Saturday, December 3, 2005

Arrowhead Peak

Arrowhead Peak, WA
elev: 5,863 feet
ski descent
Dec. 3, 2005

Arrowhead peak is a small peak a few miles east of Stevens Pass which has an excellent ski descent. The early season snowpack was so good this year, that the route, which covers a couple large boulder fields, was possible earlier than usual. Kirsten and I went up with Pete on a frigid day the weekend after Thanksgiving. Over a foot of new snow covered the route, making trail-breaking very difficult. Fortunately, a small guided group caught up with us and shared in the duties. The summit ridge was windy and wind-blown snow and rhime ice covered the rocks and trees. The clouds parted a bit to give us views of nearby peaks like Jim Hill.

The ski down started out through some tight trees, then emptied us out into the first open slope. These were the afore-mentioned boulder fields. After a few turns, we discovered that while apparently well-covered by snow, the boulders were in fact lurking just a foot below the surface. After hitting a rock or two, Kirsten and I began skiing very cautiously, despite the nice, light powder, too afraid of faceplanting on our tele-gear. Pete bounded down rather easily on his fixed-heel gear, so we made a note of that. This was a really nice route -- an aesthetic climb and some great descent lines -- and somehow bagging peaks in the winter is always satisfying, no matter how insignificant the peak is the rest of the year.

Arrowhead Peak

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