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| | |-+  June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
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Author Topic: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives  (Read 8933 times)
bfree32
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June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« on: 06/25/14, 10:45 PM »

I headed to the Goat Rocks for the first time with Keith and my fiance, Michelle. FR 21 is quite smooth, so we made reasonably quick work of the 20+ miles of forest road. We were greeted at the Snowgrass Flats trailhead by hungry swarming mosquitoes, and somewhat surprisingly, zero other parked cars around 3pm. We sprayed ourselves with bug dope as quickly as possible, but not before suffering a few bites. There were some snow patches at the trailhead, but they would soon disappear, leading to 3+ miles of snow-free hiking. Fortunately the bugs disappeared too - there were none the rest of the trip. We were able to skin up at about 5300' and finish the remaining hike up to Snowgrass Flat. Somewhat by luck, it didn't take long to find a beautiful camping spot on dry ground. We enjoyed a nice backcountry fire - a luxury I don't usually get while ski-camping!

The next day, we summitted Big Snowy and had a great ski down the McCall Glacier. We ascended a pass just SE of Ives, skinned up the ridge some, and finished the scramble up to the summit (half rotten scree, half great solid blocks). Skied south off Ives until the PCT, then ascended another ridge before skiing and traversing back to camp.

Big Snowy is skiable within a few feet of the summit, Ives within a couple hundred feet. The sun put on a great show of circumhorizontal arcs and 22 degree halos, and a moonless night provided for a sky full of stars. Oh - and the skiing was pretty good too! Good smooth corn until at Snowgrass Flats, where it gets fairly bumpy.



















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« Last Edit: 06/25/14, 11:00 PM by bfree32 » Logged
Randy
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #1 on: 06/25/14, 11:48 PM »

Very nice!  -- looks like a super trip!
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Norseman
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #2 on: 06/26/14, 06:11 AM »

Love the night shots. Looks like a nice tour.
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blackdog102395
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #3 on: 06/26/14, 02:33 PM »

Does anybody know if FS Road 1207 is open?  I know the bridge was closed some time ago.  Thinking about using it to access McCall Basin.
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Micah
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #4 on: 06/26/14, 11:01 PM »

According to the FS webpage (http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5392379) it is not open.
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djs
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #5 on: 06/26/14, 11:17 PM »

Glad to hear the Goat Rocks approach from west via FS Road 21 is now open to Snow Grass Flats trailhead.  At the beginning of June we spent two days skiing at McCall Basin. but we approached from the east via FS Road 1207, the North Fork Tieton Road, which is still closed to cars and barricaded about 5 miles from trailhead.  The closure is due to a weak bridge, according to the Forest Service.  Using a mountain bike to ride up the closed road to the trailhead is helpful, but this is still a long way to get to Tieton Pass and on to McCall Basin.  Lots of blow-down on the North Fork Tieton trail also contributed to slow-going.
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Zap
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #6 on: 06/27/14, 08:20 AM »

This is a great trip report and photos.  It reminds me of a trip I did with my wife Jill who was then my fiance, and brings back many wonderful memories.    Smiley
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Big Steve
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #7 on: 06/28/14, 09:54 AM »

Great pics, such a cool area.  Looks like a fun trip.

We've approached GR from the W and the E.  I preferred the latter w/camp in McCall Basin when the road was open to the TH, but a W access might be the ticket after the bridge closure. 
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avajane
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #8 on: 06/30/14, 01:11 AM »

Great report. You guys nailed it. We just got back and didn't...Rain and fog all weekend. Good approach from Snowgrass. Your skin track was all washed out. We never saw the mountain or the good slopes. Where exactly did you make your camp? We saw a trail sign that said Snowgrass Trail with arrows showing the way and another arrow going to a bypass trail. We continued up the Snowgrass trail about another 3/4's mile before camping. We explored the area below the fog/cloud line quite a bit. We were very near a large flat meadow with a good stream running through it and a waterfall nearby. Was that Snowgrass Flat? We should have had GPS, but the weather would have been even worse up higher.
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
bfree32
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #9 on: 06/30/14, 08:31 AM »

Great report. You guys nailed it. We just got back and didn't...Rain and fog all weekend. Good approach from Snowgrass. Your skin track was all washed out. We never saw the mountain or the good slopes. Where exactly did you make your camp? We saw a trail sign that said Snowgrass Trail with arrows showing the way and another arrow going to a bypass trail. We continued up the Snowgrass trail about another 3/4's mile before camping. We explored the area below the fog/cloud line quite a bit. We were very near a large flat meadow with a good stream running through it and a waterfall nearby. Was that Snowgrass Flat? We should have had GPS, but the weather would have been even worse up higher.

