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JoshK

Snowking Mountain in the Winter

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Yeah, yeah...it would be one hell of a haul in there - up the snow covered washed out road, all the way up the mega steep forested hill, all along the forested ridge, then up the ridge from cyclone lake to the summit.

 

Despite the ridiculous amount of energy I assume it would take busting all that trail in the winter the route looks very reasonable from the standpoint of travelling through avalanche terrain. The majority of the way to Cyclone lake is through forested terrain. After that you gain a ridge (directly from the forest, if I recall correctly) that leads all the way to the summit. the ridge is defined and swept rather well as I recall from my fall trip up there.

 

Has anybody ever considered this trip? I'm sure the area would be beautiful this time of year and would make for a great adventure.

 

2450Snowking_Map.JPG

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You game to try it? smile.gif Or anybody else interested for that matter? I would think 3 days and I was considering this small "break" in the weather the next couple of days.

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I bet the approach would be snow-free until at least 3500ft right now (found almost no snow on Baker at that elevation last wknd). Might make for quick hiking. Doable as a day trip?

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Phil, you are probably corect. Darren, thanks for link. You are right - definitely not much snow in those pics. That ridge does look like a very reasonable route however. I agree that doing it in the winter in a day is reasonable but I somewhat doubt it would make sense considering several feet of unpacked snow. I'm not sure I'd be able to pull it off in a day given that and the relative lack of daylight at this time of year. I am more and more tempted to give it a go, however!

 

Darren, were there any spots in particular where you would be concerned with avalanche danger with a full winter snowpack?

 

-josh

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Josh - If I remember right, the main slope where our ascent line is drawn in the first photo seemed to be about the right pitch for avalanche concern. I think you would be pretty safe if you stayed to the left and followed our descent line. Make sure to post some photos if you go!

 

Darren

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Have you considered coming in from the Illabot Creek side? I'll bet you can drive higher and closer that way. I would think that road might be snow free, but you might check with the USFS.

 

We skied in that way and camped at Enjar lakes some years back. I think that was the Snowking route in Burgdorfer's Cascade ski mountaineering book that came out in the 90s. Great area.

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Darren, the green line was the one I actually ascended when I did the route since the glacier was a mess of rock hard ice in October (or September, i forget...) Your green line is the ridge to the left of Cyclone lake when looking up at the summit, correct?

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We tried going in via Illabot Creek in November. Had to turn around about half way due to snow and ice on the road. Might be different now, but I doubt it.

Went in via Kindy ridge instead - Nov. 19-20

I posted some pics in the gallery.

Have fun!!

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We tried going in via Illabot Creek in November. Had to turn around about half way due to snow and ice on the road.

Recent experience suggests it could be different now after the Xmas monsoon. We darn near drove the mini-van to Hannegan Pass trailhead (higher than Illabot) on New Years day! Not to boxing_smiley.gif - the approach from the Cascade side looks pretty darn scenic, too. thumbs_up.gif

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Its not nearly as long as you think. Two long days is possible. I've done it in March on a heavy snow year and you can actually drive higher up that road than you think (I had a 2WD Toyota pickup and almost got to the washout). One of my favorite overnight trips because you are going to be by yourself and the views are one of the top 5 in my opinon. You can see so much there, and Mulcher is darn pretty from there also.

 

I tried doing the Illabot Creek way once years ago and even in April the road was too filled with snow to get close to the trailhead.

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I think you could probably pull this off as a two-day trip (though three days would certainly be nice). As of mid-November, there was a fair bit of flagging on the Kindy Ridge approach, which should make it easier to stay on track up the steep forested slope. The flagging runs out prior to the main ridge, and our party of four took a few "detours" before getting to the right place.

 

Two things I'd be cautious about. From the saddle, there are avy prone slopes up to Pt 67??. You should be able to avoid the worst of these by keeping to climber's right in light timber. Along the crest of Pt 67?? there is a wide, long fissure in the granite that would make for one very unpleasant crevasse fall. Keeping to climber's right on the top of the ridge should avoid it.

 

Haven't you done this as a ski tour before (too lazy to look up old post)?

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I did it as a hike once late in the year when there was no snow pack other than the glacier. I really liked the area, hence the desire to see it in the winter.

 

I dont' see a point 67?? that you refer to. Could you point it out on the map? All the bumps I see listed with elevations are much lower than that.

 

thanks,

-josh

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You game to try it? smile.gif Or anybody else interested for that matter? I would think 3 days and I was considering this small "break" in the weather the next couple of days.

 

I'm always game. Once this weather clears up I'll be itching to do some snow camping. bigdrink.gif

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The thing my wife still points out about that trip was how the trail was steeper than the mountain!!

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