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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2018 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  July 2018 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  July 10-11, 2018 Overcoat (FINALLY!)
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Author Topic: July 10-11, 2018 Overcoat (FINALLY!)  (Read 1847 times)

Posts: 928

July 10-11, 2018 Overcoat (FINALLY!)
« on: 07/12/18, 07:55 AM »

Jtack and I finally made a trip at the right time in the right direction to Overcoat. In June of this year, I tried with my friend, Aidan, to go around the south side of Chimney Rock from the east, but got stopped by a steep rock section that I wasn't prepared to cross. 2018 first try

Before that, in May of 2015 I tried with Jtack and ADappen to go around the north side of Chimney Rock, also from the east, but we backed off a steep ramp with lots of water and holes in the snow. 2015 try

My first try was from the west in October of 2013 when I turned around at a boulder field with just enough new snow to bridge the gaps, but not protect you from falling through. 2013 try

I would have thought it too late this year to try again around the north side, but my friend Jens did a day trip (Day Trip!?!) from Cooper Lake to Overcoat in mid-June and reported that the ramp was passable. Then in late June he did it again as part of a multi-day trip from Daniels. Then I saw him on the trail to Spider Meadow and he mentioned it again and I thought "how many times do I have to get told to go?" So anyway we decided to try it again and fourth time's a charm, we made it this time!

We walked the Pete Lake trail to the PCT, took that north for about a mile, then went cross country to the north and then west to the basin at the base of the majestic east face of Chimney Rock. Then we took the steep snow covered ramp north around the shoulder of Chimney Rock and onto the Overcoat Glacier. About 500 feet below this shoulder, we moved into a cloud and visibility dropped to maybe 200 feet. The weather man said mostly sunny, but he was wrong. We navigated by GPS and found the snow finger, which I measured at 46 degrees, not the 40 reported in the Becky guide.  Really the only way we knew we were there was because GAIA told us so. The skiing was really good. Perfect corn, smooth surface. I'm sorry to have missed the visual experience, but I'm very satisfied to have finally made it to this place of increasing personal desire.

We had a fantastic 2700 foot ski back to where we'd left overnight gear. We slept in a cave under a HUGE rock. It was quiet and still inside, windy outside. Fun experience. One head bonk on the exit. Saw very few people on the trail. One through hiker going south on the PCT.

This is what I wanted to see:

And this is what I did see:

There were several impressive waterfalls along the way. Some a thousand feet tall. I tried, but just couldn't capture the majesty of the landscape. It's just too big.

The skiing:

Being our second visit, and with Jamie out front sniffing the easiest route, we had way less terrible travel this time than last, but we still had our share of various kinds of nasty bushes:

This is the cave we slept in:

The trail is long and tiresome, but Pete Lake is an awfully nice place to take a break. We cooled our feet here before the final 4 miles to the car.

It was a great trip, and very satisfying to finally ski where I've tried and failed before. I don't think I can fully cross this off the list, because I still want to see the landscape from the Overcoat Glacier. But this is trip is long enough that I don't see it becoming a standard for me. It really is a long way from anywhere.

Posts: 2345

Re: July 10-11, 2018 Overcoat (FINALLY!)
« Reply #1 on: 07/12/18, 08:54 AM »


Posts: 4

Re: July 10-11, 2018 Overcoat (FINALLY!)
« Reply #2 on: 07/12/18, 09:24 AM »

AWESOME!! The snow finger is such a fun ski descent.

Posts: 2066

Re: July 10-11, 2018 Overcoat (FINALLY!)
« Reply #3 on: 07/12/18, 01:50 PM »

Congrats Mike and Jamie! That's persistence.

Posts: 81

Re: July 10-11, 2018 Overcoat (FINALLY!)
« Reply #4 on: 07/13/18, 04:07 PM »

Is that a parachute?  Was anything attached to it?

Posts: 484

Re: July 10-11, 2018 Overcoat (FINALLY!)
« Reply #5 on: 07/13/18, 07:29 PM »

I kept half way joking that we have to find a cave to sleep in on our last outing where it rained both nights, and you actually found a cave to sleep in! Way to go...  nice snake pic too!

I wouldn't have thought to do Overcoat this late this season, given the skis on the back ratio, but obsession is obsession, eh?  Wink



Posts: 708

Re: July 10-11, 2018 Overcoat (FINALLY!)
« Reply #6 on: 07/20/18, 06:31 PM »

Thanks Mike for the report, I have missed some of Mikes tries at this, and while I always wished him good luck, I would have been sad to miss this trip.  The skin onto the Overcoat glacier was very exposed for my liking, Mike was concerned that I was out of gas, but the reason I had that deer in the head lights look, was me being scared.  For most of the way we were exposed to “the Gaping MAW” slipping was not an option. The ski down the finger was wonderful, perfectly smooth, perfectly ripe corn, it’s a long haul in there, but I suspect I’ll have to go back and try for a better view.
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