Yikes, sorry to hear! Long drive for no views. The only bypass trail I recall was the stock crossing of Goat Creek. But that meadow sounds like Snowgrass Flat. Did you see any grass poking through the snow just below the flats? Smiley

Map showing our approximate track: Trail crosses the swampy area near Goat Creek, then starts ascending, including a couple of switchbacks and creek crossings. Snowline is near 5200', we lost the trail and started skinning at the red circle. Snowgrass Flats are labeled above, and we camped on a ridge just NW of there.

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avajane
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #10 on: 06/30/14, 09:12 AM »



Thanks for the reply. I think we were very close. We lost the trail where you did but picked it up near the end of the first meadow area and before it became steeper again. We camped at the second meadow area. Where did you climb from? As we couldn't see anything we just weren't sure where to start. I think the bypass trail may have led to the PCT. Perhaps if you were hiking that trail you'd come down to camp at the flats.
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
spresho
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #11 on: 06/30/14, 10:14 AM »

We (Avajane, Phil and I) camped just about where the end of the line appears on bfree's map. We toured over to Snowgrass Flat, and around/beyond the flat area between the 5860 and 5880 contours.
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bfree32
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #12 on: 06/30/14, 12:21 PM »

We followed the prominent ridge up to treeline at the next flat bench around 6400', this is where the 5th picture was taken from. From there, the possibilities are endless. Old Snowy is at far left in that picture. Ives is middle-right. We did most of our skiing on the back (east) side, then came up and over the ridge on the far right.

I don't have a GPS of our path, but it was nice to set a couple of waypoints (one being the red circle in the map above) for finding our way back to the intermittent trail. There are a lot of various drainages and creeks in the area, and the suncups and pine needles in the forest do a good job of masking previous tracks.
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blackdog102395
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #13 on: 06/30/14, 12:50 PM »

knowing this is a loaded question and difficult to answer, I'll ask anyway:  What do you think about conditions and coverage in about a week and half?  I was really hoping to make this trip happen sooner rather than later, but it was not meant to be. 
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avajane
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #14 on: 07/01/14, 10:05 PM »

I think there will still be snow at Snowgrass Flat and above. But what do I know. I went up for 3 days of rain...
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
davidG
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #15 on: 07/02/14, 08:14 AM »

Pigtail Peak snotel just below top of 6000' WP main area chairlift holds 2 feet of snow with 13" SWE and losing ~3" snow/day.  Hogback ridge at 7000' just above top of expansion area should still hold lines to the east for those that want to play on approach to McCall Basin.  The drop to Tieton Pass and climb into the Basin along the PCT would likely be on again, off again coverage.

I'd go, but time to cut hay down below...
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"Maybe we should ban hikers from anywhere that there is a potential threat to surface water?"   [courtesy Newtrout, 2011]

"Good for you for getting it and thank goodness I wasn't there with you."  [courtesy mikerolfs, 2014]
bfree32
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #16 on: 07/02/14, 09:35 PM »

I think it will be fine next weekend. It seemed like one of the cases where the snowdepth increased pretty rapidly once we hit snowline. I imagine some of the grassy meadows below snowgrass flat will melt further, but perhaps still skiable. Above should have plenty of snow - treewells were roughly 2-3 feet deep at treeline, from what I remember. But who knows, it has been pretty darned warm this week.
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mikerolfs
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Re: June 21-22, 2014, Old Snowy and Ives
« Reply #17 on: 07/03/14, 07:09 PM »

Love that first photo.
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