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| |-+  May 2016 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 13, Baker, Watson's Traverse via Park Headwall
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Author Topic: May 13, Baker, Watson's Traverse via Park Headwall  (Read 1648 times)
Aaron_Riggs
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Posts: 198


May 13, Baker, Watson's Traverse via Park Headwall
« on: 05/15/16, 10:26 PM »

Tod and I had a first-rate day skiing Watson’s Traverse on Friday the 13th from Heliotrope to the Mt. Baker ski area. We hiked the trail in ski boots to continuous snow just out of the forest, booted another 1,000 feet or so, then skinned all the way to the summit, using ski crampons up the Roman Wall. From the summit, we skied the Park Headwall, skier’s right through the cliff band around the massive bergschrund onto the Park, then Rainbow and Sholes glaciers, and enjoyed corn skiing, much of it superb, from the summit all the way to the ski area, in complete solitude save a brief encounter with a pair of mountain goats near Table Mountain.

As tabski mentioned in his North Ridge TR (who I think Tod met predawn while I was guzzling coffee in the truck,) there are quite a few cracks opening up on the Coleman. The Roman Wall was very smooth and firm when we climbed it in the am. Park Headwall was corn on firm, and sluff management was of the utmost importance above the cliffs on the headwall. The crevasses on the Park and Rainbow glaciers are jaw dropping, just huge.

It was a beautiful day in the mountains, and we met some nice people on the way up and on the summit.

As the route name “Watson’s Traverse” implies, there is a lot of traversing and gliding.  We transitioned to skins four times on our descent, and thank goodness for skin clips, as our skins were toast in the home stretch due to wet skins and pollen. Thanks to those before us who pioneered this route and provided TR beta, and to my partner Tod who led this trip with style.


* AaronBelowHeadwall.jpg (189.89 KB, 1000x649 - viewed 640 times.)

* ParkGlacierTod.jpg (193.81 KB, 1000x748 - viewed 644 times.)

* OurRouteWatson.jpg (193.48 KB, 1000x555 - viewed 639 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/15/16, 10:42 PM by Aaron_Riggs » Logged
tabski
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Posts: 246


Re: May 13, Baker, Watson's Traverse via Park Headwall
« Reply #1 on: 05/16/16, 09:51 AM »

Yup, saw you guys in the parking lot at 4am... And then we saw you drop off the summit as we were walking across the plateau. Nice work!
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