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| |-+  May 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 26, Cascade Pass
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Author Topic: May 26, Cascade Pass  (Read 2323 times)
ND
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May 26, Cascade Pass
« on: 05/28/13, 09:46 AM »

Early last week I was making grand plans for riding memorial day weekend.  As the weather deteriorated so did my health and ambitions.  Started with a sore throat Wednesday, had the makings of a sinus infection Friday.   All the riding partners dropped off, except Jen.  She was dead set on getting turns in before fire season starts. 

It's probably going to rain....
"our gear is waterproof"
I'm getting sick
"I've been sick for 2 weeks running up hills with 45lbs and carrying a chainsaw, man up!"
I don't think I can get up that early
"yes you can, I'll beat you if I have to, we are riding, get your gear ready"

So we set out for Cascade Pass at around 4:30, that was the earliest I could muster with my nose clogged and throat feeling like sandpaper ripped through it.  We arrived first at the gate to a light drizzle.  A couple drove up who were intending to hike Sahale, I think they turned around on the road after realizing how misserable the conditions were.

Still a considerable amount of snow on the last switch backs of the road, snow is getting too thin to ski down the road now.  The valley was all sun cups and the expected avy debris.  Some rock falls were coming off the arm.  Upper slopes near the pass were very saturated and made for some frustrating skining, all stomping, no gliding. 
We went for a couloir south of the pass off the ridge between Mix-up and the Triplets.  Switched to boot packing when I couldn't get enough grip to set kick turns.  I broke trail up in to the base of the couloir at which point my throat felt like I had swallowed a box of tacks.  Jen took over the tedious job as the slope steepened.  Average of 45 degrees with some steeper sections combined with the extremely wet snow made for a frustrating slog.  We got to the Y where the upper section of the couloir breaks off and saw that the westerly wind coming through the pass was not holding the cloud down in the valley any longer.  We decided to bag it before loosing all visibility. 

The steeps were decent where you could get on an old bed surface, great edge hold and minimal slough.  The un touched snow was stick enough to try and throw you over the bars.  Where the slope mellowed out the snow was a bit stick, but still good turns.  The ride out through the valley was pretty painful on the feet.  It wasn't muir in September, but definitely not fun. 

Hike out on the road was spent with increasing rain.  Ran into an Alpine Ascents group of mountaineers on their way out to camp.  Her friend Gabe, a bus neighbor up in Haines, turned out to be one of the guides.  It really is a small world.


* couloir_south_of_cascade_pass.JPG (157.87 KB, 960x637 - viewed 1161 times.)

* jen_breaking_trail_up_couloir.JPG (123.88 KB, 480x640 - viewed 1163 times.)

* looking_down_to_cascade_pass.JPG (179.71 KB, 596x800 - viewed 1164 times.)
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ND
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Re: May 26, Cascade Pass
« Reply #1 on: 05/28/13, 09:48 AM »

A hipstergram shot and current conditions in the valley


* jen_riding_cascade_couloir.JPG (117.32 KB, 640x640 - viewed 1183 times.)

* valley_from_cascade_pass.JPG (142.4 KB, 640x480 - viewed 1165 times.)
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skykilo
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WWW
Re: May 26, Cascade Pass
« Reply #2 on: 05/28/13, 01:10 PM »

Nice, that's a fun little couloir. 
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ND
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Re: May 26, Cascade Pass
« Reply #3 on: 05/28/13, 03:46 PM »

Thanks Sky, I really want to get back here in conditions where you can open it up.

Forgot to mention, for stability we saw no significant movement anywhere.  The snow was a little dirty most everywhere, so nothing fell during the week as seen to the south.  Also forgot the runnel slash in wonderful lighting.


* cascade_runnel_slash.JPG (166.68 KB, 596x800 - viewed 889 times.)
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alecapone
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Re: May 26, Cascade Pass
« Reply #4 on: 05/28/13, 05:53 PM »

Damn.. Jen sounds pretty tough!

Good write up man, and nice slash.
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scott
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Re: May 26, Cascade Pass
« Reply #5 on: 05/28/13, 09:54 PM »

Haha yeah the icing on the cake is that she rocks clapped out Lange ALPINE race boots, obsetheds, and markers. Nothing even remotely lightweight there!
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Jake the Brit
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Posts: 339


Re: May 26, Cascade Pass
« Reply #6 on: 05/28/13, 10:15 PM »

Great images, and an excellent effort eating a box of nails too.
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