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| | |-+  January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
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Author Topic: January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain  (Read 6767 times)
radka
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January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
« on: 01/27/14, 07:45 PM »

Kenji and I were pretty clear on what we wanted to do this weekend. It had to be a combo of “a somewhat of a bigger objective” (Radka) and “something not so predictable” (Kenji). Kenji proposed we try Teebone Ridge which looked like a perfect destination so off we went. In the car we made further plans, such as, hey let’s camp at the lookout at Lookout Mountain, that will be so cool, and then the next day, we ski down to the saddle and climb Little Devil’s Peak and then Teebone Ridge. Yeah! I think in the context of the North Cascades this would be described as grandiose thinking. Sure! Let’s climb it all!

At the trailhead (elevation 1200 ft) we were soon faced with reality as we tried to lift our packs the size of a house on our backs. Whoa! That must have been 50 lbs each with overnight gear, skis, camera gear and all that. I opted to hike up in ski boots, carrying my hiking shoes while Kenji did the exact opposite so it seemed like the suffering was evenly distributed. I don’t know what gummy bears we had that morning but even with all that weight our progress was 1300 ft in the first hour on a very lovely trail. After about 2300 ft of ascent we hit the snow and switched to skis – for maybe 10 mins before the snow disappeared again and we were back to carrying skis. It seems that that was the theme of the trip. We were able to skin after the creek crossing. Some advanced skinning methods were employed towards the ridge, including the generous use of veggie belays.

We were finally able to see our objective – a lookout perched on top of an impossibly steep hill. Getting to the lookout was no small feat as we had to drop down a couple hundred feet from the ridge, then do a short hairy traverse, followed by a steep final ascent to the top of the mountain. At this point, the whippets had to come out and I am not talking about little dogs. I have no pictures from the approach at all as I was too busy maneuvering my load over this rugged terrain.

After a full day of work and over 4600 ft of ascent we were finally at the lookout, but not until climbing several flights of stairs to the lookout proper. We were very happy when we found the door to the lookout unlocked. What a cozy place! Two beds, lantern, table, dishes, gas lantern…complete delux accommodations. We were both pretty wiped so we took naps before getting started on night pictures in all directions.
As we went to sleep, I started to feel like there was a herd of cats in my throat that was scratching its way out - not a good sign. I also thought I heard a mouse in the lookout and got up a couple of times but didn’t see anything. Must be the cats in my throat…

In the morning, I woke up not feeling well and Kenji discovered a hole in his sandwich. Somehow the cats in my throat didn't scare off the mouse in the lookout.

We were admiring the views until 10 am when we finally decided to start packing. We decided to at least check out Monogram Lake which didn’t look that far from the lookout. After a few enjoyable turns right below the lookout, it was back to carrying skis, downhill, which turned out to be problematic on such steep terrain as the tails of the skis had a tendency to push us off the slope so we had to turn face in and do a tedious downclimb. Ice axes would have been pretty dandy but whippets had to do.

Back on the ridge, I felt my energy draining. Kenji descended skiing over some crappy terrain while I opted for plunge stepping, still going for Monogram Lake. We took a little break with Kenji finishing up the sandwich that the lookout mouse had started on and the decision was made to just head down.

I am not sure it was called “skiing” what we did – more like survival sliding over challenging terrain with the use of skis. Back at our hiking shoes, about to put our mobile homes on our backs and still some 2300 ft from the car, Kenji and I are already discussing future ski plans! If this is not some sort of a disease, then I don’t know what it is  Smiley

We never made it to our planned destination and we did very little skiing over the weekend, but we both concluded it was all worth it and we are ready to do this all over again. That is, after a few Dayquils for me…

Here are a few pics from the trip, Kenji has lots more that he will hopefully post:

First view of the lookout (no, we did not go up THAT slope)



Good night, Pickets!






Milky Way above Baker, Shuksan, Triumph and the entire Picket Range





« Last Edit: 01/27/14, 08:12 PM by radka » Logged
rlsg
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Re: January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
« Reply #1 on: 01/27/14, 07:58 PM »

SWEET PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!!!  YOU ARE AN ARTIST FOR SURE!!!!!!!!!!!
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MtnPavlas
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Re: January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
« Reply #2 on: 01/27/14, 10:05 PM »

Hey Radka, the sequence of the photos makes it look like you were up all night ;- )
Pretty nice - love the Milky Way shot.
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Kenji
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Re: January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
« Reply #3 on: 01/27/14, 10:22 PM »

Ok, here we go:

Some night time reading


Starry night out:


Our home Saturday:


Morning Sun!



Skis were just our means of travel though not really needed this weekend up there.  The lookout was a perfect destination: solitude, warm weather, spectacular scenery and of course gave us a wonderful photo opportunity, etc.  We really enjoyed the trip despite the lack of quality skiing.  More pics
« Last Edit: 01/28/14, 11:02 PM by Kenji » Logged
Snoqualmonix
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WWW
Re: January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
« Reply #4 on: 01/27/14, 10:26 PM »

I'm loving these Rad!  "The girl is killing it!"
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-----------------
"Point your tips and be brave"

If someone skis in the Cascades and doesn't post on the internet, did it even happen?
Kenji
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Re: January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
« Reply #5 on: 01/28/14, 11:30 AM »

To complete the sequence.

Morning Sun on Baker:


Sorry Marcus for so many pictures, but this is more like a hiking TR than skiing anyway  Wink
« Last Edit: 01/28/14, 11:03 PM by Kenji » Logged
danpeck
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Re: January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
« Reply #6 on: 01/28/14, 11:38 AM »

AWESOME!
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Jake the Brit
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Re: January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
« Reply #7 on: 01/28/14, 09:07 PM »

That hut-shot is stinkin' awesome
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n16ht5
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Posts: 161


Re: January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
« Reply #8 on: 01/29/14, 09:53 AM »

awesome  Cheesy
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rlsg
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Posts: 516


Re: January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
« Reply #9 on: 01/29/14, 09:09 PM »

WOW--Glad you are ok!   I often think that falling alpine/snow/ice climbing is more dangerous than rock climbing.

I never feel like I have enough self arrest skills (but hopefully have sufficient judgment to calculate risk by now...fingers crossed..).

Learning self belay methods (to most likely PREVENT a fall) is what has most likely kept me having to actually use the dreaded self arrest (the ultimate--supreme-- effort/final resort--never want to have to use it..).

Thanks for sharing--mother nature has taught me a few lessons too...
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rlsg
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Re: January 25-26, 2014, Lookout Mountain
« Reply #10 on: 01/29/14, 09:15 PM »

Oh my--I screw up here.  My post was supposed to be for the Mt. Baker/ Heliotrope (Patrick) TR.

Marcus--can you move it over?
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