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tmatlack
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PostWed Feb 24, 2021 7:01 pm 
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Anyone,

I have a friendly bet with fellow Upper Middle Fork kayaker.  The last 3 winter trips we have admired several big basins and bowls to the north and west, sorta across from Mailbox.  There are cars parked at a yellow gate near Russian Butte, one of our takeouts,  and at least one logging road is visible traversing hillside.

Does anyone ski those upper bowls?

I am oblivious to the hiking in the area being only a river user...Taylor River to North Bend.

Tom
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Stefan-K
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PostThu Feb 25, 2021 8:30 pm 
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tmatlack wrote:
to the north and west, sorta across from Mailbox

you've got the Si-Teneriffe-Bessemer ridge.  No real basins or bowls tho...
Maybe a map would help?
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Randito
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PostThu Feb 25, 2021 9:01 pm 
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Ocasionally

https://turns-all-year.com/trip-reports/march-9-mt-bessemer-yep-i-said-bessemer

https://turns-all-year.com/trip-reports/march-14-2009-moolock-peak
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Feb 26, 2021 12:13 am 
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Congrats Randito you found one of my old TAY Reports done with a couple other nwhikers. It was good snow on top but sucky lower down. Trying to remember if it was tele or AT.

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mosey
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PostFri Feb 26, 2021 10:46 pm 
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You could possibly be referring to the Granite Lake basin? puzzlr did a report going down it on foot from Dirty Harry's Bathtub and it looks too forested to ski (not my specialty though.) It's about the right elevation to have decent snowpack.

I can't think of anywhere else in lower middle fork that would be conducive. The green and bessemer ridges are fairly treed and full of forested/hidden cliffs, although if you could find the right slope it could be fun. I guess you could continue up the ridge to Thompson Point and ski down into the gifford lakes basin, but I don't think it's a safe area at all, flanked by the base of Russian Butte's cliffs, and you can't exit out the creek because it's class 4 (allegedly) and far too low in elevation and through Russian buttes chutes.
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Feb 26, 2021 11:29 pm 
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There is an old logging road that zig zags up the backside of Mailbox and Dirty Harrys peak. I tried riding a bike up back in the day but it had been “decommissioned”. When it was a road in the 80s a friend used to drive up to go shooting. Another world.

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tmatlack
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PostSat Feb 27, 2021 8:43 am 
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Thanks Randito and all,

The Bessemer massif seems most likely from ski tour, maps, and trail reports.  From the river, Bessemer summits are obscured so Google pics not much help.  Russian Butte is one of our take outs and wrong side of river/road.

Next time I am up there I will stop at yellow gate and ask someone where that road goes.

Tom
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puzzlr
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PostSat Feb 27, 2021 10:29 am 
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You can look at a map and see where that road goes. It's known as the Bessemer road. It's maintained because it leads to a talus rock mine near the summit of Moolock peak. That route was severed in several places by a big mud flow in February 2019 but the lower switchbacks have been repaired. The road also connects to the CCC trail and old decaying logging roads to Bessemer Peak.

Randito - thanks for that link. That upper part of Bessemer is one place that was "logged to the clouds" as Harvey said. The trees are only coming back very slowly. It's pretty brutal to bushwhack through there.

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Randito
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PostSat Feb 27, 2021 10:48 am 
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Slopes accessable from the middle fork road are in condition about as frequently as Kite Hill on Lake Union.    Useful alternatives when I-90 is closed for long periods due to avalanche control.
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JPH
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PostSat Mar 20, 2021 5:16 pm 
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Skied Moolock today from the summit. Fun middle fork adventure ski day!  Pretty sure we were the only people out there today.
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mosey
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PostSun Mar 21, 2021 2:08 pm 
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JPH wrote:
Skied Moolock today from the summit. Fun middle fork adventure ski day!  Pretty sure we were the only people out there today.

You didn't include any pictures! Luckily with the snowpack this year being decent someone else did on 3/1.

When I've snowshoed up the snow seems to only become consistent enough for snowshoes around the turnoff from moolock mine rd; perhaps I'll traipse up there. It really is much more pleasant with snow than the old rocky road.
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JPH
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PostMon Mar 22, 2021 9:39 am 
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Here's a couple - not exactly a great photo day due to weather.  The upper ~1400' of Moolock is actually really good skiing!  I wouldn't consider it a great option for when the pass is closed for avy conditions as it looks like it goes huge during a big avy cycle (which should be expected based on the slope angle).  We biked to ~2000' and skinned from there with a couple short carries due to bare road below 2500' and creek crossings above that.

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