Forum Index > Trip Reports > Valhalla & "Taller Valhaller"  2-10-07
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4046 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostSun Feb 11, 2007 10:44 pm 
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I made this trip with Stefan and Eric.  More accurately, I made this trip following Stefan and Eric, since most of the time I was just following their navigation and footsteps.  We went to Valhalla Mtn. and then further along the ridge to the higher point that a previous party had christened "Taller Vallhaller."

Route map courtesy of Stefan
Route map courtesy of Stefan

The trip proceeded mostly in clouds, but even among the clouds, it was cool watching the trees and terrain appear out of the mist and then disappear behind us.  In the grayness ahead, first a few indistinct smudges of shadow would appear, resolving slowly into darker silhouettes amid the gray fog, then solidifying to distinct forms around us, and finally receding back into the gauzy haze as we passed by.  Up high on the ridge, even the trees themselves had an ethereal look, frosted white by the freezing mist that still cloaked their high crowns.

Trees in the Fog
Trees in the Fog
Looking up toward the ridge
Looking up toward the ridge
Ascending toward the first col
Ascending toward the first col

We started at Yodelin, parking on the east side of the highway where it’s not private property.  On the west side, we walked north to the end of the groomed road, then headed WNW, gaining a hundred feet or so to round the nose a ridge and then dropping back down into the Nason Creek drainage.  Well, that’s what we were supposed to do.  Following some old tracks, we turned too far left and went up the wrong drainage, so we had to sidehill more steeply back right to get around the ridge and drop into the Nason drainage.

As we side-hilled across crusty snow amid gray-clouded trees, various anti-motivational thoughts played through my mind.  “We’re off course.  The snow is crusty.  The forest is dark.  The light is gloomy.  I have no idea where I’m going.  I’ll probably lag miles behind all day.”  But perseverance won out.  We finally rounded the hill and dropped into the Nason Creek valley, where I could actually point my snowshoes uphill instead of sideways, and we began to make steady progress.

Circa 4000 feet, we veered right to reach a flat area at 4500 of the creek, and then ascended to the 4750-foot col north of point 5261.  Up on the ridge crest, colder air had frozen snow and rime onto all the trees, and it was fascinating to walk amid the huge frosted trees with their tops receding into the mist.

Frosted Trees 1
Frosted Trees 1
Frosted Trees 2
Frosted Trees 2
Frosted Branches 1
Frosted Branches 1
Frosted Branches 2
Frosted Branches 2

The trip proceeded onward sidehilling from col to col.  We dropped down to a flatter area and then traversed  right and up to a 4600-foot col.  Then we followed the ridge upward to 4900 and traversed left to a col west of the summit.  Finally we followed the ridge to Valhalla summit, 5250.  After a break on Valhalla, we followed the ridge another miles of small ups and downs to point 5409, “Taller Valhaller.”

Ascending the ridge above col 4600
Ascending the ridge above col 4600
Break near Valhalla summit
Break near Valhalla summit
“Taller Valhaller” summit
“Taller Valhaller” summit

The summits were tree-covered, but the ridge had many open spots with views.  The skies remained very cloudy southward toward the pass, but cleared to the north with views to the Monte Cristo peaks and Sloan.  The route also produced a couple geographical curiosities.  At the 4800 col, we stood at the junction point of three counties (King, Snohomish, & Chelan).  At the 4650 col, we found old signs for long-gone trails.

clouds southward over the pass
clouds southward over the pass
Monte Cristo peaks and Sloan looking northward
Monte Cristo peaks and Sloan looking northward
Old Trail Signs
Old Trail Signs

On our return, I enjoyed the frosty ridgeline trees again, and we followed Nason Creek correctly back down to the Yodelin area.

More Frosty Trees 1
More Frosty Trees 1
More Frosty Trees 2
More Frosty Trees 2
Frosted Needles
Frosted Needles
Nason Creek
Nason Creek

Round trip about 8 miles, 3600 feet cumulative gain, 7:15 hours.

P.S.  This trip crossed numerous avalanche slopes, some of them huge along Nason Creek, so it’s suitable only when avalanche danger is low.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger



Joined: 29 Sep 2005
Posts: 5062 | TRs
Location: Headed west soon
Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger
PostMon Feb 12, 2007 12:15 am 
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great pics!!!

--------------
www.youtube.com/bkraai | www.flickr.com/photos/bkraai/sets/
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Riverside Laker
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Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 2280 | TRs

Riverside Laker
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PostMon Feb 12, 2007 8:11 am 
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Isn't taller Valhalla what Howbert calls "D Peak" on his master list? It was his 500th peak.
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Stefan
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Joined: 17 Dec 2001
Posts: 4239 | TRs

Stefan
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PostMon Feb 12, 2007 9:57 am 
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thanks for the pictures dude!

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Art is an adventure.
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4046 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostMon Feb 12, 2007 10:34 am 
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. wrote:
Isn't taller Valhalla what Howbert calls "D Peak" on his master list? It was his 500th peak.

Yes, it is.  The peak seems to have several nicknames.  Anyone know why 5409 isn't simply the named summit instead of the lower point that's named Valhalla on the map?

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Valhalla & "Taller Valhaller"  2-10-07
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