Forum Index > Trail Talk > Closest easy-ish access snow patch to Seattle?
 Reply to topic
Previous :: Next Topic
Author Message
AntiqueLaser
Chosstronaut



Joined: 13 Apr 2018
Posts: 7 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle
AntiqueLaser
Chosstronaut
PostFri Aug 26, 2022 1:40 pm 
My usual go-to spot for September ski turns is the perennial snow patch near the Thumbtack in the basin below the east face of Chair Pk. I've even heard it referred to as the Source Lake Glacier. Given the TH is only an hour from Seattle and I can make the hike in a little more than hour, I'm convinced this is the closest/most accessible year round ski spot from the city.
With the Snow Lake Trail closed, I know bushwhacking is an option, but curious if anyone has any ideas for other snow patches that are at least 100' and don't involve a long drive or hike from Seattle.
September '21 (pic from the top o' the Thumbtack)
September '19 (pic from the flat rock with the gear sprawl in the other pic)

astronaut

zimmertr, Cyclopath
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Posts: 716 | TRs | Pics
Location: Newcastle
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostFri Aug 26, 2022 4:32 pm 
Looking at current satellite imagery from the Sentinels, looks like the closest patch holding snow right now is on Mt Garfield. I imagine that's far too spicy to consider though. However, right next to the Snow Lake trailhead is the trail to Snoqualmie Mountain. Near the top of which you could drop into the Slot Couloir which probably holds snow persistently. Here it was on 7/21/21:
Here's some late-season satellite imagery of the area across the past 6 years:
8/25/22
8/25/22
9/9/21
9/9/21
9/29/20
9/29/20
8/19/19
8/19/19
8/9/18
8/9/18
9/29/17
9/29/17
You TAY skiers are a crazy bunch lol. You might also consider asking on https://turns-all-year.com/forum.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
thunderhead
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 1317 | TRs | Pics
thunderhead
Member
PostFri Aug 26, 2022 8:51 pm 
I was up on snoq mountain last weekend and that big patch is indeed there but it looks pretty flat... i did not think for a second it would be a remotely entertaining ski. The chair peak patch is in and looks very skiiable if you got in around the closure. I did see what looked like a decent looking 600 vfoot linked set of patches on the west side of hinman/Daniel but that is going to a major effort to get to. Ive always thought the lowest hanging fruit would be muir. Sure the drive is a little longer and the tourons are worse but then you have a 2000 foot pretty direct hike to snow... and much more snow than the chair peak patch.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 8838 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
Snarky Member
PostFri Aug 26, 2022 10:40 pm 
The Pinnacle "Glacier" between the Pinnacle and Castle in the Tattosh is a north aspect snow patch that is less of a hike than the Muir snowfield and is less suncupped. Someone posted a skiing TR for their August turns using it last week. The pond is too melted for skimming. You'll need about 3 laps for 1000 vft.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
thunderhead
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 1317 | TRs | Pics
thunderhead
Member
PostSat Aug 27, 2022 9:00 am 
Randito wrote:
You'll need about 3 laps for 1000 vft.
Ahhh the work we put in for 1000 feet of bad skiing. Lol.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Cyclopath
Faster than light



Joined: 20 Mar 2012
Posts: 5983 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle
Cyclopath
Faster than light
PostSat Aug 27, 2022 9:14 am 
Not close, not super easy access, but last weekend I saw two people hiking down from Spray Park with skis hanging off their packs. Both said it was sun cupped but they still had fun.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 8838 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
Snarky Member
PostSat Aug 27, 2022 9:24 am 
Cyclopath wrote:
Not close, not super easy access, but last weekend I saw two people hiking down from Spray Park with skis hanging off their packs. Both said it was sun cupped but they still had fun.
The Russell/Flett are often pretty enjoyable skiing in August -- but its typically 5 miles with skis on pack from Mowich Lake to where one can start skinning. The last time I when there in August it was a 14 mile day, but the skiing was pretty enjoyable. https://photos.app.goo.gl/MW51w19CPtrQHR4D9

jared_j, Cyclopath
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Malachai Constant
Member
Member


Joined: 13 Jan 2002
Posts: 15645 | TRs | Pics
Location: Back Again Like A Bad Penny
Malachai Constant
Member
PostSat Aug 27, 2022 9:35 am 
September 29, 2019 we had 6 at White River campground same day there was 2 at Sunrise.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
PowderPawn
Candidate



Joined: 30 Jul 2022
Posts: 13 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spokane
PowderPawn
Candidate
PostSat Sep 10, 2022 2:53 pm 
thunderhead wrote:
Ahhh the work we put in for 1000 feet of bad skiing. Lol.
Need my fix!

