March 15, Chair Peak Circumnavigation







With 3 inches of new snow over the rain crust from earlier in the week, Thursday looked like the day to tour. I got a leisurely start, meeting Frank at Alpental, at 10:30. We rode the chairlifts to get a mechanical lift to start our tour. Frank had not done the circumnavigation of Chair Peak and was looking forward to seeing how the route looked in the winter. He had previously hiked the route in summer. We traversed out from Alpental to Piss Pass and then down into the Great Scott bowl area. We then put on our skins and headed up to the pass between Bryant and Chair Peak. We were able to skin most of the way, except for a short section we decided to boot pack up. From Bryant Pass down to Melakwa Lake was buttery smooth with lots of good turns. The skins came back out for the climb to Melakawa Pass, a huge talas field in the summer time. Then it was a short descent to Chair lake, and several good turns down to Snow Lake. Probably the best section was skiing from Chair lake down to Snow Lake. In the summer it is a nice waterfall. Today it was an excellent ski pitch. The waterfall was just starting to reappear from it's winter hibernation. Frank got a good line down the gully, and I stayed a little higher and got a nice steep line. It was a good skin to get to the far end of Snow Lake then we had one final climb up to Snow Lake divide to finish our tour. Our legs were tired, but it had been an excellent day of skiing with good snow on all aspects. Even our final ski down to source lake and back to Alpental was excellent. Tour time 4 hours.

4 comments:

Casey said...

Beautiful!

Jason said...

Good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

Greg Louie said...

Well done, guys. I was selling Chinese food.

frank Neumann said...

Make that 5 hours Kevin. I know you could've easily done it in 4, but you were patient and kind and kept waiting for me to catch up. Thanks for that.