Spinning our Wheels on Spinnaker

Page Type
Trip Report
Washington, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Apr 9, 2011
Hiking, Mountaineering
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76.66% Score
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Spinning our Wheels on Spinnaker
Created On: Apr 16, 2011
Last Edited On: Dec 24, 2014

So much for Sailing up the Mountain

According to Wikipedia "A spinnaker is a special type of sail that is designed specifically for sailing off the wind from a reaching course to a downwind". This was certainly not the case for us. It was more like the opposite, but it was not the wind that was the problem, it was the snow.

Litchenberg During the Morning
Litchenberg during the Morning

As usual we get up at 3 a.m. and head on out to Steven's Pass. Starting out was a nice snowy road walk which did not require snowshoes. After about .75 miles we reached the end of the road which was time to put the snowshoes. We then hiked a while through the woods trying to work our way up the valley. We were making decent time until we started encountering bad snow which one would call "punchy and hard" which is terrible for traveling and a lot of effort.

Looking East during Morning from Spinnaker
The Sunrise

There was one spot that was worthy of mentioning which is the creek crossing, even though it is easy and we did not actually touch any water, it was a snow bridge and would recommend being careful here. Looking off to the side it was amazing to see how big the snow creek banks got. Although Michael did most of the work for breaking trail, we swapped off positions back and forth. The past previous 2 days I had been doing trips back to back which I decided to take it "easy".

Deep Snowy Creek
Deep Snowy Creek

Snow Banks Along the Creek
Snow Banks along the Creek

Deep Creek Hole
Deep Snow Hole

After a hard effort we got to point 5261 just shy of a mile high. We got some decent views of peaks through the mist, although looking at the summit looked tempting, we timed out due to Eastking's work so we bailed back down.

Spinnaker s True Summit
Spinnaker's True Summit

Michael Exhausted
Michael Exhausted on the False Summit

Eastking Nearing the Summit
Eastking Almost There

Looking Towards Leavenworth
Looking Towards Leavenworth

The Foggy Pathway
The Foggy Pathwat

Snow Covered Meadows
Snow Covered Meadows

Misty View from Spinnaker
Misty Panoramic View

I'm sad to say the day before this trip I got my pack soaked from landing in a creek which may have ruined my camera so I apologize if the photography is not as good as usual. It is also harder to do with the camera I was using because I used a video camera which for some reason would view times 3 in, but actually take the photo different. The descent was much nicer although still a bit chunky. Thanks Eastking for inviting us!

Mount Index on the Way Home
Mount Index on the Way Home


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Viewing: 1-5 of 5
Matt Lemke

Matt Lemke - Apr 16, 2011 3:46 pm - Voted 10/10

Nice day!

Looked like a good day to be out. I tried for a summit today in the Rockies but the winds were in excess of 70 MPH like they always are and I only made it about 3/4 the way up. Did you get your camera fixed?

Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis - Apr 16, 2011 9:18 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice day!

Was it at least clear? We have had the mountains like a wet land with terrible snow for quite some time. It's been a long time since I been on any decent snow conditions. As for my camera, sadly not, my mom had it in a bowl of rice for a while longer which we may test again. I sure hope it works again, that's the camera I got about 95% of my good photography.

Matt Lemke

Matt Lemke - Apr 17, 2011 12:00 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Nice day!

Nope...it was a raging blizzard. Although our snow conditions weren't bad, if it's blowing 70 MPH all the time with no viability from blowing and falling snow, you can't do much. One reason I like winter in the Cascades better...no wind!
I did notice all the terrible avy conditions there though.
Where did the photos in the TR come from then?

Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis - Apr 17, 2011 12:26 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice day!

Well I would phrase it more like less wind. I know I've gotten my share of wind every now and then. As for the photos, I took them with my hd video camera I bought a while back. It's one of my 10 essentials to bring a camera on a mountain, even if it's not my super camera. ;-)

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis - Apr 24, 2011 9:26 am - Voted 10/10

The snow...

had a 1 inch layer if ice crust with 150 pounds of strength that I had to kick through then sink down through 12 inches of unconsolidated powder and hit another layer of ice that was slightly weaker and punch through even further a few inches. And that was every step folks. Point 5261 was probably the hardest 1,000 feet I have ever gained. (especially since I kicked most of it myself)

Viewing: 1-5 of 5

Spinning our Wheels on Spinnaker

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