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Author Topic: Feb 23, 2012, Welcome Pass (Hwy 542)  (Read 1144 times)
Glorificus Adventum

Posts: 68

Feb 23, 2012, Welcome Pass (Hwy 542)
« on: 02/24/13, 12:18 PM »

Janitha was a good sport and decided to come along on an exploratory mission up to Welcome Pass. We parked on the highway where the road to the trail head starts at mile marker 46 (just shy of the DOT station). The trail starts out on an old logging grade. After poking around on both sides of the major drainage the trail crosses, we opted to head straight up immediately to the right. There was a very solid crust layer that started with about 4-6" of new increasing as we went up. From 3200-4200ft we ended up boot packing as the terrain was quite steep, the forest dense, and tricky to get good purchase on the crust. Luckily it was relatively easy going as the crust supported us easily. We skinned to the top from here under increasingly open forest and deeper snow. We made it to the top with good visibility (snow and clouds had been coming and going). The snow pack seemed pretty solid (we were on windward slopes) and never saw any natural slides or other indications. The snow was thicker as we got into the open as a result of the wind, but everything skied very well. It was super fun skiing the more open slopes moving into the trees (lots of little pillows on a medium grade). We ended up following a drainage skiers left of our route up which I think ultimately was a mistake. The drainage was initially "open" but it forced us into some very step and thick terrain. Long story short, the bottom 1500ft was combat tree skiing. Due to slow progress we ended up going by head lamp for the last hour. A very fun trip and would do it again particularly with a low, fresh snow dump.

* welcome_pass_old_growth.jpg (51.45 KB, 960x720 - viewed 564 times.)

* welcome_pass_knoll.jpg (62.19 KB, 960x720 - viewed 561 times.)
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