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| | |-+  Aug 31-Sept 1, 2013, Cougar Divide, Chowder Ridge
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Author Topic: Aug 31-Sept 1, 2013, Cougar Divide, Chowder Ridge  (Read 2759 times)
knitvt
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Aug 31-Sept 1, 2013, Cougar Divide, Chowder Ridge
« on: 09/11/13, 08:33 PM »

There were a lot of ways to describe this trip, which, in my 22 months of TAY, was by far the highest ratio of ďearningĒ (read: suffering, even more than I usually expect for September) to ďturningĒ.† Itís taken me a little while to sort through the pictures, hence the delay in putting up the trip report.† We actually had already bagged August turns, but if we hadnít, it would have been a great way to take care of both months.

Two of us headed out on this adventure.† We probably could have suffered less with a different destination (we were debating between this and Sholes), but I wanted to check out somewhere I hadnít been before.† Still glad we did, but also glad itís over!† On the one hand, making it an overnight trip led to some of the most rewarding parts of it, but on the other hand, our packs would have been a LOT lighter had we just done it as a day trip.

Iíll describe it in two parts (and at the end, some useful information if any of you make the masochistic decision to try and get your turns out here):

Ways in Which We Earned These Turns

  • With:

    A speeding ticket 10 minutes after leaving home.† Whoops!† In hindsight, the first day of Labor Day weekend + the last day of month should have tipped us off that the highway would be crawling with cops pulling people over.

  • With thirteen miles of forest service road (Wells Creek Road), 4-5 of which I spent cringing hoping the rocks wouldnít tear anything important off of the bottom of my car.† You can make it up without a high-clearance vehicle, just be careful and prepare to scrape things up a little bit.

  • Carrying overnight packs with skis and boots through a lot of forest and some creative log crossings:

    and


  • With AWFUL BUGS.† The biting flies were horrendous.† Once home, I counted 92 (not exaggerating) bug bites just on my legs alone.† If you go out here, BRING YOUR BUG SPRAY.† I wish we had.† It would have been worth the extra weight.

  • Some pretty great exhaustion leading to not the best second day ever.† But we still got the skiing in and made it home it one piece!



Things That We Earned

  • A beautiful place to camp.† It was a great flat patch of dirt surrounded by alpine meadows, valleys, and Shuksan, Baker, and Hadley Peak, with a small running stream nearby as a perfect water source.


  • Views of really neat lenticular clouds on Baker Ė it had such a great looking hat!


  • Amazing views of the milky way, of which no photo could do justice:


  • September turns on Chowder Ridge, even if we only made a few hundred feet of them:


    My travel partner was really excited to get six extra turns on this tiny piece of snow.† Talk about dedication!




Other Useful Information if, in Your Addled Brain State, You Decide To Bring Your Skis Out Here

  • We really appreciated having boot crampons.† We never used our skins.

  • Let me reiterate - bring the bugspray!!

  • We didnít get over to ski on Hadley Glacier, but if youíre considering it, hereís how itís looking (with Shuksan and Baker and sunset, just for good measure):


    We met a skier and snowboarder coming back on Saturday who had made some long runs of turns on it.† There are a fair number of crevasses opening up that it looked like they had to dodge.† You can probably still get very short turns on Chowder Ridge, but from the other trip reports from around now, it sounds like one can get equally short turns with much less travelingÖ so I wouldnít necessarily recommend coming out here just for the skiing!

  • The place where we camped was spectacular, though.† It was at just around 6100 ft somewhat up Chowder Ridge after where Cougar Divide intersects it.† There were flat spaces of dirt amidst the alpine meadows, and a small stream nearby for water.

And when I curse the misery of this trip, Iíll just remember this picture:

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telemack
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Re: Aug 31-Sept 1, 2013, Cougar Divide, Chowder Ridge
« Reply #1 on: 09/11/13, 09:07 PM »

Hard-working trip; excellent report.  Hadley Glacier looks more bony but with more extensive coverage than last year.
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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
oappleq
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Re: Aug 31-Sept 1, 2013, Cougar Divide, Chowder Ridge
« Reply #2 on: 09/11/13, 09:34 PM »

Those six turns on the second run were totally worth the suffering! Thanks for a great trip and time.
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lrudholm
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Posts: 374


Re: Aug 31-Sept 1, 2013, Cougar Divide, Chowder Ridge
« Reply #3 on: 09/12/13, 12:06 AM »

I did a couple of day trips out there last October, fantastic area.
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Leyland
mikerolfs
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WWW
Re: Aug 31-Sept 1, 2013, Cougar Divide, Chowder Ridge
« Reply #4 on: 09/12/13, 05:59 AM »

Wonderful effort and report!  Bravo!
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wolfs
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Posts: 634


Re: Aug 31-Sept 1, 2013, Cougar Divide, Chowder Ridge
« Reply #5 on: 09/12/13, 02:58 PM »

Now that is turns earned hard!

HATE that Cougar Divide road. I still blame that road for frying the manifold and headers of my Subaru Forester about 5 years back, relentless first gear climbing without getting enough speed to blow air through the radiator and engine. Not to mention all the "Cascades approach racing stripes" you get from scraping encroaching alder (still like that?)

Bugs also not remembered fondly ...

From my familiarity with the amount of snow on the ridge and on Hadley in the fall that I've seen some years, those conditions do look a bit boney ...
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rlsg
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Posts: 516


Re: Aug 31-Sept 1, 2013, Cougar Divide, Chowder Ridge
« Reply #6 on: 09/12/13, 03:09 PM »

THANKS FOR THE BUG REPORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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knitvt
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Posts: 109


Re: Aug 31-Sept 1, 2013, Cougar Divide, Chowder Ridge
« Reply #7 on: 09/12/13, 06:08 PM »

...Not to mention all the "Cascades approach racing stripes" you get from scraping encroaching alder (still like that?)

They actually weren't too bad - or at least, the rocks on the road kept our attention enough that I didn't notice!


THANKS FOR THE BUG REPORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Haha, no problem.
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The Snow Troopers
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Re: Aug 31-Sept 1, 2013, Cougar Divide, Chowder Ridge
« Reply #8 on: 09/22/13, 02:51 PM »

Quite the contrast from last year's Aug and Sept turns out there. It was nice meeting the two of you on our way out from skiing Hadley the 31st. I was surprised the main chute was wiped out, forcing a down climb to link up the ski. I jumped on TAY because I was wondering where to find fun Sept. Turns, or maybe just retire at 119 months. Either way, I won't be up at Hadley Peak anytime soon. Grin

here is a link to a vid of our day on Hadley http://thesnowtroopers.com/2013/mt-baker-wa-hadley-peak/


Sting, having done "Mosquito Divide" before, took a day walk on Ptarmigan and snapped this pic above.
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