Today Virgil, Andy and I went back to attempt the northwest again. Feeling ambitious, we left the car at the Y pull out just in case. The skin up was as beautiful as always with great morning light and a recently placed skinner. It wasn't until we got to Red Pine Lake that we saw the party ahead of us doing all the work. We followed their path and caught up just as they were summiting. I typically enjoy breaking trail but this morning I wasn't complaining.
|Virgil towards the headwall above Red Pine Lake|
|Andy on the last couple feet to the ridge|
|Virgil nearing the ridge, Red Pine Lake in the background|
|Traversing towards the summit|
|The boney upper portion of the NW, the traversing ramp in the upper left|
In the chute we found icy crust up high and wind effected powder through out the remainder. It wasn't the best skiing but we were there for the granite/snow combo and the alpine feel the NW has, not powder turns. Apart from a classic ski, the NW gives perfect access into Hogum Fork. It's just a little downhill traverse and you find yourself underneath all the steep east facing lines. We debated traversing that way and heading up the Needle via the already placed skinner, but the hot sun and the desire to eat and sleep before work in the evening kept us from pressing on. Although skiing more wind hammered snow would have been great, I think the Thai food and nap were an suitable substitution.