telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
11/18/19, 10:56 AM

Become a TAY Sponsor!
Trip Reports Sponsor
Pro Ski Service
Pro Ski Service
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
Info Exchange

NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  May 2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 13, 2012, Tower Mountain traverse
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: May 13, 2012, Tower Mountain traverse  (Read 4703 times)

Posts: 13

May 13, 2012, Tower Mountain traverse
« on: 05/22/12, 07:59 AM »

It all came together for a really nice traverse that day - Hwy 20 had just opened, weather perfect, friends at the pass for setting shuttle, and on our part, sufficient energy and motivation for a long traverse. Kevin and I started at 5am from the Swamp Creek trailhead, and ascended the SW shoulder of Mt Hardy. The hardest part of the whole trip was dealing with rotten snow on the open S facing slopes, but this soon got better and we skinned happily up to the south-eastern sub summit of Hardy. Some really nice corny turns brought us down to Methow Pass, from where we traversed to the Snowy Lakes basin.

Ascending from the basin, there are a bunch of notches that look like they would get you over the ridge between Tower Mt and Golden Horn. On a previous trip people took the most stylish-looking couloir (, but we elected the easier way through the saddle at 7800', which leads to a sweet descent ramp on the other side. Even though going up was hot and sweaty in the almost-midday sun, the way down was on excellent firm snow. We did kick off some sloooow sloughy slides, that got quite big over the course of minutes. Tagged the heli landing marker down in the Cataract creek basin, then headed up to the lowest saddle that connects with the Pine Creek drainage.

As we were sweatily ascending, we saw weird looking ski tracks that came down toward us. Why would anyone ski here, and besides, we hadn't seen any sign of humans since Mt Hardy, except for that heli marker! The explanation soon became apparent - connecting the bits of ski track were giant paw prints with five toes. A telemarking wolverine! A toast to all the Ferous Wolvineerians out there, you are the coolest animals ever!!

The good thing about skiing down Pine Creek was that we had snow the whole way, and there really were no bad things to say about it, except it was by far the sportiest skiing, dodging tree wells and grabby snags everywhere, as the whole thing was in dense forest. Toward the bottom, we almost got trapped between the cranking creek and some canyon walls on the left, but found a nice snow bridge to the river right, and managed to not take our skis off until we hit the highway. And there was the car waiting, with snacks and a bottle of warm grapefruit flavored Jarritos inside!

* 120513_tower_mt_descent.jpg (152.2 KB, 490x653 - viewed 976 times.)

* 120513_wolverine_skiing.jpg (165.65 KB, 686x515 - viewed 987 times.)

* 120513_wolverine_footprint.jpg (101.04 KB, 653x490 - viewed 981 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/22/12, 08:05 AM by julegust » Logged

Posts: 398

Re: May 13, 2012, Tower Mountain traverse
« Reply #1 on: 05/22/12, 04:25 PM »

Glad you guys had a good day too!
Looked a little thin at pine creek when we dropped the car off...
Nice work skiing to the car.

Posts: 122

Re: May 13, 2012, Tower Mountain traverse
« Reply #2 on: 05/22/12, 07:40 PM »

Thanks for posting. I have been wondering about that area and now need to add it to the list.
Kevin Steffa

Posts: 92

Re: May 13, 2012, Tower Mountain traverse
« Reply #3 on: 05/23/12, 10:08 PM »

A few more photos here:

It was nice to link so much terrain in one push - passing by familiar ridgelines, then checking out new vistas and dropping into new terrain. Its felt like a big push, and the hardest part was probably the 'wild-west' tree skiing out Pine Creek, but it did go, all the way!

- Mossman

Posts: 5

Re: May 13, 2012, Tower Mountain traverse
« Reply #4 on: 05/26/12, 09:19 PM »

Ferous Wolvineerians

Awesome, never thought I'd read that again.  Thanks for the blast from the past Double Dr. Gust.
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC

Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.