Cyclopath, thunderhead
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
that.one.guy.dave
Member
Member


Joined: 06 Oct 2010
Posts: 26 | TRs | Pics
that.one.guy.dave
Member
PostMon Sep 12, 2022 11:31 am 
I've been in the same boat this summer with the snow lake trail closed as I use the Chair Peak Basin for quick turns. My go to spots in lieu over this over the last eleven years of TAY has been the Pinnacle 'glacier' as the climbers route takes a quick 45 minutes to get up into the basin and no one is ever in there. It's nice and quiet with a great view of Rainier. Another spot, which I just used (amazed I haven't done this before), is the Bagley Lakes snow patch. I would give it about a few days though until it's melted out. Unfortunately it's a 3 hr drive from Seattle for a 20 minute hike.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
ScottP
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 375 | TRs | Pics
ScottP
Member
PostWed Sep 28, 2022 4:34 pm 
An interesting aside (at least to me): Beckey's Columbia to Stevens guide (1st edition) shows 'The Footstool' in the approach route image, and the 'Thumb Tack' as the minor summit to the south of the twin chimneys.
In the second edition, the 'Thumb Tack' becomes 'The Tooth' (a bit confusing given a significant summit to the SE is named 'The Tooth') and "The Footstool' becomes the 'Thumb Tack'.

joker
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
joker
seeker



Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 7881 | TRs | Pics
Location: state of confusion
joker
seeker
PostWed Sep 28, 2022 4:56 pm 
I was up on the Snow Lake Divide on Friday, enjoying the less visited part of the ridge thanks to the newly opened and refurbished trail. I could see that the Chair Peak patch is still "in" and it looked from a distance like it probably had moguls starting to form from all the skiing it had seen last week since the trail opened (there was lots of thanks going 'round on the Turns All Year Fakebook group to the person who posted a redlined map describing the better route they found on their way down from their venture to the Thumbtack/patch).

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
jaysway
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Jul 2020
Posts: 213 | TRs | Pics
jaysway
Member
PostThu Sep 29, 2022 7:43 am 
This won't matter now that the Snow Lake trailhead is open again, but I'm curious if people ski the glacier/snowfield across from the Cascade Pass trailhead beneath Johannesburg/Cascade. I checked on Caltopo and it's less than 1,000 feet from the road just before getting to the trailhead although getting there requires crossing some creeks/rivers and then ascending a potentially-unstable moraine. Without getting too crazy it looks like you could get a solid 400' or so of vertical, perhaps 700' or so in a good snow year or earlier in the season? Over the weekend there were no visible crevasses, I was surprised that it still looked like thick snow this late in the season and at such a low elevation. I'm guessing it gets a lot of avalanche debris and is extremely shaded being north facing with Johannesburg/Cascade rising steeply overhead. Like any glacier or former glacier perhaps the risk of crevasses or snow bridges and/or having to ford creeks to get to it make it a less tenable place for TAY than the Chair or Pinnacle snowfields?

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
altasnob
Member
Member


Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 902 | TRs | Pics
Location: Tacoma
altasnob
Member
PostThu Sep 29, 2022 9:15 am 
jaysway wrote:
I'm curious if people ski the glacier/snowfield across from the Cascade Pass trailhead beneath Johannesburg/Cascade.
You mean this? https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/highway-20/cj-couloir/

jaysway
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
joker
seeker



Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 7881 | TRs | Pics
Location: state of confusion
joker
seeker
PostThu Sep 29, 2022 11:04 am 
I was up on the Snow Lake Divide on Friday, enjoying the less visited part of the ridge thanks to the newly opened and refurbished trail. I could see that the Chair Peak patch is still "in" and it looked from a distance like it probably had moguls starting to form from all the skiing it had seen last week since the trail opened (there was lots of thanks going 'round on the Turns All Year Fakebook group to the person who posted a redlined map describing the better route they found on their way down from their venture to the Thumbtack/patch).

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
   All times are GMT - 8 Hours
 Reply to topic
Forum Index > Trail Talk > Closest easy-ish access snow patch to Seattle?
  Happy Birthday summithound!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum