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| | |-+  April 15, 2016 Cashmere - Victoria's Secret N to S
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Author Topic: April 15, 2016 Cashmere - Victoria's Secret N to S  (Read 1637 times)
garrettww
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April 15, 2016 Cashmere - Victoria's Secret N to S
« on: 04/20/16, 11:32 PM »

Since I moved to Wenatchee last summer I've been eyeing Cashmere Mountain...like every day. I'm fortunate to have a view of its NE aspect from most every room in my house. We made an attempt the previous week going up the Victoria creek drainage, but turned back when encountering steep icy conditions in the gully above Victoria Lake. This area had been scoured by debris from failed cornices above that had broken in recent warm weather. 

This week would be different though. The temps were colder, new snow had fallen, and we were more prepared.

We opted again to go up Victoria as the access seemed to make the most sense right now. Icicle road was melted out exactly to the bridge crossing Icicle creek near Victoria creek - road 7605. This meant almost no road walking to access Cashmere via this drainage. I believe that this route currently provides the most direct and the most snow-covered access up Cashmere. We booted up steep forest for around 1000' before continuous snow was found.



At 5000' we dropped into Victoria creek proper - following flagging in the trees, which led to the lake. This high lake is quite spectacular. We then proceeded up the most obvious north-facing gulley. This is the same one from our previous attempt, which is still obviously filled with broken cornice debris, but is now covered by a new blanket of snow - somewhere around 4-6". Due to the new snow, we had excellent conditions for booting up this steep gulley.






Once in the upper north basin above Victoria lake we spied countless 1000-2000' lines begging to be skied. We then proceeded to the saddle west of the summit at around 8000'. The path to the summit wasn't so obvious from there. After much deliberation about whether to go straight up the west ridge, drop down to the south side, or traverse onto the north face, we chose the route we had the most beta for - the north face. Fortunately I had taken a quick photo of the face from below, and could spy several snow filled gullies that would help us avoid doing much mixed climbing in our aluminum crampons. We made the traverse back onto the north face proper for a couple hundred yards, then booted up one of the snow-filled gullies amid rock. We popped up on the summit ridge just west of the summit. We did some class 3-4 mixed scrambling, keeping crampons on since the new snow made the granite too slippery for purchase with just our ski boots. We made the summit right as the clouds around us began to part.  Views of the Stuart range opened up in full. For a few seconds I had a small glimpse back to my home in Wenatchee.











For some reason we were enamored by the idea of a traverse of the mountain. Our curiosity for the unknown clouded our better judgement. In retrospect, we should have milked those powder filled slopes in the basin above lake Victoria for all our legs could take. Instead, we picked our way down the east ridge, looking for a way to get onto the sloppy south slopes. At this late afternoon hour, these slopes were now in shadow, creating a breakable crust where over-baked corn once lay. The snow was ok once we got below around 8000', but we chose to cut across fall line in a traverse to get us down to the 8-mile TH. Unfortunately, the snow ran out at around 5500', which forced us to boot down steep mud, loose rock, downed trees, and slide alder for the remaining 2000'. It was not very fun.

We hit the 8-mile TH just before dark, and were hopeful by the presence of some snow over the road. This only lasted a few hundred yards though and we walked the remaining 3 miles in our ski boots back to the car we left at the gate. Its amazing how refreshing that road walk was compared to booting down steep mud and slide alder.







Overall, a nice adventure for my first time to the top of Cashmere. While doing a north-south traverse was fun, I won't make the mistake again of passing on skiing good quality north-facing powder in exchange for some unknown on the other side of the mountain.



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Snomad
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Re: April 15, 2016 Cashmere - Victoria's Secret N to S
« Reply #1 on: 04/21/16, 03:19 AM »

Nice work! Thanks for the TR, been looking at this one a bit lately, did it from Lake Caroline as a summer hike but intended a Lake Victoria bushwhack if we didn't get the 8 mile permit. Looks like an awesome early spring mission, lots of ground covered. Cheers
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mikerolfs
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Re: April 15, 2016 Cashmere - Victoria's Secret N to S
« Reply #2 on: 04/21/16, 08:42 AM »






What a contrast!  Nice work Garrett. Looks like a great trip. I might have to follow your boot track this weekend. I think if I do, I'll ski north though.
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garrettww
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Re: April 15, 2016 Cashmere - Victoria's Secret N to S
« Reply #3 on: 04/21/16, 08:58 PM »

What a contrast!  Nice work Garrett. Looks like a great trip. I might have to follow your boot track this weekend. I think if I do, I'll ski north though.

Good pick up Mike! Those two photos you chose were actually taken at about the same elevation - on opposite sides of the mountain!
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