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| | |-+  April 24, 2005, Mt. Forgotten
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Author Topic: April 24, 2005, Mt. Forgotten  (Read 1971 times)
jt
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April 24, 2005, Mt. Forgotten
« on: 04/25/05, 04:27 AM »

Laps at Stevens Pass or or Mt. Forgotten? Volume of turns or an alpine experience? Being unable to make a decision, I grabbed a quarter from my car's ashtray, called heads for Forgotten, tails for Stevens, and began flipping--ten times so fate could send a me a clear sign. The first flip came up Stevens and the next nine Forgotten. Fate certainly had little doubt of where we should head.

Departing from the TH around 7:45 under blue skies and high broken clouds, we made quick progress up the bare trail to Perry Ck. Falls (a month ago the trail was skinnable after about a mile). The peaks played peekaboo and the valley walls poured with waterfalls, a great day to be in the mountains. From a bit above the falls the trail started to turn to snow. Compacted boot tracks made the going easy even in running shoes. At Forgotten meadows we switched to skis and started skinning.

The snow was already soft and the temps pushing toward balmy. Dropping into the first bowl after the meadows to begin the traverse around Forgotten, the top 3" or so would slough off and lumber on down the slope. It didn't pose much of a concern as the route keeps one near the top of most snowfields and it seemed a minimal chance of the whole slope releasing. Being dragged over a cliff was the biggest danger, but given the slow nature of these slides, the small amount of snow involved, and the numerous trees to grab, swimming to safety would have been easy. As well, further into the traverse, the one slope we had to cross near its bottom had already slid in previous days.

At the summit views abounded from Three Fingers and Whitehorse in the west, Glacier to the east, and Twin Peaks and Dickerman to the south. I was even impressed with how the duckbill on my tele boots could stick to a rock edge doing the final scramble to the summit. Perhaps the most amazing thing, though, were the hundreds of ladybugs scrambling around with us on the rocks.

We lazed about in the sun until about 1:00 then tore off through the slush, each turn releasing the surface and starting rather large snowballs rolling that were fun to run away from before they caught up. Turns were easy though sloppy in the mush and mostly eneventful. I did ski off one broken cornice where I had forgotten about the small moat beneath it that took a little last minute leap to avoid burrying my tips into the ditch below and sommersualting down the hill.

The traverse back to the meadow took almost as much effort as it had going toward the summit (top inches sloughing again even where we'd already skied) and being out of water didn't help cool the oven-like temps in the sun. After crossing the meadow we managed to ski about halfway down the trail to Perry Ck. falls before enough close misses with rocks, old growth timber, and sharp sticks made us wise up and switch to hiking.

Our plans to play in Perry Creek basin were put on hold (maybe until next year unless it happens in the next couple weeks) due to lack of energy, soft snow, and time of day (there's a couple nice looking lines--one from the saddle between Twin Peaks and two more coming off the north side of Dickerman). The hike out the rest of the trail was dry and hot with all the surrounding but unreachable waterfalls making my thirst all the more tangible and not even a cold beer waiting at the car (stupid oversight).

All in all the coin was right. Mt. Forgotten doesn't provide the greatest skiing around (too much traversing and stick to Perry Ck. basin for the best lines), but the experience, views, relatively short drive, and the feeling of isolation (only saw two other hikers on the way out) more than made up for getting fewer turns out of the deal.
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jt
Kevin Steffa
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Re: April 24, 2005, Mt. Forgotten
« Reply #1 on: 04/25/05, 05:06 AM »

I was up there in february without the skiis and very little coverage. On the traverse from the meadows we had crossed over to the west side of the ridge about halfway where there was a huge open bowl and generally open west facing slopes - I had imagined that with more coverage it would have been a good ski provided low slide danger (A nice open gully led to the base of the rock). The glades in the perry creek drainage looked like fun (good open forest structure would only take a few feet to cover up the huckleberries and salal)

Its amazing how ladybugs congregate at the very highest of summit rocks around the cascades! I have seen this in summer as well.
« Last Edit: 04/25/05, 05:07 AM by Vertigo » Logged

- Mossman
jt
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Re: April 24, 2005, Mt. Forgotten
« Reply #2 on: 04/25/05, 05:30 AM »

There are many good to excellent lines to ski off of Forgotten given proper coverage (bowls, chutes, tree runs). The only problem I see is that most would require hiking back up (solved by better fitness) as connecting back to the "trail" or finding a way to get back toward Perry Ck. looks to be a challenge, the final parts of any shortcuts often being blocked by cliffs and cornices.

I took my kids up there in Feb. as well and had written off lugging skis in until next year. Two weeks later I was in snow from the TH and skinning shortly after though wallowing knee-deep and beyond. The only other entries in the summit register were from early March before the new snow. I saw some boot tracks early in the traverse, but then lost them. The only tracks after that were from an elk or deer.

Any idea what those ladybugs find to eat up there? Must be lots of it as they seem vigorous and plentiful.
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jt
Alan Brunelle
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Re: April 24, 2005, Mt. Forgotten
« Reply #3 on: 04/25/05, 06:53 AM »

I once made the mistake of sitting near a large congregation of ladybugs while belaying a fellow climber.  I had assumed that these creatures preferred aphids and the like.

Well let me say that on bare rock, high in the mountains, they will try to eat anything, including you!

Alan
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