[TR] Snow Conditions Denny Creek/Melakwa/Kaleetan - Denny Creek Trail to Melakwa Lake 5/13/2010 in Alpine Lakes Posted May 14, 2010 · Edited May 14, 2010 by ChrisAbajian Trip: Snow Conditions Denny Creek/Melakwa/Kaleetan - Denny Creek Trail to Melakwa Lake Date: 5/13/2010 Trip Report: Intending to climb Kaleetan via the normal (ridge) route, we left the trailhead at 8:30 (way late, it turns out). Weather was stunning. Turned round at Melakwa, mostly cause of time but also cause the S aspects above 5K looked bad. Snow starts in earnest after you cross the creek at "Denny slide" (water high, crappy log crossing) with the first section of talus being pretty nasty (punching through into cavities constantly). The valley up to Hemlock Pass was freaky. Wish I had a photo worth posting. Every inch of both walls had released recently, surface slides, big chunks, my guess is within less than a week and possibly more than once. Heavy, wet snow on top of a rotten layer (you could feel it with a ski pole). Happily, there's good lines all the way to the pass. With one or two tiny exceptions we managed to avoid anything that looked steep or exposed enough to worry about (honestly I think Denny Creek is done puking for this year ;-) But it took us 4 hours of post holing to get to the pass at 4200' (yikes, I've done it in better conditions in half that). The other side of Hemlock pass has a more northerly aspect and looked stable, so the lake is quite accessible. The ridge and E face routes on Kaleetan however both have very large slopes above 5K that have not released yet and looked loaded. IMHO they're going to go soon as the freezing level rises. We ate lunch while listening to stuff come crashing down constantly. Might want to wait a few more days or time it to do them at a night / early morning. Found the handle to someone's shovel on the way up to the pass... looked recent. Gear Notes: Snowshoes made the trip out a lot easier. Really mushy by afternoon. Approach Notes: Road clear & reasonably good condition.