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Author Topic: Washington Pass-Birthday Tour & Kangaroo Couloir  (Read 2587 times)
ThinkSnow
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Washington Pass-Birthday Tour & Kangaroo Couloir
« on: 05/01/07, 09:14 AM »

With the opening of the N. Cascades highway and a forecast that at least held a little promise, Aaron and I set out early Sunday morning for Washington Pass.  The rain squalls at Newhalem had us discussing the climbing possibilities in Mazama, but the eastern slopes granted us a high overcast and enough sucker holes to get us out of the car.

We parked just up the road from the hairpin (the 4 spots plowed out at the Blue Lake trailhead were already taken) and began skinning back along the highway just before 10:00.  The snow pack had frozen overnight which did much to alleviate any concerns regarding wet slides.  Unfortunately my ski crampons didn't make it into the car.  Oh well.

About halfway back to the trailhead, we chose to angle left into the trees which turned out to be a great call, saving ourselves some time and distance.  The ski off the back of the Blue Peak col was firm but smooth, as long as you avoided frozen slide debris and the refrozen ski tracks from the previous day.

The clouds started to breakup on our skin up to Copper Pass providing some spectacular views and finally starting to soften up the snow.  Not soft enough though to keep me from having to boot pack the final two hundred feet to Copper Pass.  Aaron, equipped with ski crampons, managed to keep his skis on, but I did hear a small squeal on his final kick turn.  The skiing off of Copper Pass back to the highway started out as smooth wind buff and finished with a couple inches of fantastic corn towards the bottom.

It was 2:00 and we had a great view up our main objective, the Kangaroo Temple.  With a good mix of cloud and sun and the snow finally softening, my hopes were high that the climbing and skiing would both be excellent.  We ascened the Kangaroo Temple up the skier's left trending couloir that joined the main coulouir just below the summit.  The snow had softened just enough to allow for excellent skinning without the track collapsing on side hills.  We were able to skin to about 7,500 feet before it became too steep.  Aaron and I took turns kicking boot steps the final 800 feet and reached the top of the Kangaroo Couloir a bit after 4:00.  The descent to the highway was fantastic with buttery corn turns all the way to the bottom.


* Blue_Peak_Col_Hanging_Cornice.JPG (17.8 KB, 640x480 - viewed 834 times.)

* Top_of_Kangaroo_Coolie.JPG (30.63 KB, 360x480 - viewed 840 times.)

* Kangaroo_Coulouir.JPG (48.84 KB, 360x480 - viewed 835 times.)
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Marcus
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Re: Washington Pass-Birthday Tour & Kangaroo Couloir
« Reply #1 on: 05/02/07, 06:49 PM »

Nice work -- that's a great loop.  Minor correction on your descent though... looks like the couloir you skied was down Vasiliki Ridge, if I'm not mistaken.  (Heh -- see below, I'm mistaken!)  Kangaroo Temple is off to the left, over the next pass.  Skied that couloir with some friends last spring and man, that's a beautiful, consistent line.
« Last Edit: 05/03/07, 07:49 AM by Marcus » Logged
skykilo
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Re: Washington Pass-Birthday Tour & Kangaroo Coulo
« Reply #2 on: 05/02/07, 07:19 PM »

That sure looks like the 3k couloir off Big Kangaroo right down to the bottom of the hairpin to me. Huh
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curmudgeon
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Re: Washington Pass-Birthday Tour & Kangaroo Couloir
« Reply #3 on: 05/02/07, 09:45 PM »

Beautiful.

That is all.






Until Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Grin Grin Grin
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silaswild
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Re: Washington Pass-Kangaroo Couloir
« Reply #4 on: 05/02/07, 11:12 PM »

That sure looks like the 3k couloir off Big Kangaroo right down to the bottom of the hairpin to me. Huh
and
Beautiful.
Both are correct.
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Marcus
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Re: Washington Pass-Birthday Tour & Kangaroo Couloir
« Reply #5 on: 05/03/07, 07:48 AM »

 Huh  My mistake, sorry ThinkSnow!  Still, Kangaroo Temple's over the other side of that 6671 pass, ain't it?

Bah!  Never mind!  Nice TR!
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