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Beta on Whitehorse mountain

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Beta on Whitehorse mountain

Postby chicagosky » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:59 am

Does anyone have the latest beta on Whitehorse mountain near Darrington, WA? i am headed up that way on 5/5 and would love any bits of information from recent climbers. Thank you in advance
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Re: Beta on Whitehorse mountain

Postby Josh Lewis » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:09 am

I would like some beta too on the conditions for this mountain. :) Well for starters the snow is finally melting at a rapid rate.
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Re: Beta on Whitehorse mountain

Postby mountainsandsound » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:47 pm

I was there on the 14th and 15th with plans to attempt the Whitehorse Glacier route via snow gulch. Due to bad timing and snow instability, we called it off and just went camping and had some crevasse rescue drills. I have a trip report on cascade climbers you can check out, but briefly:

There is a huge amount of avy debris in the gulch that can be ascended basically from the trailhead. This makes it pretty convenient. But whatever snow was left on the sides of the drainage was melting very rapidly, so ascending past the first cliff band through the slide alder was a big pain in the ass. Up to 50 degree slide alder slopes. We weren't planning on summiting by that time, but wanted to get some personal beta on it for later. Maybe you are planning on climbing the standard route though? I would say the Whitehorse glacier route looks pretty fun past the cliff band crap, but just be wary of the snow. There was a huge avalanche the weekend before I was there, and the danger from big slabs like that is diminished but I did see a smaller wet slab break down to the smooth rock underneath. The snow near and overlaying the rocks around the glacier seemed the most in question with the warming temps. I would say snow and avalanche assessment skills are still important for this mountain right now.
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chicagosky

Re: Beta on Whitehorse mountain

Postby jordansahls » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:50 pm

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Re: Beta on Whitehorse mountain

Postby chicagosky » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:49 am

Thanks a lot - will post trip report after next week. Help is really appreciated...
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Re: Beta on Whitehorse mountain

Postby chicagosky » Sun May 06, 2012 4:48 pm

OK so I did attempt this yesterday via the normal route and while I didnt summit my high point was 4000 feet. I turned around because I had a late start and lost a lot of time route finding. That being said the mountain wasnt very physically demanding (atleast I felt quite comfortable compared to say Shasta or some other giants).

Some info for others looking to do this -

1. Start early but not too early. Aim to be done with the switchbacks by sunrise. Once you hit the snow line (which was at 2300') route finding becomes hard and you'll need some day light to help
2. Route finding is the most important thing on this mountain, it isnt easy for first timers and do as much research as you can before you go
3. Snow is fairly stable though I suffered through some postholing around 3000 feet. Also there are several fallen trees along the way and sometimes it isnt obvious which way to go. Look around for plastic ribbons or flags and you might find the way
4. Be prepared for all sorts of weather - this mountain is moody. It was sunny for 5 minutes and then it started snowing. Then raining and then sunny again. This pattern repeated itself for the entire duration I spent on the mountain.

I'll be back now that I know enough about the route. This mountain is a lot of fun and definitely something I want to finish. I'll post some pictures and the GPX file later on for those who might be contemplating an attempt
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Re: Beta on Whitehorse mountain

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun May 06, 2012 6:14 pm

The Whitehorse Glacier route is more straight forward than the standard route, albeit steeper. It bascially just climbs straight up the gut of the peak. Here is a report from when I climbed it. I recall the descent via the standard route felt more arduous than the ascent route; a lot of up and down and the afternoon heat and aspect turned the snow into a crotch deep, isothermal, postholing exercise. http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthr ... ber=568100
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