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  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    Washington Pass Conditions

    This past weekend, Matt Dahlgreen and I skied from Rainy Pass to Heather and Maple passes, down into Maple Creek and then over to Frisco Mountain. We passed on the actual summit because the col giving access to the SW slopes leading to the summit were still heavily corniced at a time of year when these cornices are coming down. We skied over the col in the north ridge of Frisco Mtn, descended about 1500 vertical feet on slopes adjacent to the Lyall Glacier, and then made our way back to Lake Ann and Rainy Pass. Details about this tour can be found in the backcountry ski guidebook at OkanoganOutdoors.org.

    Ski conditions were surprisingly safe and firm despite the warm weekend temperatures. The snow is well-consolidated (feels more like a June snowpack). In the morning, the snow was bullet hard even though the nighttime temps were a tad above freezing (radiant cooling). We skied with ski crampons on during our ascents until nearly noon. By midafternoon (3 pm) the sun-exposed slopes were mushy and the steeps on these aspects were best avoided, but steep north-facing aspects still offered excellent, safe skiing.

    There is still lots of good skiing to enjoy in the Washington Pass environs but the snow level is rising rapidly and the skiing will not be lasting nearly as long as I would have expected earlier in the season. Don't delay much longer if you want to ski Washington/Rainy passes this year.

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ID:	1785 Bear tracks near Lake Ann
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ID:	1786 Skiing down into Maple Creek
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ID:	1787 Skiing in Maple Creek with Corteo Peak behind
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ID:	1788 Climbing toward Frisco Mtn
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ID:	1789 Descending from North Ridge Col of Frisco
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ID:	1790 Descending from North Ridge Col of Frisco

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Wenatchee
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    285
    Was this just a day trip? Matt's pack looks pretty compact for overnight. Looks like great skiing.

  3. #3
    Administrator
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    Jun 2012
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    Wenatchee
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    Yes just day skiing ... but we did the drive the night before and slept near Rainy Pass.

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