Frisco Mountain Tour, May 2003
Mike Palmer, Kathy Lynch, Dave Zulinke, Paul Gurian, and Adam (missed his last name) all got together to enjoy some late season freshiez deep in the North Cascades. Our objective: a ski tour that Mike had previously reconnoitered involving a circumnavigation of the high ridge that rises above Lake Ann and Rainy Lake and links Frisco Mountain to Heather Pass. The choice descent on this tour is the run down into the Maple Creek Drainage.
From a saddle north of Frisco Mountain, we descended into a large basin with dreamy, wide open slopes. We had some difficulty negotiating the cliffs lower down in the basin, however. Adam and I were able to traverse left into a broad gully. The others had to make do with short but tight chutes right of the main cliff band at center. We rendezvoused on the avalanche slopes beneath the cliffs and prepared for our climb back up the ridge. Looking back at our route, it was obvious that the best and safest line ran skier's left of where we were, eventually funnelling into the broad gully that gave us safe passage through the cliffy area.
As we skinned back up to the ridge above Lake Ann, it again started to snow. While I fumbled to put my board back together, the others skied ahead to a low point on the ridge. We again traversed slopes south of Lake Ann, eventually joining our previous tracks as they led us down into the trees and eventually the road. When I finally reached the road, I was about a half-mile south from where we had parked and started skinning. I was beat and that can of Fosters went down really fast. The great turns, fun terrain, and awesome scenery all make this one of the better tours of the season. Gotta love the unexpected late May freshiez!
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