Monday, March 18, 2013

'shwack Down on Mill Point


Few things slow a skier down more then the combination of snow too deep to boot and logs to frequent to ski.

Encouraged by the great day we had on Ward and John Lehrman's description we decided to take advantage of Sunday's return to cold weather and fresh snow to ski Mill Point via Tag Alder Lake. We started up from the Mill Creek trailhead planing to follow the south rim of the canyon up to Tag Alder Lake. This proved to be the wrong decision.

The North Rim crags were looking a bit chilly. 
There were a few inches of fluffy powder on dirt at the trail head. The snow got deeper and a crusty base appeared as we ascended, but 1800 feet later we were unable to put our skis on due to the density of downed trees in the old burn. Looking south we could see the remnants of an old fire road two ridgelines over taunting us with our poor route finding.


The final straw was the wind at higher elevations had turned the light snow into a styrofoam-like wind crust. We pulled the plug and post holed our way back down to the valley floor. I'm sure powder turns could have been had in sheltered spots with easier access.

The upper reaches of Mill point are intriguing and the lower slopes might hold good skiing in a higher snow year or if a path through the blowdowns could be found. Perhaps Hillmap needs a better source of Aerial/Satellite photos...

This boulder might hold some promise if it was more accesible. 


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