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| |-+  May 2007 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 29, 2007 – Snowfield Peak
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Author Topic: May 29, 2007 – Snowfield Peak  (Read 5763 times)

Posts: 7

May 29, 2007 – Snowfield Peak
« on: 05/31/07, 10:03 AM »

Eric Wehrly and I visited Snowfield Peak on May 29.  Always on time, Eric showed up at my house at 3:14 am, a minute ahead of schedule.  Despite the early hour the sunrise still beat us to the Pyramid Lake trailhead where, after stashing a brew in the creek, we headed up to the lake and the ridge above.  Conditions were perfect:  firm snow and clear skies.

We put skis on under the face of Pyramid Peak at about 5400’, taking them off to boot up to the col between the Colonial and Neve glaciers, and then skinning up to the base of Snowfield Peak.  The Neve Glacier is a special place, with gentle rolling hills of snow punctuated by dark spires of rock and ice in all directions.

Rather than taking the NW ridge, Eric led the way punching steps straight up the north face.  Snowfield is deep in the heart of the North Cascades, and the views from the top were, well, stunning.  Eldorado to the south, along with Forbidden and Buckner and Goode.  Farther south Sloan Peak was silhouetted by Mt. Rainier.  To the north, the Pickets stared us straight in the face.  Inspiration and Luna and Challenger… After a couple dozen peaks the exercise of putting our puny names on such amazing things seemed not only futile, but also pointless.

After a while I backed my way down to my skis at the foot of the steep part of the north face.  Eric would have none of that nonsense, and skied straight off the top.

The ski down was terrific, with spring corn accommodating even my mediocre skiing skills.  We made it back to the car in 14 hours, a time that was increased by my slow down-climbing the top, a few leisurely breaks, and some thwacking through the bushes when we lost the way trail coming off the ridge toward Pyramid Lake.  The beer in the creek was chilled just right.

The overall elevation gain with ups and downs was 8340` (coincidentally just about equal to Snowfield Peak’s elevation of 8347’).  About 2700’ of skiing descent for the skiing-challenged (me), and about 3800’ descent for the Madman.  The excitement included a 4-foot diameter chunk of snow and rock that hurtled past the tips of my skis and down the face of the Colonial Glacier on the traverse under the east faces of Pyramid and Pinnacle Peaks.

* Snowfield.jpg (33.6 KB, 478x638 - viewed 1407 times.)

* Top_of_col.jpg (35.04 KB, 638x478 - viewed 1412 times.)

* View_from_top.jpg (53.44 KB, 638x478 - viewed 1402 times.)

Posts: 2061

Re: May 29, 2007 – Snowfield Peak
« Reply #1 on: 05/31/07, 01:16 PM »

Sounds like a great trip! That's the first ski descent from the actual summit of Snowfield Peak that I've heard of.

Posts: 810

Re: May 29, 2007 – Snowfield Peak
« Reply #2 on: 05/31/07, 01:53 PM »

Nice work guys. Glad to see you got on top of it so soon after rainier, eric.

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