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Author Topic: April 10, 2005, Hawkins Mt.  (Read 1664 times)
Pico Cantieni
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April 10, 2005, Hawkins Mt.
« on: 04/11/05, 02:28 PM »

   Camp Cr. is as far as one can now reasonably drive up the Cle Elum valley thanks to the resurgence of winter over the course of the past couple of weeks. We got a liesurly 11:00 AM start from Camp Cr. A few die-hard snowmobilers were unloading at the junc. The Fish Lk. Rd. is clear of snow to that point but is pot-holed and muddy in spots. A high-clearance vehicle would be a good idea.
   We were able to ski from the car on a thin layer of mush but put skis on packs when we left the Boulder Cr. Trail access road to begin the climb to the ridge crest. After about 500 ft. of boot climbing on mixed snow, dirt and slippery kinikinick we reached skiable snow and skinned on up the ridge south of Camp Cr.. At 5000' we found about 32" of remarkably uniform, compacted and fairly sodden mushy snowpack . Ski penetration was only a couple of inches into a sort of "proto-corn" and the traveling was most enjoyable.  We ate a late lunch at about 5600' as the sunny morning transformed itself into a seriously overcast and increasingly cold and windy afternoon.
   Within 50' of leaving our lunch spot the snow conditions began to deteriorate. The ridge was wind-packed and freezing under our skis into an icy crust. At 5700' a cold wind was whipping out of the east at ~20 mph and it was clear that there was not going to be any FUN skiing between here and the summit. So skins came off and we headed down the ridge hoping to outrun the dropping temps. and concommittant breakable-crust-blues.
   The recent storm cycle has put plenty of cover on the ridge. Anyone who's skied there knows how much fun it can be to cut garlands back and forth across the ridge until it flattens in a band of dog-hair forest. We hit the  snow conditions just right and were able to ski the ridge and trees to within a few hundred feet of the Boulder Cr. Road.
    Ski opportunities on Hawkins have been significantly reburbished by the last storm cycle and it looks like there's more snow coming in this week! The runs off the summit and into upper Camp Cr. could still offer some fun skiing before the snow's all gone.
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Pico
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