May 14 - Easy Pass My friend Jonathan and I skied to Easy Pass. Before the river there is a flooded portion of the trail you have to navigate around, but it wasn't too bad, even with skis on our packs. We carried them to about 4600 ft. We decided to stay climber's right (North) of the creek rather than crossing to follow the summer trail. After putting our skis on we picked our way without much trouble through the slide alder across the braided streams and headed up the basin.
We were thankful for the overcast and moderate temperatures which kept the snow in the basin from getting too mushy. We arrived at the pass and were greeted with spectacular views of Fisher Peak, Black Peak, Mt Arriva, and Mt Logan. The N Cascades never cease to inspire awe.
After gawking for a while and eating some lunch, we decided to head up the shoulder to the north a little higher, then we pointed downhill. On the return it was clear the flatter area above 4600 ft was melting fast, and it was a little worse going down than it was in the morning. It may make sense to cross the creek for better snow in the next few days.
Hiking out with skis always seems to take longer than it should, but we made it back to the trailhead by midafternoon.
Mark Langley Cascade Backcountry Ski Patrol Langley Backcountry Consulting langleybackcountry.com