JakeA and I had so much fun camping and skiing up north of Mazama last week that we decided to do it again this week. This time we were joined by Dave, Kyle, and Damon and would be skinning in to do Sunrise and Sherman Peaks. We left the Goat Creek Snowpark just after 5am on Sunday morning. The air was cold! We all hauled our heavy winter packs to the end of the road on sleds, but rigged them up much more intelligently this time around and they worked really well.
Damon and Dave on Goat Creek Road
Isabella Ridge still aways off
A skin track set by Eric Gilbertson and Fred Newman was still there leading to the end of spur road 300 and up the Goat Creek Valley beyond. We left our sleds near the end of the road and continued skinning with heavy packs up the valley.
crossing an old slide along the road
Basically the entire upper Goat Creek Valley was torched in the 2018 McLeod Mountain Fire, but we found a small stand of trees that survived around 5400 feet and decided to camp there. After a 14 mile skin, we were all ready to call it a day and set up camp.
skinning through the burnt forest
After a really fun evening hanging out in camp, we went to bed early. We got up too late, and were skinning towards Sunrise Peak just after 5. The terrain was pleasant, up through more burnt snags, until roughly 7000 ft where things opened up. Beautiful morning in the alpine! Jake had accidentally stepped in the creek that morning fetching water and was worried about the state of his frozen toes, so he reluctanty decided to head back to camp.
Sunrise while climbing Sunrise Peak
We took a break in the larchy basin at 7000 feet, then began skinning up the steepish face to gain Sunrise's south ridge. The skinning was good for a few hundred feet until the snow got too crusty and made the skinning difficult and a little sketchy.
skinning through the basin
From there, we booted to the ridge. It was mostly nice bootable snow, but there was a few hundred feet of nasty, energy sapping post-holing too. We made decent time to the ridge, that was windswept almost bare, so we left our skis and boards and booted up to the summit.
Sherman across the way
the trek to the top
slogging it out
Dave almost there
I don't remember what time we topped out, but I knew that our chances of getting Sherman and getting out at a decent time were slim. We took a short break, then walked back down the ridge to our skis. The skiing was really wind affected and choppy up high, but got really good for maybe 800 feet until about 5800.
a brief view of McLeod
sunny in Winthrop
Kyle testing the terrain
Back at camp, we had a leisurely lunch while packing up and were rolling out after 1pm. After a long skin and ride out everyone was back to the snowpark by 5:30. Fun trip with the homies!
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