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cneum

Snow climbs (crooked/slot) on Snoqualmie?

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Do the Crooked and/or slot couloirs make enjoyable, steep-ish snow climbs this time of year? The wife wants a confidence building climb saturday and we'd rather not drive terribly far from Seattle. I'm looking for something north-facing since it will be a bit toasty, and soemthing without intact "ice bulges" as Volken suggests the exit of Crooked may have.

 

If those aren't good options, any other recommendations in the Snoqualmie / Highway 2 / Mountain Loop areas? Unicorn (Tatoosh) was another option, but so far to drive and a lots of walking on Stevens Canyon Rd required.

 

Thanks...

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The Slot could be good for your purposes if there is enough snow. I'm not familiar with what it is like up there now.

 

You could also go climb Vesper or Sperry. The boot to Headlee pass is pretty steep as is the finish to Sperry. Those are sure to be in pretty good shape.

 

Also, the descent route on Chair might still have enough snow to be entertaining, depending on if the cornice is still there or not.

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Two thoughts:

 

1. The top of Alpental cam shows some snow still, and taken at face value suggests possibility for good snow where you want it:

 

http://www.summitatsnoqualmie.com/conditions

 

2. I've heard many tales of woe from folks who want to descend the Cave Ridge trail / climbers path down the west side who didn't come up that way (e.g. after having done Improbable Traverse on Guye). If you don't locate the path exactly, it's easy to wind up in really crappy steep treed terrain and do sketchy rapping / down scrambling on loose stuff. There's probably friendly footprints in the snow up high to help guide you down, but if not, I'd try and download some GPS tracks or something. Just dead reckoning down the slope figuring you'll hit the path is ill-advised.

Edited by jared_j

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Thanks for the thoughts. I was getting excited about Vesper until I just saw the NWAC report for the weekend. Now I am not so sure. Is the E/SE side of the mountain as slabby as the NE? Looks like major glide avalanches going off with the warm weather. :(

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I know you don't want to drive far but I think the best and most accessible day trip snow climbing may be washington pass. You could hike up from the hairpin and go up to south early winter spire. and if things are goin well, do that coulour route up s early. get practice and a summit to boot.

 

or just pick a snow line from the parking lot and head up.

 

or go to the base of n face of burgundy. so much to do out there right now, on either side of the road.

 

for all snow climbs right now, get a early start and stay off south facing routes late in the day. think point release slow yet big and sloppy slides.

 

 

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or colchuck glacier route. gotta real purdy right now. bit farther drive and hike in, but make your time worth it.

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South Couloir on S. Early is all melted out.

 

The easy side of Vesper is not slabby. I don't think you have much in the way of glide avalanches to be worried about. But this is internet advice so......

 

 

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Was up in the shoulder of Chair Peak Friday. Tons of snow out there but it's very mushy, even in the morning (we were out 7am to 11am). Higher elevations, N aspects, and lower temps might help you.

 

We were going to scramble up SnoQ Mtn but there is a raging river (OK that's a bit of an exageration but not much) coming down from the Cave Ridge valley. We didn't want to cross fast cold knee deep (guessing) water above a large waterfall coming and going so we went to Source Lake and Chair.

 

BTW, the chimney route S of the main peak on Chair has a HUGE cornice at the top. Climbing under it would be really dumb.

 

 

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