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11/23/17, 01:36 AM

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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
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| |-+  March 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Mar 5 Cutthroat TH, Mar 6 Gunn Ranch TH
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Author Topic: Mar 5 Cutthroat TH, Mar 6 Gunn Ranch TH  (Read 2127 times)
billyd
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Posts: 4


Mar 5 Cutthroat TH, Mar 6 Gunn Ranch TH
« on: 03/09/17, 03:59 PM »

With lots of recent new snow and several recent WA Pass avalanche reports our party decided to play it safe and ski south faces with lower angles. We enjoyed excellent touring and some decent skiing.

On March 5th we took off from the Cutthroat TH near WA Pass. Two sleds were parked there when we arrived with tracks heading up and left most likely to Cutthroat Bowls 1 and 2. We never did see them. As we were leaving another couple arrived saying they were touring to the lake and beyond. We skinned the summer trail a ways then headed up and right to "Treasure Bowl" and the ridge at 6800 where the Crest Trail crosses the ridge. We were on a two day old skin track that had 6-8" of new. At about 5500 we lost the track and began our own in 12-18" of new. (see GAIA track) We gained the ridge and the views north to Golden Horn and Tower and across the valley to the Cutthroat Bowls, Kangaroo Ridge and beyond were spectacular. We ate lunch and then had a 2500 vert ski back to our tracks on the summer trail and out. Skiing on the upper half was not "cold smoke" but powdery enough for me. The lower half had dense powder. We did not detect any crusty layers. It was a very enjoyable day out.

The next day was a half day ski. I had heard that when conditions were right the skiing out of the Gunn Ranch TH on the south east slopes of Peak 4614 could be pleasant with no sleds needed... just skin up from the XC ski TH. So we gave it a try. The day was gorgeous and a nice skin track took us gently up 1700 verts to the knob. (see GAIA track). We rested in the sun and enjoyed the tremendous views of the Methow Valley. The top half of the descent was very enjoyable doing sweeping turns in 6-8" of powdery corn. The next half was skiable but not as fun with 2-4" on a hard chattery crust. But staying high we were able to ski right back to the car. A great way to spend half a day. I look forward to coming back next year the day after a typical 12-18" snowfall. I think this close-in skiing would be super convenient and fun. And I could also get in some XC nordic. Cheers!

One more note: Readers of this website may not be aware that a Canadian Mining Company has proposed a large scale copper mine in the headwaters of the Methow Valley. If you would like to learn more about this proposal and what you can do to help protect this area check out;

https://www.methowheadwaters.org


* 2017-03-08_e.jpg (249.34 KB, 1000x534 - viewed 1297 times.)

* 2017-03-08.jpg (196.37 KB, 1000x545 - viewed 1308 times.)
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billyd
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Posts: 4


Re: Mar 5 Cutthroat TH, Mar 6 Gunn Ranch TH
« Reply #1 on: 03/09/17, 04:02 PM »

A couple photos from Cutthroat


* IMG_6819_e.jpg (206.22 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 1300 times.)

* IMG_6820_e.jpg (209.73 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 1306 times.)

* e_IMG_6798.jpg (184.04 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 1303 times.)
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peteyboy
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Posts: 287


Re: Mar 5 Cutthroat TH, Mar 6 Gunn Ranch TH
« Reply #2 on: 03/11/17, 11:11 PM »

Thanks Billyd!  And thanks for telling folks about the Methow Headwaters project.
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AlpineRose
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Posts: 171


Re: Mar 5 Cutthroat TH, Mar 6 Gunn Ranch TH
« Reply #3 on: 03/12/17, 03:31 PM »

That Gunn Ranch tour is a brilliant idea.  During Methow Valley xc trips, I often look up at those valley slopes and think what fine runs they'd offer.  Usually there isn't enough snow, but when there is, well, your tr confirms my thoughts.
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mosetick
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WWW
Re: Mar 5 Cutthroat TH, Mar 6 Gunn Ranch TH
« Reply #4 on: 03/14/17, 07:58 AM »

I love skiing the Cutthroat area and those sweeping views. Thanks for the mid-winter report and photos. Looks fantastic!
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Good2Go
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Posts: 261


Re: Mar 5 Cutthroat TH, Mar 6 Gunn Ranch TH
« Reply #5 on: 03/14/17, 03:26 PM »

Nice report!  Seems like there should be more options to ski tour out there, without a sled. I know the locals ski Goat Mountain in good snow years.  Plowing to Silverstar during winter would provide a great resource to the masses.
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