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Mike Lewis

[TR] Cashmere Mountain - Lake Victoria/NW Face 4/2/2015

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Trip: Cashmere Mountain - Lake Victoria/NW Face


Date: 4/2/2015


Trip Report:

Matt Lemke, Josh Lewis and I went up to Lake Victoria then up snow to the summit following a line on Cashmere's Northwest face using this route. We awoke to cloudy skies that led to a neat sunrise to distract us from the road.
















The beginning was a sticky bushwhack through 1st gen growth in a burn area. Log jumping and scraping. Log bridges helped but were not enough. Sometimes they had little spears on them. Josh punctured his shoe on one of them and a log tried to kill Matt. Not very enjoyable but very reminiscent of Cannon Mountain on the other side of the creek.










After 5,000' it was all snow. It started out icy thin and punchy over boulders making for sketchy business whenever our path came near a creek. Eventually it became deep and solid. Lake Victoria was still mostly frozen so we walked across to save on our approach time after I displayed my guinea pig powers. Once on the other side, the snow had an icy hard base with a variable 5" crust. Sometimes it was soft, others it was punchy and then others it was ice. The West shoulder of Cashmere blocked out the sun for this part of the climb stabilizing the snow while we climbed a 40 degree gully to the upper basin.














At the upper basin, after much effort kicking steps, we layered up while clouds and wind moved in. We debated whether to follow the standard route from the 8,000' col or just climb straight up one of the many gullies on the Northwest Face that led to the summit. I felt that rime ice would make any scrambling too sketchy so we went up the NW Face, avoiding almost all scrambling save for one move. We summited an hour before sunset with a magnificent show of the entire Enchantments on display.


























We descended to Lake Caroline at dusk, donned headlamps and looked around for tracks in the snow. Matt led the way using GPS with the full moon shining above the Enchantments while we walked the trail. A symphony of frogs could be heard croaking near the trail head. After another 2.5 mile walk to Bridge Creek, we hitch-hiked back to the car a little dismayed to discover that the management opened the gate while we were up there.


All-in-all one of my best ALW summits and incredible view. I only wish there was an established trail to Lake Victoria to avoid the nasty brush. Very decent snow climb that avoids almost all the scrambling and crowds of summer. Thanks Matt for taking us up there and guiding us down in the dark.

Gear Notes:



Approach Notes:

Bridge creek was closed when we arrived but open when we left.


see route link at beginning of report for approach beta

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