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| | |-+  June 8, 2007 Naches Peak Circumnavigation
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Author Topic: June 8, 2007 Naches Peak Circumnavigation  (Read 3436 times)
Zap
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June 8, 2007 Naches Peak Circumnavigation
« on: 06/08/07, 08:52 PM »

The forecast seemed great for Friday and my ski buddies were busy.  I tried to get up to Chinook early but I was delayed getting a backup starter for the boat for an upcoming adventure near Alaska.  So I arrived at Chinook Pass around 11am and chatted with a few skiers who just finished touring in the East Bowl. Their comments confirmed a softening snow pack with “hissers” on steep terrain but no pollen.  I parked near the west bowl of Naches Peak and skinned around the small melting lake. I decided to travel counter clockwise and skinned to the ridge about 5800’.  I was able to leave the skins on and follow the lower plateau at around 5800’ and travel around Naches Peak to the East Bowl. From here looking west I could see the approaching cloud bank and the winds were just starting to increase to a pleasant volume.  I could see the tracks of the earlier skiers on the lower slopes of the East Bowl. There was a solo boot track up the steep south face above the overhanging cornices.  I followed the boot track to a gap in the cornices and enjoyed the solidarity.  The descent was 3-6” of soft snow that set off a few “hissers”. 

I skied down to the previous skiers exit tracks and was able to traverse skiers left back towards Chinook Pass.  A few skiers were working the upper NE facing steeps of Naches. I continued to traverse back above Chinook Pass and descended the East Bowl back to the start.  The tour only took 2 hours at a leisurely pace and only 1100vf.  Jill’s recovering from knee surgery so it was a quick break before the rains return.

The following photos will give you an idea of the snow coverage. The first is a view of the West Bowl looking northeast.  The second photo is of Peak 6567’.  Still plenty of snow near Dewy Lakes (no photo).  The third photo is looking up towards the cornice ridge I descended in the East Bowl.


* WBowlNaches.JPG (73.41 KB, 640x480 - viewed 710 times.)

* Peak6567.JPG (84.46 KB, 640x480 - viewed 697 times.)

* EBowlNaches.JPG (33.3 KB, 360x480 - viewed 721 times.)
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ron j
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Re: June 8, 2007 Naches Peak Circumnavigation
« Reply #1 on: 06/09/07, 08:13 AM »

Thanks, Zapster.
I was wondering how the coverage was holding up at Chinook.
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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
Joedabaker
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Re: June 8, 2007 Naches Peak Circumnavigation
« Reply #2 on: 06/09/07, 09:47 AM »

Good job Zap.
I went for a "Lunch Break Tour" got there as the clouds were pushing in and started to brush Naches Peak. Was not motivated by the cloud potential and went for some exciting 4 wheeling up the Bear Gap/Morse Creek road. Scouted a couple runs off the backside (east) on pt 6567 from the highway. Went back up to the pass, saw a couple guys skinning under the East end of Naches Pk. as the clouds started to set in to stay on the summits of Naches and Yakima.
Did not feel like skiing in the clouds and went down to the Cayuse Pass split, hemmed and hawed and put the skis on heading to Governors Ridge. The clouds were spaced with good light and sunshine. The drop into backside of the basin is getting pretty thin and looking back to Sheepskull Gap the way I skied into it was about the only place with snow and I linked that together. Traversed in mellow woods with terracing terrain to the base of the Governor when the grey clouds moved together like a sofa sectional and turned into a slate sky with a lowering cloud deck. Time to go back-made it to the truck as the clouds pressed down on my exit chute.
As Zap mentioned, there is still ample snow on varying aspects and NO snow and dwindling snow on other aspect slopes, especially south facing and lower. Most of the snow is consolidated and skiing is good, but diminishing. What we skiied last weekend is now not skiable without creating inconveniece.
Have fun-
Joe
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Zap
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Re: June 8, 2007 Naches Peak Circumnavigation
« Reply #3 on: 06/09/07, 01:54 PM »

Joe, It's funny that you toured to Governor.  I stopped at the split and peered numerous slopes with the binoculars and thought about Governor. 
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Joedabaker
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Re: June 8, 2007 Naches Peak Circumnavigation
« Reply #4 on: 06/09/07, 02:38 PM »

Joe, It's funny that you toured to Governor.  I stopped at the split and peered numerous slopes with the binoculars and thought about Governor. 
I too had the binoculars out in search and recon mode. Maybe one of these days our worlds will cosmically align and we will meet up for a tour. Wink
Every year I say, I should go do this or that, but the lure of slopes nearest to the highway ususally sweep my ambitions until I get bored with the close stuff. Then I tour further out and say, man I should get out here earlier, there's lots of potential-maybe next year.
Next year comes and it is back to the same cycle....
This season, tours that I wanted to do away from the highway melted out real early and had to work on backup plans.
Other than the runs next to the highway, the prime, safe  (consolidation at all aspects) of the snow at Chinook Pass before melt out is so short I'm starting to realize that if I ski something it may be several years (if I'm lucky) before I get back to that spot.
It is a privilege to have the opportunity to tour and ski what we get to ski!
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Jerm
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Re: June 8, 2007 Naches Peak Circumnavigation
« Reply #5 on: 06/09/07, 10:51 PM »

I think that must've been us on the NE slope. We were up there with our dog, Keller. Set off some hissers ourselves, a couple went pretty far. Snow was nice and carveable though, and slid pretty nicely compared to the pollen loaded gunk a few weeks ago.
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Zap
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Re: June 8, 2007 Naches Peak Circumnavigation
« Reply #6 on: 06/10/07, 09:53 AM »

Jerm, I did see a dog.  Your ski lines looked nice from my perspective below.

Joe, I understand about the desire to explore new places yet many times being drawn back to the convenient locations. I have to create lists to remind me for "next season". It always amazes me that there are so many "stashes" within close proximity to the popular sites.  Just spend a day with Ron and Mad Dog around Paradise and you realize the truth in that statement.  Many of my backcountry friends would never ride a ski lift but you only have to venture a few hundred yards outside a ski area boundary and find solitude and fresh lines.  We'll have to coordinate a Sunrise adventure.

Zap
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