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10/23/18, 08:44 AM

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Author Topic: May 7, 2016, Snowfield Peak  (Read 1587 times)

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May 7, 2016, Snowfield Peak
« on: 05/08/16, 08:44 AM »

I guess I can finally stop obsessing over this area now. Ever since our epic powdery slog ended falling short of Colonial Glacier in March, Eve and I had talked about a return trip to go for Snowfield. After snowboarding down Black Peak last weekend and seeing Colonial glow as the sun set over the North Cascades on the drive back to Bremerton, I decided it was now or never. I could not have asked for a better group to do this with. I always find it difficult to sell attempts like these to people because it almost always involves a lot of uphill and no guaranteed reward. JT, Eve, Jim and I started at 2am on the Pyramid Lake trail and broke out onto the Ridge just after sunrise. As far as conditions are concerned, I was very pleased to find the boot path beyond Pyramid Lake to be entirely melted out, which was very much not the case in March. Snow level began consistently at around 4,000 ft and we enjoyed a pretty uneventful traverse along Pyramid's Ridgeline with some soft snow to break trail on across to the base of Colonial Glacier. I had the pleasure of visiting Colonial Glacier in October and was relieved to see it was at least snow covered and the meltoff Lake was frozen over. Jim and JT threw on the skins at this point for the traverse up to the Neve, while Eve and I booted it up to avoid the hassle of switching boots. The Col had a fresh stream of water that was incredibly refreshing (for those who plan on going in the near future) and we looked onward at an incredible Snowfield Peak. The views in this place are rewarding from start to finish. The Neve Glacier is in pretty solid shape right now but with the warm weather I can imagine it will not stay that way for long. We pretty much stayed at an angled left going up to Snowfield, where everything flattens out after a while and made for some pretty easy skinning. The summit block is snow free and we opted to go straight up rather than take the West Ridge. Easy kick steps through soft snow/crust and we were rewarded with incredible views as was expected. We down climbed quickly to our skis and were en route back to Colonial in early afternoon. Snow softened tremendously by then and given how warm/sunny it was all day, my expectations were very low for quality snowboarding. That said, it was nice to just cruise back to the base of the Neve Glacier and we did find some decent snow on the decent of Colonial Glacier. All in all, a spectacular adventure in the Cascades with awesome people!

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