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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
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| |-+  March 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  3/24/17 Rainy Pass, Lake Ann, Heather Pass
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Author Topic: 3/24/17 Rainy Pass, Lake Ann, Heather Pass  (Read 1565 times)

Posts: 4

3/24/17 Rainy Pass, Lake Ann, Heather Pass
« on: 03/27/17, 09:32 PM »

This report is more of a tour and an exploration post-avalanche cycle of the North Cascades Highway. Snowmobiles were required.

Every time so far this ski season when my son and I have headed up to WA Pass there have been at least a dozen vehicles parked at the end of the plowed road and we've seen 6 or more parties and their uptracks. Not this time. Visibility was poor and we were the only ones out today. But this was the day we scheduled to ski so we picked a safe destination and were happy to get the exercise. We knew about the recent slide cycles and read the WA DOT email. Seeing the huge slides up close and personal was another thing. Massive. We were thankful that some days earlier the WA DOT team evaluating the highway had cut a track through the slides. Several more, smaller ones, had come down since then and I was happy to have Stellan cut the tracks with me following.

We got to Rainy Pass and parked and began skinning up towards Lake Ann, sometimes following the summer trail and sometimes not. Once on the lake we skinned up to Heather Pass. This part was not pleasant as the 4-6" of new slid easily on the rain crust which reached Heather Pass and above. It was really hard to set an edge. We lunched at the pass and were rewarded for our efforts with some partial clearing. Happy to have enough clear visibility and depth perception we had a fun short ski down to the lake. Then it was downhill-ish skinning through the tight trees and back to the snowmobiles. We had the whole highway and WA Pass to ourselves. Not a soul in sight. It kind of felt weird. Enjoy!


Posts: 266

Re: 3/24/17 Rainy Pass, Lake Ann, Heather Pass
« Reply #1 on: 03/28/17, 08:46 AM »

Sounds like an adventure.  I was up there two weekends ago. That cat road the DOT cut through the avy cones is really a godsend! Hoping to get back out there one more time before the plowing begins. Such a great winter!
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