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09/20/17, 11:14 AM

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Author Topic: June 5-7, 2017, Hurricane Ridge to Royal Basin  (Read 1587 times)
Lowell_Skoog
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June 5-7, 2017, Hurricane Ridge to Royal Basin
« on: 06/09/17, 07:14 PM »



Tom Janisch carries over Point 6032ft enroute to Obstruction Point on the first day.



The ski traverse from Hurricane Ridge to Royal Basin has been on my to-do list since I learned about the 2008 trip along this route by Eric Jackson and Mary Goodfellow.  Their four-day trip was described in NWMJ Issue 7 here.



Dave Nicholson skis toward Point 6425ft between Obstruction Point and Moose Peak.



I thought of extending the route along Gray Wolf Ridge, based on a solo hike through that area in 2010. But a closing weather window and the realization that Gray Wolf Ridge doesn't hold much snow into spring convinced me to follow the pioneers' original route.



Descending into the NE cirque of Moose Peak.



Our trip window was narrowed by my decision to attend the Seattle premier of "Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey" at SIFF on Sunday, June 4. At the tail end of the trip, our window of good weather appeared to be closing abruptly on Wednesday evening, June 7. So it would have to be a three-day trip.



Steve Hindman and Tom Janisch descend from the summit of Moose Peak toward a campsite on the south shoulder of the peak.



Tom Janisch, Dave Nicholson and Steve Hindman agreed to join me.  All three are strong skiers with lots of experience in the Cascades, but little exposure to the Olympics.



Dave and Steve ski along the south shoulder of Moose Peak.



We converged at my house in Seattle and shuttled two cars across the Edmonds-Kingston ferry.  We parked one car at the Royal Basin trailhead on the Dungeness River. Piling into the other car, we drove to Hurricane Ridge.



Morning light from our camp on Moose Peak.



The route began with several miles of walking along the Obstruction Point road. A plow has cleared the road to near Eagle Point. Beyond that, some plowing has been done, but most of the road is still snow covered.  We skied lanes of snow running parallel to the ridge to a lunch stop near Obstruction Point.



Lowell, Dave and Steve traverse the south flank of Mt Cameron before descending to the head of Lost Basin.



South of Obstruction Point the route is a snowy walk in the sky.  It's amazing how far you can see across the Olympic Mountains and how wide open the terrain is in this area.  The downside is that in bad weather, navigation can be really nasty in these mountains.



Tom and Steve traverse the summit ridge of Mt Cameron with Point 7170ft in the background.



We walked some bare ground south of the Grand Valley trail crossing.  Eventually we dropped into the NE cirque below Moose Peak and skinned to its summit for an outstanding view to the south.



Steve Hindman skis the upper NE basin of Mt Cameron.



We camped on the south shoulder of Moose and continued into the Lillian River basin the next morning. Climbing to the west shoulder of Peak 6615ft, we descended and traversed into Cameron Basin.



Dave Nicholson skis the NE basin of Mt Cameron.



We skinned up the basin to Cameron Pass for a lunch break, then began traversing the south flank of Mt Cameron.  After a bit of talus, we were happy to find fairly continuous snow on this slope. Eventually we were forced down to Lost Basin by rocky ribs. We found a gully to descend and I think there are several mostly-skiable lines along this slope (this year at least).



Evening light on The Needles from our camp on the west side of Gray Wolf Basin.



We climbed to the south shoulder of Mt Cameron and traversed to the saddle between Points 7170ft and 6956ft. Tom and I scrambled up Point 7170ft where we enjoyed a view of the true summit (7190ft) to the west and I scattered a few ashes.



Tom Janisch skis a chute during the west-to-east traverse of Gray Wolf Basin.



Eventually we skied the NE glacier basin on Mt Cameron and climbed to the 6520ft saddle SE of Cedar Lake.  We descended into Cedar Lake basin and crossed another 6040ft+ saddle to the west edge of Gray Wolf Basin.



Tom climbs toward The Needles with Mt Deception in the distance.



Clouds began to increase during the morning of the third day. We traversed over and around several minor obstacles toward the west flank of The Needles.  We had some of the best turns of the trip on the little glacier NW of Mt Johnson.



Dave, Tom and Steve pause in Royal Basin with Mt Clark in the distance.



Climbing over Surprise Pass (between Mounts Johnson and Clark), we dropped into Surprise Basin and Royal Basin, where we saw a few footprints, but no people.



Hiking out the Royal Basin trail to the Dungeness River.



A few sprinkles fell on the Royal Creek trail, but real rain held off for the duration of the hike out. When we returned to Hurricane Ridge to retrieve our car, we found rain and increasing wind. I'd have enjoyed more time skiing in Royal Basin, but for this trip, three days was enough.
« Last Edit: 06/09/17, 10:04 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
tabski
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Re: June 5-7, 2017, Hurricane Ridge to Royal Basin
« Reply #1 on: 06/09/17, 09:43 PM »

Looks awesome! Washington has so much beauty it boggles the mind.
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T. Eastman
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Re: June 5-7, 2017, Hurricane Ridge to Royal Basin
« Reply #2 on: 06/10/17, 06:09 AM »

Looks like fun! Thanks for the pics and story.
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hipystix
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Re: June 5-7, 2017, Hurricane Ridge to Royal Basin
« Reply #3 on: 06/10/17, 06:31 PM »

Thanks for the report and pictures Lowell, I'm glad you were able to go!!   I was actually thinking of repeating it this year but didn't find the time, maybe next year Smiley.

Eric 
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danpeck
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Re: June 5-7, 2017, Hurricane Ridge to Royal Basin
« Reply #4 on: 06/10/17, 06:54 PM »

Thanks for the story Lowell!  Such a special place.

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Rowan Stewart
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Posts: 108


Re: June 5-7, 2017, Hurricane Ridge to Royal Basin
« Reply #5 on: 06/11/17, 09:02 PM »

Nice trip, and nice photos. Looks like a wealth of great skiing out there!
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