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[TR] Spider Mountain - North Face Chute 3/31/2013

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Trip: Spider Mountain - North Face Chute


Date: 3/31/2013


Trip Report:

Last weekend held grand adventure and a gorgeous alpine experience in the form of Spider Mountain’s north face, a dream line for the a great many of us. Ranking right at the top of my season, I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to climb and ski such a grand classic.


Two days with my frequent cohort, Brian Fletcher got the job done. The first day involved a 3am departure from Seattle, a tandem approach of about 4 miles up the Cascade River road on Brian’s snowmobile, and a long day of ski touring from the Cascade Pass trailhead to Arts Knoll, the saddle directly across valley from Spider. At camp we were treated to a top-10, mind blowing sunset on one side, and a haunting and imposing view of the following day’s objective on the other. Sunday morning broke with still clear weather and allowed a safe and expedient climb of Spider once we found the key to crossing the mammoth bergschrund at the bottom of the upper face.


The skiing was nothing short of amazing with stable soft snow from the summit to the glacier far below, with but a single enjoyable mandatory air over the gaping bergschrund to keep us on our toes. Rare are the days where such an outing can be achieved with so little objective hazard. It’s always a pleasure to be in the mountains, but in this instance, it was a rare treat indeed. Yummy.


More photos and words on my blog here: http://blog.scottrinck.com/freshies/freshies-spider-mountain-in-the-deep-north-cascades/


blue line is ascent, green line is descent:





Gear Notes:

1 Whippit, 1 Mountain Axe, Aluminum Crampons


Approach Notes:

Cascade River Road snow-bound at Mineral Park campground. We removed a log 3 miles before this with a chainsaw. Road snowy but clean from Mineral Park to Cascade Pass trailhead except avalanche debris. Deep solid snow base from Cascade Pass to Spider Mountain via Cache Col and Arts Knoll

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Nope, ours was orange, but we saw that one. Perhaps they headed up in the Eldorado direction.


That was our ride. We did the Forbidden Tour, and I'm going to post a TR as soon as I get these @#$%& photos to upload. We brought a chainsaw too, but you beat us to it. We were able to drive to MP 17 after digging out the 4Runner briefly 3 times in that little dip right after Mineral Park campground, and I couldn't believe how much snow had melted after only 4 days. For SURE it's easy to drive to MP 17 now. Strong work getting the sled over the gate at MP 21!

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Way to get after it Scott! Spectacular trip and photos as always. And special thanks for the chainsaw work, which I hope to take advantage of soon. Nice to see somebody taking care of the job the park service is too lame, or broke, to do! ;)

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