April 27-29, 2023
All dry and clean at the start.
Daniel and I have...
... fallen in love with the Teanaway as a great shoulder season area to explore. Snoqualmie wet and cruddy? The Teanaway is probably dry! Baker windy and stormy as heck? Chances are the Teanaway has blue skies! Dan and I found ourselves with a couple of days to do a big adventure together before I leave for the PCT (check out the page here!) and weather was looking sunny and warm. This was the first warm up of the season and we knew lots of places would be mushy and slidey. However, with the weather trending warmer quicker on the east side, we had hoped that those slopes had already had time to consolidate well. We took our chances with the Teanaway to see what the slopes may hold!
We had planned to do a traverse of the area, so we dropped our car off, and drove up to the start of our tour - Bear Creek road off of the N Fork of the Teanaway River. We drove up as close to the Stafford Creek Trailhead as possible, and got out our trail runners to walk up the road and trail. We were able to park at about 3,000ft on the road, and we had to walk all the way up to about 4,000ft until we were able to put skins on and skin up the trail, but once we were there, we could really enjoy the day.
Heading up, we were hoping to ski Freedom peak before the sun got too hot, but temps had other ideas, and we decided to just make camp early to dry out our wet gear.
Stuart looking proud as ever!
After the calmest night ski touring we've ever had, and a cozy sleep in our shelter, we got started up the valley towards Earl. Thinking the ski descents would be nicest in the more shaded areas, we attempted to ski the West face of Earl only to find that it had indeed refrozen more than we'd thought and it was very compact ice. Whoops. We slipped down the NW ridge instead, and made our way in to Bean Creek Basin.
Once we got our fill of water from Bean Creek, we made our way up Marys and found again, a stiff cold West face. We sulked our way down the NW ridge of Marys and knew that we had one last chance of finding good snow - off of Iron peak down in to the valley. Once we got to the ridge, we found not icy compact snow, but extremely mushy snow that was already the consistency of a slushie. Yikes. There was no in between, or as we found that day, there was only 4 turns of it.
Trudging our way down the slope, my boots started falling apart on me. Long story short, I couldn't clip the upper buckle of the boot - the main one that I rely on while skiing downhill! This meant sloppy skiing on top of snow that was really hard to ski. With heavy backpacks on, this made our 2,000ft descent arduous to say the least. When we got down to the Iron Peak Trailhead we were wiped and decided to make camp down by the river so that we could decide whether or not to continue in the morning.
Ultimately we deiced that with my boots falling apart and the snow the way it was, it wasn't worth it to risk injuring my knees right before a big adventure. We bailed down the road which was plowed all the way to 3,500ft. We made friends at the trailhead, who generously drove Dan back to our car (Thanks for the ride Brandon and Sam!). Once we got our comfy shoes on, we went and ate a good meal at the Roslyn Cafe to top off the day.
All in all a fantastic adventure with my favorite mountain bud. Thanks for getting out with me, Dan <3
Canned wine - a camp essential!
Our cute lil' camp
Could it get any more gorgeous?!
Total mileage of the traverse- 15.8 mi
Total elevation gain - About 6,300ft
Total moving time - 14 hours
Max slope angle of the day - Around 35-40 degrees max
Song that was stuck in my head all day - "Hello, Hello, Hello" by Remi Wolf