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Winter mixed routes

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I am very interested in climbing mixed routes in the winter, (steep ice, rock, snow) and am looking for route recommendations. I am interested in routes with a reasonable approach that can be done in 2-3 days. I'm sure that there are more routes like Triple Couloirs and North Face of Chair that someone knows about.

Thanks

[This message has been edited by danielpatricksmith (edited 10-19-2000).]

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The second Jim Nelson guide to the Cascades has a bunch of routes in it of varying degrees of of difficulty:

Selected Climbs in the Cascades, Peter Potterfield & Jim Nelson, The Mountaineers, 1993, ISBN 0-89886-386-6.

Selected Climbs in the Cascades, Volume 2, Peter Potterfield & Jim Nelson, The Mountaineers, 2000, ISBN 0-89886-561-1.

Quite a lot of the routes in Beckey have also had winter ascents but I'm not sure any of them are done frequently due to the snow conditions in the Cascades. Access seems to be the biggest problem, Cuttthroat is only accessible when they open the pass for example.

Mt Index, , B1 p202

Dragontail Pk, Triple Couloirs (II/III, 5.8?), B1 p261

Colonial, Watusi Rodeo (IV), SC2 p164

Chair Peak, NE slab (WI3), SC1 p51

Cutthroat Peak, E face (III, WI4-5), SC2 p 182, April/May

There's some stuff on the Tooth too.

Ade

 

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Ade,

Thanks, I have done or attempted most of the routes that Nelson has included in his guide books. I was hoping there was someone out there with first hand knowlege of worthwhile, but unheralded, winter ascents.

Dan

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Well, those of us who have a list of good winter possibilities are hardly going to hand our hard-earned black books over in a public forum, are we? ;-)

Actually, it's a constant frustration of the NW. I've been waiting for the Eve Dearborne route on Index to come into condition for years, but I don't know that it has actually come into shape since Nelson's first guide came out. The fabled "arctic express" isn't very reliable, and anyway, even if it gets extremely cold for four or five days, all that gets you is brittle chandaliered ice... The only saving grace is that because it rains even to high altitudes every couple of weeks, avalanche danger tends to settle down pretty quickly, and there's little depth hoar formation like in colder, dryer climates.

Here's my take... the biggest obstacle is automobile access. There's tons of attractive winter routes, it would just take 5 or 6 days to ski in, climb them and ski out. You can map out what's accessible pretty easily. N. Cascades highway is open to Ross Dam all winter, Stevens & Snoq. Pass, Paradise. You can be sure that if it isn't a N. face, it'll never reliably freeze up, so from your winter high points, scour your topo map for steep N. faces within a day's travel of plowed high points.

I've taken a look at the north side of snoqualmie mountain and there's a lot more there than the "New York Gully" (though low altitude so unpredictable). I think the greatest potential in the cascades are the peaks accessible all winter via the n. cascades highway, ie. Colonial, Pyramid, Paul Bunyan's stump, etc. I know that the north face of Pyramid Peak had been done. When we did N. Face of Colonial last winter, there appeared to be tons of potential in that valley - too bad it's super avalanche exposed, low altitude approach, unreliable ice. But who's complaining...

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Forrest,

Damn, you found me out, I was in fact hoping folks like you would dish out the good stuff. Thanks for the general ideas. Keep the posts coming, I enjoy reading them.

Dan

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You can drive year-round to the Ross Dam parking lot and see the north buttress of Pyramid. The N Cascades highway has been gated there the past few winters. The right (west) side of the buttress is at an angle conducive to mixed conditions (i.e. steep, but not too steep). I remember reading Bob Cotter's report of the first ascent somewhere, probably in the AAJ. Look in Beckey's guide to see if there is a reference.

Nobody has mentioned the north face of Big Four yet. It's accessible, has been climbed several times in the winter, and has gobs of potential. (I haven't done it.)

--Lowell Skoog

lowell.skoog@alpenglow.org

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So are there any winter mixed routes in the Cascades besides Chair Peak and The Toof? tongue.gif

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I bet there is more stuff around the Enchantments adn Stuart, you might just have to look at it in a different light? wave.giffruit.gif

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Well, those of us who have a list of good winter possibilities are hardly going to hand our hard-earned black books over in a public forum, are we? ;-)<P>Actually, it's a constant frustration of the NW. I've been waiting for the Eve Dearborne route on Index to come into condition for years, but I don't know that it has actually come into shape since Nelson's first guide came out. The fabled "arctic express" isn't very reliable, and anyway, even if it gets extremely cold for four or five days, all that gets you is brittle chandaliered ice... The only saving grace is that because it rains even to high altitudes every couple of weeks, avalanche danger tends to settle down pretty quickly, and there's little depth hoar formation like in colder, dryer climates.<P>Here's my take... the biggest obstacle is automobile access. There's tons of attractive winter routes, it would just take 5 or 6 days to ski in, climb them and ski out.

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Amen

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