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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  January 2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  January 24/25, 2006, Neve, Colonial Glacier
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Author Topic: January 24/25, 2006, Neve, Colonial Glacier  (Read 1437 times)

Posts: 13

January 24/25, 2006, Neve, Colonial Glacier
« on: 01/26/06, 03:05 PM »

Decided that I needed a BIG work-out for my two days off so I headed out solo for Snowfield Peak in NCNP. I always forget how long that drive is from Seattle. I was hiking up the Pyramid Lake trail by about 10am. The trail was clear of snow to about the first stream crossing and I finally put the snowshoes on at about 2100'. The trail was pretty easy to follow all the way to the lake, about 1 1/2hr. Beautiful sunny day and reasonably warm temps. I think the high got to about 50. The snow conditions were brutally wet and heavy all the way up the ridge to the flat area around 5500' where I pitched the tent. Good times with route finding and a heavy pack...not!! It took me forever to get up there and I was pretty spent, didn't even bother looking at the clock. There are so many young trees on the way, too bad I didn't know where the climbers track went...oh well. The sunset in the mountains around 5pm with a temp of about 36. I was asleep by 6 with clear skies and a sky full of stars.
Woke up early Wednesday 4am and headed up the remainder of the ridge to Pyramid Peak. Clouds started rolling in, but I pressed on. The slope below the east face of Pyramid on the way to the Colonial Glacier was, how you say, sketchy, especially solo. The snow seemed stable enough and had a little crust on top from the freezing overnight, but the underside was pretty soft underneath. I made it as far as the Colonial Glacier/Neve Glacier col and decided to head back (time, temps, sun) all weakening that slope for my return. Needless to say, it held and I'm still here. I got a gorgeous sunrise around 7:30am with a lot of color off the clouds and a nice warming feeling while it was out. Of course the clouds continued to roll in. Temps reached into the mid-40's on my way down. Once again, wet snow and deep penetration making for a fun way down. I think I rolled half the way. Headed back to Seattle that afternoon and hit rain as soon as I got to Marblemount. Glad I got out of there when I did.
Wish I had more time and more stable conditions to head out for the summit. I'd never been in that particular area b4, but would gladly return once the snow melts out on the approach and the climbers track makes for easier navigating.
Didn't have the digital with me, so I haven't gotten the film developed...sorry no pictures.
« Last Edit: 01/27/06, 03:33 AM by cutlerwasson » Logged
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