortunately, Wells Ck road is still gated at N. Falls. Hitched up to my car at Heather Meadows lot by 6p. Not much traffic going up that road on a hot sunday night. Dinner in Glacier (Milano's - always excellent) then home by 9:30p.

Highlight of the tour was seeing a large Snowy Owl up close in the alpine on Saturday, just below Coleman Pinnacle. Truly one of Nature's great creatures. A sign of spring in the alpine?

A recommended horseshoe tour with many alpine options; mini-Spearhead-ish.

* Chowder_MS.jpg (11.98 KB, 320x240 - viewed 730 times.)

* P-Ridge-MS.jpg (10.42 KB, 240x320 - viewed 744 times.)

* Sluffs_Clouds-MS.jpg (9.6 KB, 320x240 - viewed 720 times.)
« Last Edit: 04/24/12, 07:20 AM by cprahl » Logged

Posts: 323

Re: April 20-21, 2012 Hadley Pk- Cougar Divide+
« Reply #1 on: 04/24/12, 08:41 AM »

Nice tour Crispin!  Any mountain goats around?  I remember seeing a great Snowy Owl a little further out than Coleman Pinnacle one spring 4-5 years ago.  Wonder if it is the same one?  Impressive and beautiful for sure.

Lytt til erfarne fjellfolk!

Posts: 9

Re: April 20-21, 2012 Hadley Pk- Cougar Divide+
« Reply #2 on: 04/24/12, 04:51 PM »

Hey Crispin
Nice trip! Too bad we didn't find you - we did almost the same trip. We followed your tracks out past the Portals and then lost them. We camped on the Mazama Gl and then went over Hadley Pk early Sun morning. Great run down the north side in ok snow. We continued to Skyline trail and skied down the road to our car at the end of the snow. A really fun and super scenic traverse. Thanks to the guys who did the Watson Traverse for shuttling our cars!!!  We swapped keys but never got your names! Looked like lots of snow in Wells Creek. I was wondering if you could ski down Dobbs Cr to get to the road in Wells. It looks wide on Google Earth.

* HadleyPkandBakerfromSkyline.JPG (45.32 KB, 800x434 - viewed 503 times.)

Posts: 26

Re: April 20-21, 2012 Hadley Pk- Cougar Divide+
« Reply #3 on: 04/24/12, 11:18 PM »

You guys took off about an hour ahead of us around Hadley in the morning.  Crispin and I were camped behind the rock in the picture below to avoid the wind.

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* IMG_0369.JPG (81.41 KB, 800x600 - viewed 385 times.)
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