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.

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