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Renebrar
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PostThu May 30, 2019 3:06 pm 
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Hi everyone ó

Iím a BC hiker/camper embarking on my first WA adventure next week.

Iíve been looking at Hidden Lake Lookout and I understand that there will be snow. My friends and I have axes and crampons/spikes and we have some experience in winter travel.

But I have two broad questions for the group, especially considering this yearís low snowpack.

1) Is there likely to be an avalanche risk on the slope at this time of year?

2) Is the final scramble up to the lookout foolhardy if covered in snow?

Thanks in advance!
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wolffie
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PostThu May 30, 2019 3:50 pm 
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Steep snow is always dangerous.  Take it from someone who learned the hard way.
I think many of the people who traipse around with ice axes are just kidding themselves.  It is not a casual piece of equipment.  You have to practice self-arrest.  it happens JUSTLIKETHAT
I've seen it done right: quick as a cat
descents are much more dangerous than ascents.  If you have any doubt at all, turn face-in and descend with the ax in dynamite-plunger position, kicking good deep steps

I always like to avoid snow slopes that have been baking in the afternoon sun -- the water can percolate down, collect on a layer and lubricate it.  slab avalanche.  To evaluate a slope, you really have to dig a pit and know how to spot weak wind slab layers (I don't know how to do this).

I believe there is a spot on the traverse to the notch that has a death fall over a cliff beneath it.  I've seen kids in tennis shoes with fishing poles  walking past there.

I always skip the lookout on the lower south peak and go to the higher north peak.  if it's clear, you'll see why.
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rossb
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PostThu May 30, 2019 4:00 pm 
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Yeah, if you do it, you might as well go for the top of the mountain. It is a scramble either way (this time of year) so you might as well go for the more rewarding top. In general I wouldn't say it is the worst trail in the world when there is this much snow, but it does have hazards.
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Schroder
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PostThu May 30, 2019 4:58 pm 
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There's a trip report from the weekend posted here:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2019-05-27.8040307451
It sounds like the cornice is still hanging on the ridge.
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joker
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PostThu May 30, 2019 8:44 pm 
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Unless there's new snow I'd be more concerned about  things like uncontrolled slides (see Wolffie's comments; I've seen a friend fail to be as quick  as that  cat and he slid into  some rocks fortunately  not far below him and he was OK but yikes), undermined snow over water runoff and creeks, cornice falls, and uncontrolled slides (worth repeating).
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Renebrar
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PostFri May 31, 2019 7:13 am 
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Thanks to EVERYONE for the advice. I really appreciate it.
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