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Author Topic: April 18 - The Goods (surprisingly) - Hood's Sandy  (Read 2615 times)
NickM
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April 18 - The Goods (surprisingly) - Hood's Sandy
« on: 04/19/16, 08:34 PM »

Edit with photos.

Went out for a nice adventure yesterday on the Hoodwand.  An idea about the Sandy Headwall has been on my mind for a bit now, and it was best just to give it a go and give it a rest. It's a beautiful line, and I wanted to climb and ski it because a) it looks awesome, and b) hitting the choke blind from above seemed like a bad idea. But, accessing it from Timberline and traversing around half the mountain (twice) didn't seem a very aesthetic way of doing it.  In comes some Portland hiker beta and inspiration from the interwebs, mainly in the form of Sky Sjue's Liberty Ridge from the Carbon.  Coming up from below just makes sense, and experiencing the whole drainage you're skiing is pretty cool. I don't know if the Sandy ever gets done this way, but it seemed like a worthwhile effort.

The FS road to the 'Top Spur' trailhead was drivable to within 2 miles of the trail.  From there, some skis off/skis on travel with hints of mankanering got me up the ridge on the Timberline trail and down onto the Sandy glacier. Though the way up to 7000' was plagued by shitty, punchy snow that hadn't frozen, things mostly firmed up by the glacier. Climbing the face was pretty straight forward - some perfect styrofoam melt/freeze snow, some punchy crust on 6" penetration, and some firm fresh wind deposit.  The crux choke at 10'k had a nice 8' wide passage of neve and hard fresh snow, so I never even had to swing the tools I brought, nor rap or down-climb during the ski. Definitely brought a lot of gear I didn't need.

It took a good nap up top to let it soften, and I came down around 1pm or so. Pretty cool to hang out on the summit at that time of day completely alone. It skied really well, especially since I let it soften real real good. I expected to pay a price for that in the form of golf balls pelting me the whole way down, but it was totally quiet. Way more stuff coming down at 9am on the way up. Go figure.

Ah, now for the reason I'm actually posting this. I get the sense the Sandy is usually crap skiing. Well, it's rocking right now, and the ice death chunder is minimal. Thought someone might want to know that. Also to note, it's WAY less steep than it looks from afar. From where I parked, I was sure I'd be swinging tools in 60* ice and rapping the choke. Not the case at all, which is great, cause I've never actually done that Wink.

Long day, no question, but very doable for those it's doable for.



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« Last Edit: 04/26/16, 08:02 AM by NickM » Logged
samski360
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Re: April 18 - The Goods (surprisingly) - Hood's Sandy
« Reply #1 on: 04/21/16, 11:06 AM »

Good Beta! Thanks for the info and for the approach notes too. I was up on Leuthold a few weeks ago and looked down at the Sandy Headwall from Queens Chair. I definitely thought "Yeah, I should ski that some day." Were you able to keep track of total mileage/elevation from where you parked? Curious about how it compares to the traverse from Timberline.
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NickM
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Re: April 18 - The Goods (surprisingly) - Hood's Sandy
« Reply #2 on: 04/21/16, 12:14 PM »

Sorry, wasn't keeping track. Think I parked at about 3400', so all said and done I bet it is was in the 8K range. I clicked my way up the route on an online mapping website and it looked like around 20 miles. Google will get you beta for hikers going to the Sandy ice caves, which helps. Climbing the south side, skiing it, then wrapping back is probably a lot quicker and easier. But the Sandy drainage is pretty and I didn't see a soul all day.
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lmcgee
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Re: April 18 - The Goods (surprisingly) - Hood's Sandy
« Reply #3 on: 04/22/16, 02:00 PM »

I can't wait to see the pictures.  It's a line I've deemed about for the last 20 years.  Congrats on getting it in relatively perfect conditions!
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rlsg
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Re: April 18 - The Goods (surprisingly) - Hood's Sandy
« Reply #4 on: 04/23/16, 12:33 PM »

Good one!!!  What a fantasic ski.  Teleied  ago..
for those that still care bout tele.  Nice asthetic position and nice not to be over 45degrees..still plenty attention getting.  Climbed it a few months earliet in winter so not a flash...went up old chute/hawkins...waited till bout three for descent..perfect corn all the way to sandy glcier.  crux was getting back to lume saddle as skin would not stick to skis...never punched a slot..dodged bullet there.
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rlsg
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Re: April 18 - The Goods (surprisingly) - Hood's Sandy
« Reply #5 on: 04/23/16, 04:21 PM »

BTW... I know you've skied north face Shuskan ..how does the steepness of sandy compare to that..sort of on my bucket list but probably too old now..HA!

Also ..how does Leutholds look?  I skied it years ago and the usual trench was  pretty close to nil...that is a lovely ski too!
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NickM
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Re: April 18 - The Goods (surprisingly) - Hood's Sandy
« Reply #6 on: 04/26/16, 08:05 AM »

Photos up.

risg, sorry - didn't get eyes on Leuthold's, and haven't been to Shuksan.  Not really sure what to compare it to for ya.  Maybe pics will help.
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kamtron
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Re: April 18 - The Goods (surprisingly) - Hood's Sandy
« Reply #7 on: 04/26/16, 08:59 AM »

Thanks for the photos, that looks rad
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rlsg
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Re: April 18 - The Goods (surprisingly) - Hood's Sandy
« Reply #8 on: 04/26/16, 05:24 PM »

Oops..wrong Nick..sorry..thanks for beta write-up.That approach would be a great with lots of solitude..good one!
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