AlpineK Posted April 26, 2011 Share Posted April 26, 2011 (edited) Trip: Lake Chelan - Holden - Fernow Glacier and Dumbell S Side Date: 4/22/2011 Trip Report: Skiing near Holden Village has been on my mind for a few years. The subject generated enthusiasm with a couple friends too, so we made plans. There are a lot of great ski lines near Holden. We decided to ski slopes near Mount Fernow. Christian contacted Holden Village and arranged for a shuttle bus, a nights lodging, and a boat ride up Lake Chelan. Christian, Jeff, and I met the boat on Friday the 23rd. Most of the folks on the boat were going to the village for a long weekend. There's all kinds of great day skiing right out of Holden Village, but we decided to leave the village and ski up to a high camp. We wanted to ski for three days and camp out. After that we would be really psyched for good food, and a cabin. On the way up we crossed a bridge to the south side of Railroad Creek then headed up to Big Creek. When we came out we crossed Railroad Creek on a logs up high then followed the Holden Lake trail back to camp. Jeff and Christian under Copper Peak Skiing up Big Creek Drainage We picked a camp spot so we could ski Fernow Glacier one day then the South Side of Dumbell Mountain the next. We got in late the first night. Our gear had a long nigh to ice up. the main subject of conversation the next morning was either lets move to warm up or when will the sun hit us. We found some newer snow on top of a spring layer on the way up Fernow. View from Big Creek Jeff skinning up Christian and Jeff skinning with Dumbell Mountain behind The route heads up an obvious line to a high bowl on Fernow. There is a small glacier up high on the mountain, but it is not visible till you get close. The slope angle steepens the higher you get. Eventually we traded skis for crampons on the ascent. We were headed to the ridge crest, but things got a bit dicey and we decided the last 40 feet were not mandatory parts of the ski line. Fun times switching back from crampons to skis After the first turn we found some great snow with a consistency like day old freshiez. The top of the glacier is somewhere over 50 degrees but gradually backs off. Fun Stuff Our high point is on the top left hand side (climbers) of the snowfield-glacier From there we found killer turns to the valley Views from Dumbell slopes The ski line is on the left hand side of the photo. Seven Fingered Jack is on the right hand side Close up view Lover down we skied skiers right to avoid avalanche debris. Christian skiing Looking back up We got back to camp with time to dry out. The weather forecast called for shifting conditions, so we weren't sure how much skiing we would get on the 24th. As it turned out skies were still blue with only some wisps of an incoming storm. We headed up towards Dumbell Mountain. There's nice ice climbing in the upper valley. Just ignore those cornices above. Here's a photo of the route from Fernow. We skied on the left hand side slopes. The slopes in the center of the photo look great, but cliffs at the base make ascent and descent tricky We were headed to an obvious col between summits. Things looked good in the upper basin. As we climbed the final slopes to the col weather really did move in. At about 200 feet vertical below the col we called it and started skiing down. Clouds were moving in and visibility was on the way out. View of Fernow Looking back up From there we headed back to camp and loaded up for our ski out. We missed out on the killer high slopes, but skiing trees with an overnight pack provides its own excitement. Crossing Railroad Creek Fortunately the trail is close to the creek once you cross it, so the final distance to Holden went smoothly. Here's a map I marked up with our approximate ski route We made it back to Holden about thirty minutes before dinner, so we didn't feel too bad about missing out on some skiing. The facility at Holden is nice and everybody was happy to see us. We played pool in the morning. Next time I go there I have to used the bowling lanes! After spending the morning at Holden we hopped on the bus and headed down to Lake Chelan The boat ride provides good views of Lucerne, and surrounding mountains. Views of clouds up high confirmed we'd hit a good patch of weather this time. In terms of timing things worked great. Rain really started coming down when we started driving. We're no A Team, but I do like the line, "I love it when a plan comes together." Gear Notes: A boat up Lake Chelan is nice. Approach Notes: Talk to the folks at Holden Village prior to heading there. The road from Lucerne to Holden is 11 miles. They have a nice spot to spend the night before and or after the trip. Crossing Railroad creek on logs can be tricky depending on snowpack. Edited April 29, 2011 by Feck Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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