Jan. 19, Bootfest - Kaleetan Peak, Almost

With bluebird conditions and 3-4 inches of new snow, it was time to get out.  It had been several years since I had summited Kaleetan Peak and it seemed like a worthy goal.  Greg drove up from Seattle, getting caught up in traffic, which delayed our start to 10:30, which turned out to be a little too late.  We utilized the Alpental lifts to get a boost up to the alpine bowls, traversed out to Great Scott bowl, then commenced our first climb up to Bryant/Chair Pass.   After a quick skin, we started what would be one of many sections that would need to be booted.  While the new snow had bonded well with the rain crust, it was not solid enough to allow any skinning on the steeper pitches. 

Kevin enjoys the rain smoothed slopes as he descends from Bryant Pass down into the Melakawa Lakes drainage. 

Greg skinning up Melakwa Lakes drainage.

Our objective, Kaleetan Peak

The next big boot section, and steepest, came as we climbed the next pass to get below the face of Kaleetnan Peak.  We were both glad to have our ice axes as we traversed across the slope in a no-fall zone.  From this pass we dropped a short, firm, slope into the Kaleetnan Peak drainage.  With skins still on our skis, purchase was pretty dicy.  After getting to use my ice axe in the self-arrest position, we quickly decided to pull off our skins, so that we could actually ski the short slope.

Greg, at the pass above Melakawa basin.

More booting, as the firm layer under the fresh snow
 would just not allow any skinning 

SO Close!!

As it approached 3:00, we were lined up for the summit.  Unfortunately, we would have to boot all the way to the top.  With dwindling daylight, and two mountain passes to climb back over, we decided to pull the plug and enjoy some skiing.

Jan 10, Crusty Trees Across the Street

Don Hecker called at 7:30am.   What are you doing?   I said come on up.  Do you have a snow park permit, because we can go across the street from my house?    Don had permit, so we were good to go!   The climb up was great, beautiful views up Gold Greek valley and back towards the Snoqualmie ski areas.  We wrapped up the ridge heading for the funnel coolie, but the sidehilling through the trees, near the top, got pretty firm.   We decided to rip our skins, and skied a nice Steep line through the trees.   Unfortunately the powder in the trees was only 4-6 inches over the firm rain crust.  Still fun, but I have to go back with a little better snowpack.   Thanks for the exercise Don.

Don looking good in the trees.

Nice snow, out in the open.

Jan 8, Otterson back from Denmark

Scott was in town for two weeks over the holidays.  With a jam packed schedule, he only had time to ski one day.  Since he is in Denmark until May, this will be his one ski day of the winter.  We tried to hook up last week, but about 3" of rain denied any skiing.  Luckily with cooler temps. we enjoyed some great powder turns today.  

Scott gets his first/only powder turns of the year

Scott   Telemark  "free the heel and free your mind"
 or is it "fix the heel and fix the problem"?

It's a nice life.
We alway's give Scott a hard time about telemarking.  It look's like a lot of work!  He ripped the powder pretty good, but the survival tree skiing down lower was pretty tough.  Maybe, he just needs to get out more than one day.   Unfortunately sounds like Denmark is pretty flat. 

Jan 1, 2011 Mt. Roosevelt

With perfect weather, and a good crew we charged out to Mt. Roosevelt.    Wind had effected certain aspects, but we found some pretty darn good skiing.  At the end of the day, Seth had 5,000 feet of vertical registered on his watch.   Definitely a full day, and a nice way to start the new year.  I have too many good pictures, but hard to not post them all.

Seth breaks trail - we tried to wear him out,
 by making him go first the entire day

Greg boots up the crux pitch to Mt. Roosevelt, with Snow Lake below

Mt. Rainier in the distance, as Greg makes
 the final traverse to the top

Kevin enjoys a quick break on top of Mt. Roosevelt

Seth skis off the summit


A little firm, where the wind blew.


Lot's of turns.


Greg, back in the sunshine

Seth enjoys the best snow of the day.