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skibum1087

White Salmon Glacier

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I've been doing some pondering about trying the White Salmon Glacier this weekend in a long day. I was thinking about taking the nordic trial to chair 8, and then crossing the valley to acsess it, is there a better way? It sounds quicker then the Sulphide as far as doing it in a big push goes, am i missing anything, perhaps a reason that it does not seem to be such a popular route? Any comments on the route would be appreciated, thanks a lot

spencer

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I think the Sulphide is a shorter and more straightforward day. At least on skis.

 

The White Salmon requires some futzing around to get from Chair 8 to the head of the valley. But with the good snowpack this year it probably would go pretty well. You have to descend from Chair 8, which means you'll be climbing on the way home. Kind of a drag at the end of a long day.

 

The head of White Salmon creek is an impressive avalanche basin. A lot of stuff comes down there in the spring. There was a sizable serac induced avalanche off the Hanging Glacier last weekend. One of those could ruin your day.

 

With the fair weather we've been having, the Sulphide is probably more consolidated, since it faces the sun, and would offer easier travel. Plus, it's all downhill on the way home.

 

That said, the White Salmon is a cool route. But the Sulphide is more popular for spring ski climbs for good reason.

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I would have to aggree with Lowell, but if you do go heres a bit of advice. Dont go all the way to chair 8 and try to force a route down, take the little spur road that veers off left right before the chair. follow it for a short distance and take the clear cut that takes you all the way to the valley floor...easy ski down. Stay to the right of the creek as you work your way up.

 

I havent seen it yet, but from word of mouth the arm ripped off a hugh one from the heli line all the way to the pyramid 4+feet deep...so expect some serious avy carnage down at the bottom.

 

As Lowell mentioned, the Hanging Glacier LOVES to drop of big loads of ice at any given time, i prefer to take the last ridge of trees up to the white salmon instead of rapping around underneath the hanging death wish. Its a really easy skin line, and rather safe as you ascend a ridge for a little over half of the white salmon.

 

And you will hate getting back up to chair 8, its never fun...

my two cents.

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From the end of that logging road AJ mentions, you can make a slightly dropping traverse into the basin and then, on return, follow your track to minimize climbing back up. You have to cross a couple of tricky avalanche chutes if you go this way, though.

 

Every spring, the avalanche debris in that basin is some of the most impressive I've seen anywhere in Washington but it does seem to go in massive isolated events rather than firing at every skier who ventures in there.

 

The generally shaded slopes at the intermediate elevation on that approach and lower down on the White Salmon itself often take a long time to set up when the snow goes isothermal in the Spring, so it is bottomless muck for at least a couple weeks at this time of year starting, I would guess, some time soon, but the White Salmon is a very scenic and not too hard ski route.

NickWhiteSal.jpg

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I was on the Sulphide last weekend and it was good all the way to the car. All up on the way in, and all down on the way out! No Mickey Mouse crap in between... bigdrink.gif

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