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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  February 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Feb 17-18, 2013, Mt Winchester
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Author Topic: Feb 17-18, 2013, Mt Winchester  (Read 1724 times)

Posts: 3

Feb 17-18, 2013, Mt Winchester
« on: 02/21/13, 10:51 PM »

Headed out from Seattle on Sunday morning with the goal of spending the night in the Mt. Winchester Hut.† We made it to the lakes by about 2:20pm, but didn't feel like we had enough time given the low clouds to make it up to the hut and ended up snow camping by the lakes.† No tracks of anyone up there.† Skied steep fresh powder on the flank of Mt. Winchester facing the lakes (northern exposure) that afternoon.† †We headed up to the hut Monday morning.† Only the very top section was wind scoured. Hut was in great shape.† Awesome ride down.†

Trail notes:
Road is blocked starting at the highway so it was a extra long skin.† About two inches of fresh snow on the road, around five inches higher up.† †No skin track when we arrive.† †Lots of avi debris on the trail, but easy to skin over.

* Winchester_Mountain_-_BC_Ski_Tour_002_600x800.jpg (240.65 KB, 600x800 - viewed 756 times.)

* Winchester_Mountain_-_BC_Ski_Tour_020_600x800.jpg (243.12 KB, 600x800 - viewed 753 times.)

* Winchester_Mountain_-_BC_Ski_Tour_042_Stitch_800x281.jpg (113.7 KB, 800x281 - viewed 763 times.)

Posts: 37

Re: Feb 17-18, 2013, Mt Winchester
« Reply #1 on: 02/22/13, 01:51 PM »

Might as well as a little spice to this report.  Party consisted of one mountaineer, two skiers, and a splitter.  Guess who brought the Scooby snacks?

This was my first winter camping experience and I will say that when that extra heavy pack was initially put on I was immediately playing head games with myself.  That was a mental thing I dealt with the whole time I was wearing it.  Iím probably in the super lightweight class, so my pack was easily more than a third of my weight.  And I wasnít even carrying a tent or stove.  Clearly I didnít pack all dehydrated food for this trip.  But that will pay off later in spades!

Quite the slog when leaving from the DOT bldg and getting to the lakes.  Forecast didnít pan out as hoped so the snow wasnít as deep and the clouds never really lifted.  As Q mentions above we pulled the plug after starting up from lakes as it was already approaching 3pm and we had just finished digging a pit.  Nothing too concerning, but the visibility never got good enough to see a clean line to the top.  A couple members of the party got shut down last year a few hundred feet from the top.  Echoes of that were in minds so we went and pitched the tent and dug a snow cave.

Mountaineer fella decided to play house and three of us put in a skin track and ripped some turns.  Q mentioned this but I believe we were on the southern slopes of Winchester.  Maybe it was a good thing I was doing the map reading for once.

After a couple laps we went back and had dinner.  Thatís when I busted out the big ass bag of bbq chips.  The crowd went wild.  As if that wasnít enough I then got out the smoked gouda, coppa, soppresseta, baguette, and sliced up some apples.  It was on at this point.  Beers, booze, and port were consumed and then it was bedtime.  Even though I didnít carry any of the shared gear, these kind gents gave me the middle spot in the tent due to the food I packed.  I felt honored to be given the coveted warm spot.

Apparently it cleared for a bit that night, but we awoke to overcast skies.  The potential lines in this zone are spritty sick.  While the other three were shucking and jiving and waiting on their morning rituals I headed up for some breakfast pow.

Met them back at camp and three of us headed up to find this mtn top hut.  It never cleared up but weíd get occasional glimpses of what was all around us on the way up.  A few hundred feet from the top my two cohorts had a flashback from their last attempt and were on the fence for continuing.  A little coaxing to peek over the next ridge got us really close.  One last little crux and we made it to the hut.  Good times.  Obligatory photos, quick snack, signed guest book, hot box, and then descended to the lakes.  Great long run back down with ~8Ē of PNW blower on top of a firm crust.  More reason to point it and not turn too deep.

Back to camp, packed up, and long ass slog back to the cars.  Camera dude is now in Whistler so maybe heíll add some color to this later.


Posts: 3

Re: Feb 17-18, 2013, Mt Winchester
« Reply #2 on: 02/22/13, 11:05 PM »

MC, I can tell you always bring the spice plus this time definitely the motor and cojones to get us to the top. 
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