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Author Topic: Tips on route up Jim Hill?  (Read 1644 times)
Jim Oker
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Tips on route up Jim Hill?
« on: 02/27/03, 06:31 AM »

Anyone willing to share insights on the direct route up Jim Hill (up the Henry Creek valley versus over the ridge past Lanham Lake)? I hear rumors that there is a reasonable way to connect by roads and open slopes, but then I also hear tales of "Jim Hell" and horrible brush down low.

Or am I gonna have to just go get lost to figure this out like you probably did?
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BrentH
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Re: Tips on route up Jim Hill?
« Reply #1 on: 02/27/03, 10:35 AM »

The first time we approached by Lantham Lake, but skied out Henry Creek. Everytime since we've used the lower approach from before-but-near where Henry Creek crosses the logging road, and it's been not good, and at times memorably so (once found me crawling on all fours, dragging my skis behind me). A decent route was once flagged, but the flagging is gone (I suspect ripped out by purists or those who care not to share). Paul Kulhanek and I spent a day in there several years with hand saws, but our clearing was swallowed up by our next ski visit. If you go this way, my advice is to first gain a fair amount of elevation before starting your traverse. Others have told me of an alternative (which I've not tried yet): Continue up the road after crossing Henry Creek to the big clearcut (the lower of the two big clearcuts on the way to Arrowhead). Go up to its upper right corner and then (here's the mystery to me) find your way to a steep slope leading down to a crossing of Henry Creek. You're aiming for the toe of the big Jim Hill N slope (avalanche deposition area with slide alder, maybe a lot in this low-snow year), right where you would exit the big forest on the lower approach. I've seen tracks. It might work for you.
« Last Edit: 02/27/03, 10:49 AM by BrentH » Logged
Jim Oker
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Re: Tips on route up Jim Hill?
« Reply #2 on: 02/27/03, 01:37 PM »

Hmm. Sounds intriguing. Thanks for the info, though - this is definitely more that I had before! I'll return the favor here if I learn anything helpful. I have to reflect on my own alder-crawl from last weekend before heading up there soon, though...
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Richard_Korry
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Re: Tips on route up Jim Hill?
« Reply #3 on: 02/28/03, 01:52 AM »

I've done the Burgdorfer approach over the ridge and am convinced that he put this in as a way to prevent people from skiing Jim Hill.

I do the longer but easier route now by following the logging roads up high into the valley then traversing and staying high. Follow the road up and over the creek traversing east a long ways. As you go up you'll come to a fork in the road, take it back towards Henry Creek.  Eventually you are back in the drainage when the road ends. We usually take off our skiis to get up and off the road then either put them back on or not depending on the snow conditions. Now you traverse through steep mature timber staying more or less at the same elevation through 2 or 3 clear areas. Don't be tempted to drop down the 300' to the creek in the first clear area. That works but is not as nice. Eventually you pop into the clear 300-500' above the creek. You continue to traverse around the head of the cirque to the slope that takes you up above.

The alternative is to follow the road up a little ways then go up Henry Creek on the W  side of the creek. That works too but you are thrashing through small timber and isn't as pleasant IMHO.

Staying on the road is nice in that you in the open, you don't have to make any decisions or thrash or really pay any attention until you come to the road end. The approach becomes really a non-issue rather than something to dread.
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Jim Oker
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Re: Tips on route up Jim Hill?
« Reply #4 on: 02/28/03, 03:33 AM »

Cool - thanks. I'll try this route for sure. I know some folks who have skied up there with Burgdorfer himself looking for this route in recent years, so I'm not sure he was really that conniving, but I've been on other mountains where I have had a similar suspicion. Maybe he just likes arduous approaches!
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NickD
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Re: Tips on route up Jim Hill?
« Reply #5 on: 02/28/03, 10:52 AM »

Darryl W and myself snuck up there two days ago. Somewhat tracked out on open slope but great powder on skier's far right. Open areas were wind/suncrusted. Alder trees sticking out lower down.
Jim hell was at its hellish worst with the low coverage and crust/ice in trees. We did a fair amount of booting (Paul was looking down on us and approving) with success in the woods. That route Brent mentioned I have looked at everytime in and we almost took it going out. Headlamps and extra batteries recommended for that.
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Looking forward to the next ski trip.
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