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[TR] Hadley Peak - Standard NW Ridge 09/30/2023


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Trip: Hadley Peak - Standard NW Ridge

Trip Date: 09/30/2023

Trip Report:

I had been meaning to scramble Hadley Peak for some time but had never got around to it.  Fall seemed ideal and so when @sparverius showed up in town with a day to kill a few weeks ago, we quickly decided on it.  I had never been up to Cougar Divide and was surprised by how nice the views were from the road on the way in, and how fast you can get up in the alpine.  Very civilized!   We had gotten a decently early start this day and so we were alone pretty much after leaving the parking lot, mostly only seeing parties only on our descent.  It was a good reminder that when you are out in front kicking steps in fresh snow, even a relatively minor scramble can feel like an adventure. 

Unfortunately, on the way down, we saw evidence that fat bikers are coming up to Chowder Ridge from Cougar Divide and then going out Skyline Divide, maybe more so now that Skyline Divide Road is closed?  Please leave the bikes and your bluetooth speakers at home, drones too (though we didn't see any this day)!  OK, I'll stop ranting.

Regardless, I was reminded what a fantastic backyard we have here in the North Cascades.  So many adventures close to home, and so often so much solitude!  Now, for the photos, which always do better than my words.....

Kulshan from near the road:





@sparverius rambling upwards towards Chowder Ridge:2023Hadley110939.JPG.06a416d763d2b8e930a776e793f95de3.JPG

We have Hadley in our sights!


Twin Sisters out to the west:


This was a pleasant surprise:



Colfax, still need to go up there:


Looking across a thinly covered Park Glacier:


@sparverius coming down very near the summit of Hadley:



Alpine Nectar!


Lincoln, still need to go up there too:


Sound of Music on the exit:


Shuksan closing out the day:



Gear Notes:
ice axe, helmet

Approach Notes:
Cougar Divide
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That is a challenging situation for sure.  I shoot in RAW and try and blow the highlights a bit, and underexpose the shadows, then tweak both in post-processing to balance it out.  I use Lightroom, which is great for all of the above. 

Or, you can just use your phone which does it all in real time!  But it will never be a photo that you'll want to see on a big screen.

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On 11/4/2023 at 1:21 PM, Kameron said:

I did Hadley trail-running style late summer last year, and it was a blast that way too.

Yeah Jason, get with the running game. I've done Hadley a few times over the last couple of years, it's a spectacular run from Skyline Divide. We pushed on to Bastille one time, also excellent.

I think I've seen goats every time I've been up there. Once I gave up on summiting Bastille because I didn't want to keep driving the goats onto the Mazama Glacier. They always seems to take the same route a climber would.

You can just make out the line of goats on the left ridgeline, and their trail across the snow.


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