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Stephen_Ramsey

Shuksan White Salmon?

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Anyone know if it is possible for a mere mortal to access the White Salmon Glacier this time of year? Would it be difficult to snowshoe back in there? Is the White Salmon a good early season climbing route? Would appreciate hearing people's opinions.

 

Thanks,

Steve

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It probably the most easily accessed climb on an 8,000 foot North Cascade Peak there is at this time of the year. The brush in the basin below the basin below the glacier will still be mostly covered, and if you're having trouble side-hilling on the snowshoes it is little problem to drop down and proceed up the flatter terrain on the valley floor.

 

For more discussion, run a search for old threads.

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Do you ski? I've heard the white salmon is a wonderful ski climb. If you wanted to ski it, I would probably be up for partnering up for it.

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Do you ski? I've heard the white salmon is a wonderful ski climb. If you wanted to ski it, I would probably be up for partnering up for it.

 

yeah and I'll come along and board it... and the NF too maybe? Next time we get corn?

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Do you ski? I've heard the white salmon is a wonderful ski climb. If you wanted to ski it, I would probably be up for partnering up for it.

 

yeah and I'll come along and board it... and the NF too maybe? Next time we get corn?

 

I'd love to do the NF up and the white salmon down. Keep me in mind thumbs_up.gif, I have friday->monday off every week.

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Do you ski? I've heard the white salmon is a wonderful ski climb. If you wanted to ski it, I would probably be up for partnering up for it.

Hi Josh,

 

Not sure if you were replying to Jarred or to me. I do ski, but unfortunately have never skied anything but lift-served. If I tried to ski down Hells Highway, I'd probably crash and fall into a crevasse. pitty.gif Anyhow, after reading your Eldorado TR, I'm also pretty sure I couldn't keep up with you on the ascent. That must have been a marathon day.

 

One of these days I need to learn how to do backcountry skiing... it seems like it would be way more efficient (than post-holing) for the descent!

 

Cheers,

Steve

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BEWARE OF MUSH OUT.

 

When it starts staying warm enought that the snow doesn't refreeze for several days in a row, it turns "isothermal" and the whole snowpack is rotten for a couple of weeks. It seems to get worse below the North side of Shuksan than just about anywhere else I've been, and I've been in that basin a couple of times during this condition - in April and May. It sucks. Even snowshoes won't really help.

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I admit the NF does sound a little hard to hit right, weighing in the also the avi/icefall/rockfall potential. I'm thinking it would have to be a few days of cold, clear weather followed by a day of moderate warming, just enough to make some soft corn without bring down the big stuff.

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Nah, let's do the NF in June when it's nice and sunny corn! Or we can be cool and do it in late November with a whippet and no crampons, then get screwed on the way out and descend the Sulphide in the dark! I mean.... pitty.gif

 

 

Hi Sky! wave.gif

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Ashw-

 

I don't mean to be discouraging. Yes, it has some of the biggest avalanches around during a big avalanche cycle, the rotten spring snowpack can suck, the bushes are terrible after the snow melts, the bugs can be as bad or worse in there than anywhere in the state, it rains 100" a year in the upper Nooksack, the rock is rotten, people have died .... But Mt. Shuksan is COOL! It is truly one of the easiest accessed alpine peaks in the State, very scenic, and the north side routes are well worth doing.

 

Go for it - just assemble all available information and plan accordingly.

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Brief report: The hike up to 5k on the White Salmon approach took us about six hours using snow-shoes. The various small stream crossings had easy snow bridges. We encountered a party of two who had (we think) just skied the White Salmon Glacier; they warned us about the avalanche hazard. A pair of ski tracks were evident coming down the glacier, possibly from that party of two. thumbs_up.gif The traverse across the basin is sobering; we crossed various large avalanche debris swaths, some of which looked recent. From a safe distance, we saw a large (probably icefall-triggered) avalanche come down from Shuksan Arm and travel almost all the way to White Salmon Creek, burying the skin tracks we were following. We hiked directly up towards the rock band that splits the lower and upper White Salmon, skipping the lower lobe of the glacier. We camped at a small saddle at 5k, thankfully far away from that Hanging Glacier. It was still quite warm at 3 AM, but we gave it a shot anyhow. We traversed a ways over to the edge of the White Salmon, and climbed up a few hundred feet. The snow was a weak wind-crust with looser snow underneath. In those conditions, I suspect it would be more efficient skinning up with skis rather than trying to plunge step with boots. We bailed at about 5300'. Perhaps conditions were better higher up, I guess only those skiers will know. From our campsite, we saw an avalanche come down from the Hanging Glacier and sweep down the lower White Salmon. As soon as the sun hit the Shuksan Arm, we started hearing occasional small snow/ice releases.

Edited by Stephen_Ramsey

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Brief report from 4/11: The south side of the summit pyramid was iced up pretty well at 6:30 AM, good front-pointing up the gully. Descending the lower White Salmon was positively horrible without snowshoes, a full-on mush wallow.

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Skiing was miserable, too, hard crust over slush, I couldn't turn, period. Kick turns and traverses down the entire glacier. cry.gif

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