Forum Index > Trip Reports > McLeod Mountain ~ Feb 9-10, 2020
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Fletcher
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PostTue Feb 11, 2020 9:13 am 
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Jake A and I wanted to get out for an overnighter during the phenomenal weather this week. We figured we could get fairly close to McLeod using groomed roads and snow mobile tracks which turned out to be true. We drove out on Saturday evening and got started just before dawn on Sunday towing our heavy packs on plastic sleds. This was our first time trying this and we really struggled starting out. The sleds wouldnt stop flipping over on the icy tracked out road. This really delayed our progress until we got a few miles in and the road surface was more consistent.
starting out
starting out
first views of the Gardners
first views of the Gardners
Gardners again
Gardners again

We skinned Goat Creek Road for several miles, then took a left up FR 500 and a right up FR 510 a few miles later. We eventually gained the divide between Long and Roundup Creeks. It was hard work hauling our heavy winter loads back there, and with our extensive delays earlier that morning we didnt make it as far as we'd hoped on day 1. We ended up setting up camp at about 5700 ft with nice views!
nearing camp with McLeod in the distance
nearing camp with McLeod in the distance
sunset
sunset
cheers
cheers

The next morning, we were skinning towards McLeod at dawn. It was a gorgeous morning in the North Cascades.
moon set
moon set
Silver Star
Silver Star
alpenglow on North Gardner with Goat Peak
alpenglow on North Gardner with Goat Peak
Sawtooths
Sawtooths
Goat Peak again
Goat Peak again

Easy progress was made utilizing snowmobilers tracks from the day before but we eventually had to break our own trail up through 2018's burn to crest the ridge between McLeod and Midday Peak. The air was crystal clear and the ever expanding views had us STOKED.
burned snags
burned snags
Tower and Golden Horn
Tower and Golden Horn

A little bit further up the ridge, conditions warranted ski crampons until we reached a steep step at 7600 ft. We threw our skis on our packs and cramponed up through here. The wind was gusting hard and snow conditions were really variable, adding some spice to our morning. To save time, we cramponed from here to the summit, arriving around 11am to epic views. We laughed at the fact that during the summer, it would probably take us an hour to get to this summit from the car.
skinning up the ridge
skinning up the ridge
Mount Baker
Mount Baker
the steep step
the steep step
Jake climbing the steep step with blowing snow
Jake climbing the steep step with blowing snow
summit
summit
McLeod summitshot
McLeod summitshot
February in the Pasayten
February in the Pasayten
sea of peaks
sea of peaks
Redoubt and Spickard
Redoubt and Spickard
Robinson
Robinson
Baker again
Baker again
Azurite and Ballard (i think)
Azurite and Ballard (i think)
Buckner with Eldorado and the Inspiration Peaks
Buckner with Eldorado and the Inspiration Peaks

We couldn't hang out up there long, as the School House Brewery was pretty far away. We dropped directly off the summit into Roundup Creek Basin for some of the best skiing I have ever had in my life. It was amazing.
awesome skiing in Roundup Creek Basin
awesome skiing in Roundup Creek Basin
looking back
looking back

The good skiing was short-lived though and gave way to horrible skiing in knee to waist deep mashed potatoes in the forest below. Eventually, we were relieved to pop out of the woods  back to FR 531 with a short skin back to camp. We had camp broken down and were heading out before 3pm.
shitty travel conditions in the forest below McLeod
sh##ty travel conditions in the forest below McLeod
last look back
last look back

The ski out to the car was mostly downhill and we were able to cruise. We got back to the car at exactly 5pm. Sometimes I have a trip that is so good that it reaffirms that I'm living the life that I want to live. This was one of those trips  cool.gif  up.gif
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Stefan
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PostTue Feb 11, 2020 10:12 am 
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good on you!

--------------
Art is an adventure.
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Nancyann
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Joined: 28 Jul 2013
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Location: Sultan Basin
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PostTue Feb 11, 2020 11:30 am 
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Fletcher wrote: “Sometimes I have a trip that is so good that it reaffirms that I am living the life that I want to live. This was one of those trips.”
This is what it’s all about! Your hard work and determination really paid off, making all your efforts worthwhile. Thanks for sharing it with us!
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RichP
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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Location: Moscow, Id.
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here and there
PostTue Feb 11, 2020 4:22 pm 
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Reading your report from 8 degrees south of the equator. Looks lovely!
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Fletcher
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PostThu Feb 13, 2020 2:28 pm 
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Thanks for the comments! Im bumping this for the video addition.
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iron
getting old



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
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Location: kenmore
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getting old
PostThu Feb 13, 2020 2:31 pm 
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nice perspective of redoubt and spickard!

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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Brushbuffalo
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostSat Feb 15, 2020 3:41 pm 
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Wow!  What a viewpoint! You photographed well over a dozen of the T100 from there,   without even itemizing the Sawtooths and Pasayten shots.

Isn't it true...sometimes glorious skiing is followed by dreadful yuck. Sounds like you will remember the glorious and forget the yuck.
Fletcher wrote:
The sleds wouldnt stop flipping over on the icy tracked out road.

Often attaching  paired PVC pipe sections 5-6' long,  either crossed or parallel and fastened to your hip belt will keep the sled from flipping. Also being semi- rigid  the PVC mostly eliminates a loaded sled from racing you on downhills, compared to using pull ropes.
However, on a long trip everyone will hate their evil sled, especially when traversing across steep slopes.

Cool that you dragged the beasts mostly on road, which lessens the misery.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Gimpilator
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PostSun Feb 16, 2020 6:50 am 
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Reading your report from Uganda.  Looks like a great trip gentlemen.  Thanks for the story and photos.

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
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http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > McLeod Mountain ~ Feb 9-10, 2020
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