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| | |-+  May 9, 2015, Washington Pass, Graduation Tour
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Author Topic: May 9, 2015, Washington Pass, Graduation Tour  (Read 2873 times)
ADappen
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May 9, 2015, Washington Pass, Graduation Tour
« on: 05/12/15, 09:14 AM »

It was the college graduation season of mid-May when Tom Janisch and I arrived at Washington Pass. I was thinking about my youngest daughter -- I’d be attending her college graduation ceremony in a week. I was thinking about how the absence of college tuition bills might allow for the purchase of some new ski gear … exciting stuff like the replacement of my tattered ski pants and holey socks. I wondered what my daughter would do next. Soon she would be forced from the nest of the familiar and face the unknown.

These thoughts seemed consistent with the agenda before us. We were at a familiar place (the start of the Birthday Tour) but graduating onto something unfamiliar. Through a little map study we’d conceptualized a route taking us over Kangaroo Ridge into the West Fork of the Cedar River, over another gap leading to the main fork of the Cedar River, up and down Wallaby Peak into the North Fork of the Twisp River, and finally over Kangaroo Pass on the way back to Early Winters Creek.  Some of the ground was steep and map study couldn’t adequately answer whether a 30-foot cliff interrupting a gully or a cornice capping a narrow gap might stymie our efforts. Furthermore, map study couldn’t say whether this year's shortage of snow might make parts of the route vegetatively vile. So on this Saturday I felt some of the excitement and disquiet I suspected my daughter was feeling these days.

Eight hours later we were back at the start having completed a circuit that had us booting up night-frozen steeps, carving smooth turns down sun-softend corn, threading narrow gaps, skinning through glades of larch and and sub alpine fir,  visiting a drainage or two we'd never seen, booting up summits surrounded by thorny towers, and enjoying summit views looking out over a galaxy of sharp peaks.

As we were popped off the skis at day's end a friend glided down the slopes and pulled to a stop next to us.  Didn’t know you guys were out here today,” he said, giving us a hand shake. “You just finishing the Birthday Tour, too?”

“No.” I told him. “Finally we've graduated onto something new.”

More information (and a map) about the route.

PS Snow conditions on this tour were superb last weekend -- good evening freeze to set up the snowpack, well consolidated and safe corn snow (even on southern aspects)


* WashingtonPass-GradTour-010.JPG (139.8 KB, 800x601 - viewed 1405 times.)

* WashingtonPass-GradTour-031.JPG (124.26 KB, 800x671 - viewed 1416 times.)

* WashingtonPass-GradTour-068.JPG (161.16 KB, 800x673 - viewed 1416 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/12/15, 09:36 PM by ADappen » Logged
garrettww
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Re: May 9, 2015, Washington Pass, Graduation Tour
« Reply #1 on: 05/12/15, 02:32 PM »

Nice write-up Andy! Thanks for sharing all the details including maps and directions. I also appreciate all your work on WenatcheeOutdoors and OkanogenOutdoors. Very inspiring!
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Kenji
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Re: May 9, 2015, Washington Pass, Graduation Tour
« Reply #2 on: 05/12/15, 10:49 PM »

Sounds like an interesting tour.  Congratulations on your newly earned discretionary income, our youngest one just graduated last Dec, and I'm now on a new pair!
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jtack
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Re: May 9, 2015, Washington Pass, Graduation Tour
« Reply #3 on: 05/13/15, 06:05 AM »

Great tour you guys, nice to hear you had good snow, that decent to the Twisp is one I have eyed before, looks like a dandy. I don't think you should throw away those holey socks away just yet, the sucking sound in your saving account might slow down, but it's not likely to stop for awhile.
« Last Edit: 05/13/15, 06:19 AM by jtack » Logged
ADappen
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Re: May 9, 2015, Washington Pass, Graduation Tour
« Reply #4 on: 05/13/15, 08:37 AM »

Thanks for the encouragement and advice from other grizzled skiers who have already graduated to my stage of financial being. Jamie, you'll be happy to know that I sewed up a few holes in the heels of my favorite alpaca socks just a few weeks ago. They should give me another season of life... if I avoid using them as my daily wintertime slippers around the house.

A few more pictures from the day: 1) Skiing down into the West Fork of the Cedar River 2) rock walls that include Dome and Halfmoon Tower (barely discernible in the background) 3) descending Wallaby


* WashingtonPass-Skiing-006.JPG (69.39 KB, 575x422 - viewed 1071 times.)

* WashingtonPass-GradTour-035.JPG (133.76 KB, 800x600 - viewed 1081 times.)

* WashingtonPass-GradTour-052.JPG (144.62 KB, 800x593 - viewed 1067 times.)
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mikerolfs
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Re: May 9, 2015, Washington Pass, Graduation Tour
« Reply #5 on: 05/13/15, 08:15 PM »

wow Andy and Tom, Nice!  Are you sure that second to last photo didn't come from Yosemite?
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ADappen
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Re: May 9, 2015, Washington Pass, Graduation Tour
« Reply #6 on: 05/14/15, 10:14 AM »

The slopes below Dome and Half Moon form the headwaters of Cedar Creek. Dome actually reminded me of the Elephant's Perch in the Sawtooth Wilderness of Idaho. The Elephant's Perch is a few times bigger, but Dome still looked impressive when you were below it.
« Last Edit: 05/15/15, 05:56 AM by ADappen » Logged
danpeck
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Re: May 9, 2015, Washington Pass, Graduation Tour
« Reply #7 on: 05/16/15, 10:35 PM »

Super Cool Tour!
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