Sunday, February 8, 2009

Welcome Pass 2/7/2009

Welcome Pass was on our list for the whole year (since we failed to get to the top last year - not once but twice) and since forecast for Saturday called for a nice sunny day; we decided to give it a try. We met in Everett and headed up North. Even though we drove through some foggy areas reminding us of typical winter day, once we got to the clear parts we could see all the mountains out in their full glory and we knew it’ll be a great day.

Considering current conditions we expected to be dealing with hard packed snow and we weren’t too far from this estimate. What surprised us the most was the amount of snow in the area, or perhaps I should say the lack of snow. The route was snow patched with several completely bare sections all the way to 3800 ft where we finally found more solid snow coverage.

We ascended with no problems. Some of us used Yak Tracks, some chose not to use any traction devices. The snow deepened once we got closer to the pass and on the ridge. We had to do some trail breaking there but the powdery layer was shallow enough that snowshoes were not needed.

Once at the pass we continued to one of the viewing points where we took quick lunch, enjoying fantastic vistas of Baker and Shuksan. Then we explored little bit further where amazing views of Tomyhoi Peak, American Border Peak, Mt. Larabee, Goat mountain and many more opened for us. Amazing day to be up there!

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