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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  May 2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 26, 2012 - MRNP, Tamanos Mtn.
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Author Topic: May 26, 2012 - MRNP, Tamanos Mtn.  (Read 2431 times)

Posts: 63

May 26, 2012 - MRNP, Tamanos Mtn.
« on: 05/26/12, 10:17 PM »

Pete, Andy, and I departed from Cayuse Pass around 8:45am. We headed up and over Sheepskull Gap, following a skin track from the previous day. We skied firm, but fun snow down the other side to the flats beneath Governor’s Ridge. We spied what we thought was the best route over Governor’s Ridge on our ski down and made a beeline for the lowest point on lookers right of the ridgeline, again following a skin track from yesterday. About 150 feet below the ridgeline, the pitch steepened considerably so we racked the skis and booted.

We didn’t see an obvious path down to the Owyhigh Lakes area and with the weather in the distance looking more and more ominous we almost pulled the plug, but decided we’d come that far, may as well at least see if we could find a way down. Turns out it was a very easy and obvious descent involving a zig to the right off the ridgeline to avoid some cliffs on skiers left and then a zag back to the left beneath the cliffs. Hit the bottom and hung a left to head for the gentle south east shoulder of Tamanos. Random snowflakes fell from time to time on our climb up so it seemed the weather was definitely shifting. The snow was rather soft, but we only got two or so inches of ski penetration. It wasn’t continuous snow to the summit so we left our skis at the highest point we could skin and hiked the last 50 feet. Enjoyed the views at the top, from Glacier Peak to the Goat Rocks.

We’d planned to ski back the same way we’d skinned, but the north-facing chute looked intriguing so we dropped in to check it out. The top couple inches of new snow were very sloughy so you had to keep an eye on it, and there were some runnels forming from the slough paths, but all in all it skied quite well. There are a few moats on the sides that will likely melt out in the next few weeks and force a little mid-chute hucking.

We hit the bowl beneath the chute and exited skiers right down a slope of nicely spaced trees. We located our down tracks on the other side of the valley to start the climb back up to Governor’s Ridge and tried to hustle as the sky to the north looked like a big wet, gray cotton ball headed our direction. At the top, the weather caught us, but it delivered a pretty measly punch with just some snow flurries and a few raindrops. We skied some fun, over-cooked corn back down to the flats and by the time we were to the bottom of the final climb back to Sheepskull Gap, the sun was out and we were in t-shirts once again. We booted most of that slope back to the Gap and enjoyed the final turns of the day back to Cayuse Pass, arriving at our car around 4pm. Great tour in an area none of us had really explored before! Pictures to come.
« Last Edit: 05/27/12, 06:59 AM by BeckyB » Logged

Posts: 1816

Re: May 26, 2012 - MRNP, Tamanos Mtn.
« Reply #1 on: 05/27/12, 01:02 PM »

Nice I like that ski route for a good day trip. Wanted to do that last week, but opted for the Cayuse/Crystal tour. Thanks for the report, Sounds like the snow is starting to consolidate a bit in the North Tamanos chute. I did a solo on that chute a couple years ago where the moat was a good 4ft gap and as wide a pair of skis.
I found that just left of the low saddle at Gov ridge (edge of the rock wall) was the best route down and back rather than all the slide alder on the right. IMO.
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