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[TR] Cashmere Mountain - Winter Route 5/21/2017

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Trip: Cashmere Mountain - Winter Route


Date: 5/21/2017


Trip Report:

We were one of the six groups that were at the Leavenworth Ranger Station that morning hoping for the single core permit they issue. Hindsight always being 20/20, we should have gone for the Colchuck zone permit, since that also covered our original plan and the odds would have been better to get the permit. Oh well, it worked out anyways, we ended up taking the 8-mile zone permit to go for Cashmere.


We met a ranger at the 8-mile lake trailhead that mentioned nobody (NPS) had been up there since last summer. So no reports on conditions. Going to be a rare solitude climb in the Enchantments, which was exciting. Trail was straight forward until we hit snow at about 5500'. Then snow the rest of the way, some parts consolidated, some parts post-holing, all parts work. Navigation was interesting with no trail to go on and no printed map (we were completely prepared to do Colchuck-Dragontail combo), but we had cached maps and trip descriptions on our phones and a Delorme with trail details. The Delorme was very helpful between Caroline and Little Caroline lakes. After passing Little Caroline Lake and coming around a notch to begin towards Windy Pass (around 7200'), we decided to start heading directly north towards Cashmere Mountain. This last hour push to our bivy was crappy, but worth it. Found a nice ledge with room for our bivies and a camp rock to cook on at 7500'. The views of the Stuart range were incredible.


View from camp




Woke at 4:30 and finally took off at 6AM. We got to the base of the climb/scrambled at 7:30 and found a team had been up to Cashmere via Lake Victoria a few days ago and stomped a path across the backside of the mountain then up the ridge. After some discussion on the conditions of the standard scramble route (very socked in with wind drift snow) we decided to rope up and follow the route. The snow on the backside of the mountain was still frozen enough to walk through with crampons, consolidated, and no major slide evidence. This is probably attributed that this side of the mountain doesn't get direct sunlight all-day, and being cold enough the night before to let it set in well for our summit attempt. Not wasting any time, we at the summit at 8AM.


Left the summit at 8:30, knowing with things warming up, nothing would be getting any easier. Back to Camp at 9:30ish, left camp at 10:40, back at car 3PM.


Leaving the summit, headed down the ridge.





Weather couldn't have been better. We estimated we postholed for a total of 14 miles, of the 16.5 total miles. Climb to top was easy, the approach was rough. Great first climb of the year!







Gear Notes:

Snowshoes would have been nice.


Approach Notes:

Lots of snow.

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