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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
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| |-+  April 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Lake Ann & Mt Ann, April 15-16, 2017
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Author Topic: Lake Ann & Mt Ann, April 15-16, 2017  (Read 2560 times)

Posts: 124

Lake Ann & Mt Ann, April 15-16, 2017
« on: 04/20/17, 11:08 AM »

Lake Ann and Mount Ann, 4/15 - 4/16

We wanted to do an overnight trip to Mount Ann for some time now. The forecast for the weekend suggested it would be a good destination, since the approach day on Saturday still had showers and Sunday would be a full-on sun.

We left Heather Meadows around 11am. Most of the parking lot was not plowed. The sun was trying to come out, and whenever it did, it warmed quickly. Once at Austin Pass, we skied down to Swift Creek drainage and traversed out as far as we could, noting that it didn't take long before we were setting a new track. Then we transitioned back to skins and started to Lake Ann. There was a good 4-8" of new snow too.

Crossing Swift Creek was pretty easy. The snow banks are huge, probably 10m in height, so make sure a good snow bridge is found. We worked our way through the annoying and rolling terrain of the Swift Creek before finally reaching full uphill. During the time, it was snowing heavily, and a nice relief from the warm sun. Once we reached tree line, the sun came back out, and there was about a foot of new snow. Winter isn't giving up this year.

We found a nice place to camp above the eastern shores of Lake Ann with a stunning view of Mount Shuksan. Shuksan was actively shedding snow with the sun hitting all its west facing rock walls. After we set up camp, we decided to do a quick lap and get a view of Mount Ann from the west ridge above Lake Ann. We passed the outlet and were happy to learn we'd be able to pump water instead of melting snow. It's hard to say if the water at the outlet will be available throughout the spring as it seems like the walls of the wind scoop will collapse at some point.

We reached the ridge and determined we'd have to go around point 5681' to reach Mount Ann. Then we skied down on a crusty snow that wasn't great but wasn't terrible either.

Climbing out of Swift Creek

Pretty light on the ridge

Arriving at Lake Ann

Views from camp

Evening tour

Water operations


La casa Chapin in its natural environment

Star trails above Shuksan

A very bright star (a planet?)


We wanted to get an early start because of the forecast and left around 8:30am. Our plan was to ski the north slope of Mount Ann, then come back to Lake Ann to pick up our camp. We did the traverse along the east slopes of point 5681' in about 50 minutes. Once along the ridge, there was a nice breeze keeping things cool. From here, we stayed along the ridge to approach Mount Ann. The ridge is kind of tricky, full of cornices, ups and downs, and steep drop-offs. It seems like a better approach would be to drop down to the lake at 4948' and work up from there. Of course, these things might all be seasonal features depending on how the wind blows.

We stopped about 50' shy of the summit of Mount Ann around 11am. The snow was starting to get sloppy from the sun on the east aspects and we were having trouble on the steep slope to set a skin track without it completely blowing out on us. I was only interested in skiing the north slope and Radka had already been on the summit, so no loss there.

The ski down was superb for mid-April. The top half was the best powder I've ever skied in April. Then soft and breakable crust. Then bad crust, which we didn't bother trying to turn on, and instead started the traverse back to our track to Lake Ann. Once back at our camp, temperatures were really warming up, the thermometer reporting 60F in the sun. We packed up and started the slog back to Heather Meadows, arriving around 4:30pm, noting that quite a few folks had followed our track down the Swift Creek drainage since we set it.

Sunrise with solar halo

Contrail casting a shadow over halo

Point 5681' and the Moon

Shuksan and solar halo

Rad views

Baker and Mt Ann

Skiing down Mt Ann

Mt Ann with our tracks

Mt Baker

TR: Chris
Photos: Radka

« Last Edit: 04/20/17, 02:32 PM by radka » Logged

Posts: 255

Re: Lane Ann & Mt Ann, April 15-16, 2017
« Reply #1 on: 04/20/17, 01:38 PM »

Nice pickings on the weather - dang this work thing!

Posts: 343

Re: Lake Ann & Mt Ann, April 15-16, 2017
« Reply #2 on: 04/23/17, 01:36 PM »

Standard Radka gorgeous pictures of such a super cool place.  Almost as good as the action sequence you took of me there on a spring day several years ago augering under the molten schmoo crust and biffing!

Posts: 230

Re: Lake Ann & Mt Ann, April 15-16, 2017
« Reply #3 on: 04/23/17, 03:10 PM »

Wow, outstanding photos!

Posts: 124

Re: Lake Ann & Mt Ann, April 15-16, 2017
« Reply #4 on: 04/23/17, 06:53 PM »

Thank you all for your kind comments!

....the action sequence you took of me there on a spring day several years ago augering under the molten schmoo crust and biffing!

I totally remember that day and was reminiscing about it last weekend. It was nice to spend two days in the area! Thanks for showing me around 4 years ago.

If anybody is interested, Scott Sister, the weatherman at Komo 4 News, wrote an article on the phenomena we witnesses last Sunday (contrail shadow over halo). You can check it out here:


Posts: 78

Re: Lake Ann & Mt Ann, April 15-16, 2017
« Reply #5 on: 04/24/17, 03:50 PM »

amazing pics! mt. ann is probably my favourite tour in the baker area
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