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| |-+  December 2015 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  December 19 & 26, Mt. Cashmere, 2015
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Author Topic: December 19 & 26, Mt. Cashmere, 2015  (Read 2033 times)
jwplotz
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December 19 & 26, Mt. Cashmere, 2015
« on: 12/27/15, 01:25 PM »

You can do this...200 more feet.  Hang on buddy.  Doubts were swirling in my head, however.  The effort was becoming too much.  I couldn't go much faster.  100'.  C'mon.  Hang in there!  I was counting down the feet.  50.  20.  10.  Almost there!  Salvation!  I whipped the skis and pack off, slammed the door of the Mt. Cashmere trailhead john open, peeled the bottom layers in record time and took care of business with a wave of relief. 

Thus started my long day on Mt. Cashmere Saturday.  I blame too much coffee.   

Dec. 19th Kyle Flick and I toured the east facing slopes of Mt. Cashmere, getting in some excellent turns.  I'd say it needs a couple more feet for it to go from good to fantastic on that eastern edge. 

Yesterday was the big day.  With a 5:30am start from Bridge Creek Campground, I slogged my way up the road, surprised that not a lot of people had been up it since Kyle and I had a week prior.  There wasn't even a snowmobile track yet.  Go figure...

From the trailhead to the summit it was all me breaking trail through about 8 inches of new light snow.  It was slow going.  I ascended my normal path up Pioneer Creek, which was just barely was cross-able.  A few more storms and it will be trivial.  The skinning after the crossing was pretty good, but slow.  And cold.

The sun never materialized as promised, keeping temps well below freezing.  My fingers are still tingling today.  The South side approach is always a bit of a slog, and never quite filled in due to being scoured by the winds.  Today was no different, as I had to boot the last 600' to the summit.

The kick-stepping was easy to start on a rimey crust.  But the last little pitch to the summit, about 400', was some of the worst wallowing I've ever done.  Thigh deep snow over rocky slabs had me swearing out loud.  One step up, then a slide back down.  It seemed at times I was belly flopping up the snow, part wind scoured, part pillowed.  There were rock outcrops here and there to aid me, but not enough.

Those last 400' took me at least two hours, until the final summit boulder problem with skis on pack.  V2?  I'll call it that. 

Exhausted, late (3pm) and nauseous from the effort, I downclimbed to a decent ledge to click in and get back down before dark.

The turns from the summit down to the approach gully were tentative and cautious due to the obvious wind affected snow.  After that, the descent was fantastic, and rock/stump free to the road. 

If you follow my tracks down, do yourself a favor and re-cross Pioneer Creek and do not follow my descent east of the creek, as you will end up cliffed out.  I had to pick and choose pillowey boulders to work around the large drops.  The better option is to retrace the Pioneer Creek crossing and enjoy a stress free descent.

The stats on this tour are:  6,500' of elevation gain.  14.5 miles round trip.  11 hrs, 30 minutes car to car.

Kyle Flick from the earlier tour:



Saturday was monochromatic and flat:



Beauty:



Stuart with a blanket of white:



I love this rock formation:



Damn cold!



Der summit:



Getting late, time to go:



Powered by Candy Cane Joe Joe's!

« Last Edit: 12/27/15, 01:44 PM by jwplotz » Logged
ryanl
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Re: December 19 & 26, Mt. Cashmere, 2015
« Reply #1 on: 12/27/15, 04:30 PM »

Core. Way to get after it
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jtack
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Re: December 19 & 26, Mt. Cashmere, 2015
« Reply #2 on: 12/28/15, 07:33 AM »

I guess it's official, we have a skiing winter, nice going! In contrast to your program, I usually like to start out lapping 600 vert with an easy ski out, not an all day suffer fest!
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jwplotz
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Posts: 418


Re: December 19 & 26, Mt. Cashmere, 2015
« Reply #3 on: 12/28/15, 08:08 AM »

Thanks Ryan and Jamie!

I hate to say it but it felt really good to be out There suffering again in the snow.  Felt almost nostalgic. 
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mikerolfs
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Re: December 19 & 26, Mt. Cashmere, 2015
« Reply #4 on: 12/29/15, 06:33 PM »

John I've missed your reports. Welcome back to skiing. Keep it up, I love reading your adventures.
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jwplotz
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Posts: 418


Re: December 19 & 26, Mt. Cashmere, 2015
« Reply #5 on: 12/29/15, 08:23 PM »

Thanks Mike.  I'm  just secretly trying to keep pace with your prolific and creative outings.
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kciari
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Re: December 19 & 26, Mt. Cashmere, 2015
« Reply #6 on: 12/30/15, 08:11 AM »

Impressive day and amusing trip report. The opening made me laugh ouder than was a appropriate to do so at work. Thanks!
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