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| | |-+  May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
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Author Topic: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah  (Read 5735 times)
jtack
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May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« on: 05/23/13, 12:43 AM »


This trip actually started around the middle of August, last year. I was turning circles over a fire near Ellensburg called the Taylor Bridge, with some time on my hands and I spotted this striking strip of white to the west. I actually took a picture of it for reference (but cannot find it) and planned to see where it was when I got home. When I finally had a moment to spend some time on Google, it did not take long to find what I was looking for.

47 28.917' N 121 17.233' W

I called Mike Rolfs, and gave him the details, a few days later, he was ready for a look.

Well all this time later, with grand plan after grand plan slipping through our fingers for one reason or another, it was really down to the wire to try and get a trip put together. We have been so inspired by all the great trips everyone was doing, and were kinda thinking about trying to do something on Stuart. I suggested we just go ski Cascade, Mike was game, but I could tell his heart was not really in it. We had been thinking and talking about Lemah off and on, but it just kept slipping off the bottom of the list. I don't recall who finally made the call but, a trip to Lemah became the plan. Mike suggested that a overnight would be the best bet, and since he was underwater at work, I needed to put the plan together. Neither of us had ever been in that country, and we were not sure how far we would be able to drive. A call to the FS revealed we would be able to drive two miles past the bridge on the Cle Elum River, making for a 12 mile long flat slog. Thankfully they were wrong, and we were able to drive right to the trail head at Cooper Lake. The trail was mostly snow covered, and firm enough to walk most of the way. We changed our tactic on the way out, and Mike managed to "ski" well, he had skis on his boots, but the snow was a little sparse in spots, most of the way out, I walked, and he skied, and we arrived together, we declared it was a wash.

The trip was great in so many ways, first because we had been lusting over it for awhile, we really did not know anything about it, in country we had never traveled in, our time window was pretty good, the terrain was spicy, but not too scary, it was stunning in it's beauty, the company was great, and some of the skiing was dreamy perfect. I think that about covers it, OH, did I mention the waterfalls, perfect!



And the slog began



Stream/River crossings were definitely the most nerve wracking part of this trip











But there was reward















The weather was not the best for photography, with gray being the color of the day, and moisture from the west side just pushing across the crest, we had off and on drizzle and "fresh snow" for about half of the ski.







A bite of Gouda,and clams!





And then some down.

















We left the Cooper Lake trail head at 1500, and were sitting on the PCT by 2000, it would be faster now that we know the way, and how to avoid some of the nastier creek crossings.

We left camp at 0730 on the PCT, were on the col at 1100, and back at the car by 1800, the last hour was a little tiresome, but by and large it was a nice trip. of course this trip could be done in a day, some of you, before breakfast, but it was a nice day and one half for us.




« Last Edit: 05/23/13, 08:11 AM by jtack » Logged
Pete A
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #1 on: 05/23/13, 05:46 AM »

nice one!   i think many of us have spied that big SE couloir splitting the Lemahs and thought about skiing it...good of ya to get it
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mikerolfs
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #2 on: 05/23/13, 07:05 AM »

What a great line. I'm sure glad you saw it from the air, Jamie. Thanks for including me on this adventure.

I'll be back to this spot for sure. The meadow below the chute was wonderful; Meandering river, flat valley bottom, towering cliff walls with tall waterfalls, and of course a nearly 3000' ski run at the far end. Good place for a family hike.

Here is a photo in the Becky Guide. We parked at Cooper Lake, but we didn't get this view. The ski was the gulley between Lemah and Chimney Rock:


And here is the line:


The footbridge on the map near the end of my blue line is not present. Jamie has a picture of the far abutment above. We saw a portion of the bridge on the bank of the river some ways downstream. (those waterways are serious - no stream hopping in this area).

..edit to add my favorite shot of that awesome valley. Check out the waterfall on the left!


« Last Edit: 05/23/13, 07:09 AM by mikerolfs » Logged
chmnyboy
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #3 on: 05/23/13, 09:25 AM »

Awesome work, I think you made the right choice not going to Stuart!
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alecapone
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #4 on: 05/23/13, 10:27 AM »

Good eye jamie!

Something sweeter about finally getting that last peice of fruit off the tree you weren't quite sure you could reach. Pays to let it get perfectly ripe, eh?

Great adventure and write up guys.
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scott
Jake the Brit
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #5 on: 05/23/13, 12:30 PM »

Love it, you've re-ignited my obsession with that area.

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andyski
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #6 on: 05/23/13, 01:37 PM »

Awesome! I saw that line on a flight last month. It's beautiful. Inspiring stuff.  Cheesy
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christoph benells
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #7 on: 05/23/13, 01:43 PM »

that looks beautiful!
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Kyle Miller
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #8 on: 05/23/13, 02:24 PM »

Awesome guys. Thank you for letting me take that journey through your writing and pictures. I have wondered about it for years.
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In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............
Griff
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #9 on: 05/23/13, 03:44 PM »

Been nearly 30 years for me and wanting to get all the way back there. I can be so lazy.

In fact, a number of times here in the last month I have looked back there and said I gotta go.

Thanks for the great TR. Looks so beautiful!!
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freeskier
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #10 on: 05/24/13, 07:06 AM »

Great write-up! Trips like this exemplify what this pastime is all about.
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avajane
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #11 on: 05/26/13, 02:55 PM »

Thanks for the report guys. Thats one for the list. When I first moved to Washington in 1985 we went camping at Cooper Lake and I'll always remember that area's beauty...that approach looks like a fair trade for 3,000 feet of good angled skiing!
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
all mtn
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #12 on: 05/26/13, 05:01 PM »

 - is that mtn the 'mah' of Lee ?    (just a joke)
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Fletcher
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #13 on: 05/26/13, 11:59 PM »

Sick! Lemah is way up there on my summer scrambling list. Way cool country back there.
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ian_delaney
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #14 on: 05/27/13, 08:14 AM »

Awesome trip Jamie!!! Great to see your getting out.
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TN
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #15 on: 05/27/13, 09:00 AM »

Really nice guys.  Mike, do you actually tele on those dynafits?  I'm planning on getting some lighter weight, trail carrying boots and skis next season for the "trail approach" part of the season.  Probably won't ski ALL the way out on them though!!!!
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"Slow down!  Let ME break trail!  Save the turns and the steep stuff for the way down.  We'll get there sooner,  ski all day and you'll still be able to stand up after dinner tonight!"  The Trail Nazi
Marcus
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Re: May 17-18, 2013 Lemah
« Reply #16 on: 05/27/13, 09:07 AM »

Check this earlier thread out TN:

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=21837.0

I've been using that setup for the last year and change.  They do the job nicely, especially for long tours where the weight adds up.  I think Mike's been on them for a while as well.
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