In my efforts to branch out to harder ski-mountaineering endeavors I found myself with the partner Kyle Miller, a freqeunt TAY poster, sponsered athelete, and one who lives to board. Our plans were to meet up at 9:00pm Friday in Northbend to drive to the Trailhead of Mt. Aix, a large 7700ft mountain E of Rainier. We ended up meeting at 12:00 to get to a campsite by 3:00am. That drive took fo friggan ever. Woke up at 6:00 to drive to what was supposed to be the TH: Nope it wasn't plowed even though the website said it was. Damn, thats 8 more miles of traveling...
So by 7:00am we skinned/booted up the road to find the TH, traveled the trail until we lost it, and then enjoyed some not too bad (not to good either) bushwhacking and booting up. We made it to a nice basin for some views, and then up to a nice col where we could see our objective
We got within 50 ft of the summit, took off our skis because it was only rock, and then summitted. The views were excellent. Light snow flakes came down around us, but we weren't worried: there was plenty of blue sky midst the dark-clouds.
Look at that smile...
Our turns on Cascade sweet corn.
We skied some sick lines down on the otherside of the valley wall that we had just hiked up, skinned back up to the col, saw another sweet line with an easy 30min ridge traverse.
Enjoyed some pretty damn good turns until we got down into the basin, where it was manky glopadelic hell. Followed a creek down as far as we could, and then 'enjoyed' some more bushwhackin. We actually found the real trail some 1/4 mile until we got back to the TH. We then 'enjoyed' a long 4 mile slog back to the car. Kyle's skins didn't stick to his skis anymore. F. It didn't really matter that much because we were taking our skis off for 50ft sections of dirt, only to put them on again for the occasional 250 ft section of snow.
We were back to the car by 8:30, just as it started to rain. I had a guiness in the car: it was best that particular beverage has ever tasted.
In total it was something like 18 miles and 4.7k ft. toooo much flatness.
The next day Kyle and I were going to ski Stuart. We camped near the Beverly Creek CG, and got to the Beverly-Creek TH after some fun pushing and bold snow-berm driving by 6:20. We packed for the day, and by the time we were about to go, Kyle put on his skins on his splitty, only to have it fold like a limp noodle. The ski, not the skins folded. See the picture.
That ended what would have been a henious 20mile 8k ft day right there. But on my way back I had a consolation run. I went up to Alpental and skied the Slot Couloir. My first time there. I was fortunate to find some people who knew more about where to find it, how to get out of it, as it saved me some second guessing. It was some nice skiing, corny/icy snow. The descent down the S-facing side though was gloppy-hell. My skis were buried by 1ft of heavy wet snow in a small sluff induced by me going over a roller and getting stuck in some glue underneath it. Scary of sorts. The sluff was slow, but crazy heavy. A great day, all-in-all.
Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/sukiakiumo/ ... eGlM2jsgE#