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| |-+  January 2019 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  January 26, 2019, Wellington
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Author Topic: January 26, 2019, Wellington  (Read 1433 times)
ski_photomatt
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January 26, 2019, Wellington
« on: 01/26/19, 08:25 PM »

Wellington was a train depot at the west entrance of the old Cascade Tunnel, just west of Stevens Pass. It was the site of an avalanche disaster in 1910 that killed 96 on board a Great Northern Railway train.  I’ve always been curious about the event, but never made a trip to the site. I figured when I did it would be best in the winter to also ski the slide path.

The Old Cascade Highway provides bumper to bumper skiing, without the parking hassles at Stevens Pass.  I parked at the west entrance to the new Cascade train tunnel and after an hour of brisk skiing was at the old train depot at the entrance to (the now abandoned) old tunnel.

It’s hard to imagine an avalanche large enough to bury a train at this spot today. In 1910, the steep hillside was bare, cleaned out by a recent fire. Today, it is thick with 100 year old trees.  I’m always amazed at the Cascades’ ability to reclaim territory. Driving through mountain towns like Darrington and Marblemount, I’m struck by the notion that without constant upkeep, the forest would swallow any human structure in a decade or less.

From Wellington I toured up the steep hillside to PT 5360 for a view of the entire slide path before battling the crust back to the valley.  These are the attractive looking bowls clearly visible descending west from the pass on the highway - I’ll have to return with better conditions.
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mikerolfs
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Re: January 26, 2019, Wellington
« Reply #1 on: 01/26/19, 08:46 PM »

kudos to your creativity, Matt. Awesome. Wish I'd thought to be curious about this. Now I need to go see this slide path!
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John Morrow
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Re: January 26, 2019, Wellington
« Reply #2 on: 01/27/19, 05:19 AM »

Been trying to convince partners to tour out there for years and can't get anyone excited about it.
March 1, 2010 I seemed to finally get everyone interested.  100 years to the date of and site of the US' largest avalanche disaster in history.  The concrete snowshed below (built after) is said to have ghosts.  Then strange paranormal stuff started happening in a couple of our homes and we decided not to ski it.  For real.
So visible to everybody, why do so few ski there?  It is east facing, though.  Cascade powdercats is just on the back side.

« Last Edit: 01/27/19, 08:02 AM by John Morrow » Logged
AntonioB
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Re: January 26, 2019, Wellington
« Reply #3 on: 01/27/19, 07:56 AM »

Thanks for sharing. I have not heard of this. There are so much history in the region! I like how this story is tied to the great forces of nature, with lesson for skiers like us here.
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John Morrow
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Re: January 26, 2019, Wellington
« Reply #4 on: 01/27/19, 08:24 AM »

Thanks for sharing. I have not heard of this. There are so much history in the region! I like how this story is tied to the great forces of nature, with lesson for skiers like us here.

Great Read:
"The White Cascade" Krist, Gary

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/88365.The_White_Cascade
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goleary
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Re: January 26, 2019, Wellington
« Reply #5 on: 02/22/19, 04:55 PM »

Thanks for the link John.  I just finished reading the book, it was quite engaging.  What a crazy storm that must have been, 19 feet in 6 days!

Anyone in the know care to enlighten me?  I'm trying to place the event on the map but I'm not sure I've got it right.  Does the arrow on my map indicate the correct slope?


https://imgur.com/a/RS8hsCj
« Last Edit: 02/24/19, 06:38 PM by goleary » Logged
ski_photomatt
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Re: January 26, 2019, Wellington
« Reply #6 on: 02/24/19, 12:12 AM »

As best I can tell that’s the slope based on the location of the present day trailhead, the entrance to the old tunnel, and from looking at historical photos online. I’d guess the entire ridge and two connected bowls from PT 5360 to PT 5484 went during the slide. But I would love confirmation from someone who knows for certain.
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