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| |-+  August 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  August 3, 2014, Bagley patch (under the Table)
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Author Topic: August 3, 2014, Bagley patch (under the Table)  (Read 2648 times)

Posts: 634

August 3, 2014, Bagley patch (under the Table)
« on: 08/05/14, 11:29 PM »

Ah the lure of the low hanging fruit. In the state of WA the lowermost fruit must surely be the patch of snow under Table that is just uphill from Bagley Lake. This is maybe the only summer patch where you park your car ABOVE the bottom of the snow and then walk downhill to get to it? After a couple of recent trips involving 4+ hours hiking dry trail with skis on back, with the skiing at the end of it unfinished or unresolved for some reason or another, I was ready for a big mouthful of low hanging fruit. Been cast out of summer-turns-Eden in this hellishly fast melting  summer anyways.

On this particular weekend I was also obligated with the care and custody of Freda the family miniature Schnauzer. She is a pretty capable hiking dog really, but her canine character ruled out all Rainier destinations. Besides, even smaller mountain challenges can grow insurmountable, when one's height at the withers is a mere 12", so something like Easton or Coleman didn't seem practical. Freda was game for the short approach to Bagley though. Her typical reaction to snow is to stick her snout into it bodily and attempt to determine its scent, as if it somehow contains the frozen urine and thus the encoded messages of generations of other dogs, goats, people, sasquatch. Maybe it does? Funny stuff to watch, but makes it a little hard to uptrack with all those distractions. Once actually skiing (and for skinning the steep parts) she got to ride in a little-dog front-carrier I have that's kind of like a cross between a Baby Bjorn and the basket that Old Lady Gulch stuffs Toto into for the bike ride in Wizard of Oz.

A Schnauzers-eye view at the top

The Bagley patch does not connect with the upper Table snowfields anymore, there would be hundreds of feet to scramble between, but it's probably possible for the sick and twisted. Total vertical of patch might have been 400' if you went all the way to the waterfall itself, but the snow in narrow part of gully was cuppy and hard so shortened the lap thereafter, maybe 250'? After the first chattery run, staying in own tracks made for a pleasant second run and increasing feels-like-real-skiing thereafter.

Upper patch with loop-stitching applied

Oh lord was it hot at the start but thankfully the sun went under the Table cliffs and shaded the patch. Eventually a family with boards showed up too, so I was not the only circus clown this time. Put in a couple hours of laps and called it a ski day, saving some daylight for a subsequent wander out the trail from Artists Point as far as the first snow to see what the snowfields towards Coleman looked like. Verdict on that: indeterminate. More snow there than maybe I expected (rough equiv of early-August years past). Probably possible to use snow below the trail in various places as transit or lap-fields, once past Table. But probably not continuous snow into the Anderson drainage /  tempting-looking north slopes below the Pinnacle proper, unless you went nearly to Kiser.

Thanks to the folks at Grahams for throwing a burger on the grill for me @ just the tiniest tick past the 9 o clock kitchen close. That place has soul.

Selfie mit Schnauzer
« Last Edit: 08/05/14, 11:46 PM by wolfs » Logged
Don Heath

Posts: 831

Re: August 3, 2014, Bagley patch (under the Table)
« Reply #1 on: 08/06/14, 10:06 PM »

I think I met Freda a few years ago after you skied off the King and joined the crowd at Crystal fest.  Or do you have multiple skiing pets?  It sounds like a circus act...

The best part of summer skiing is napping on a warm rock.

Posts: 322

Re: August 3, 2014, Bagley patch (under the Table)
« Reply #2 on: 08/20/14, 01:19 PM »

As of 8/20, The Patch abides. However, not like in previous late summers in recent memory...

The drive: 5 hours RT.
The gas: $50.
The hike: 10 minutes.
The runs: 3.
The vert: 350 total.
202 months: PRICELESS!
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