Mt Dade - The Fun Way

1-2 May 2004 - by Mark Harper

On May 1st -2nd 2004 Rob, Denny, Jeff, Tamberly and myself set off for an attempt at climbing and skiing Mt Dade. The road was closed at the last gate before Mosquito Flat so we dawned our skis and started the skin to Mosquito Flat, up Little Lakes Valley and on to Treasure Lakes. It was a beautiful day and we were on the snow by 9:15 AM. The skin up was uneventful with a few exposed patches in the road on the way up to Mosquito Flat. The left side of the drainage above Mosquito Flat was definitely the better side to traverse as it was snow covered the whole way (made a mental note of that for the trip back down). The lower lakes although still frozen looked pretty thin so we skirted the shore until we arrived at Long Lake. Most of the group started traversing the left side of Long Lake while I jumped on the ice and proceeded to speed past everyone except Rob who was way ahead of everyone else. It didn't take long for the rest of the group to hop on the ice and enjoy the easy smooth skin across the lake. We took several breaks on our tour up and enjoyed the gorgeous weather and beautiful scenery. We weren't in any hurry as we knew we would have plenty of time to set camp and go for a tour later in the afternoon. We arrived at Treasure Lakes at noon and set up camp in relatively the same spot as we had the year before. Last year a winter storm rolled in about 6:00 PM and it snowed until about 8:30 in the morning. Needless to say we canceled our climb up Dade. This year would be different. We set camp, dug out a kitchen ate some lunch a kicked back for a while before starting the afternoon's activities. Rob and I thought it would be a good idea if everyone practiced some self arrest so we hiked over to a nearby slope and pitched our selves off in a variety of positions. Later we went for a skin and ski on some of the local bowls. The sun went down and the temps dropped but the wind never picked up (rare up there).

Sunday morning we got up at 6:00 AM ate breakfast and prepared for our departure. We hit the snow about 7:30 and started our climb toward the hour glass. At the bottom of the hour glass we dawned our crampons and ice ax and through our skis on our packs. It was to firm and steep to skin all the way up and trying to switch gear on the coulior would have been a mistake. The climb up the coulior was fun with firm snow and great views. Tamberly had just gotten over the flu and the altitude was taking its toll on her. The girl runs marathons so when I beat her up the coulior I knew she wasn't feeling well. We waited and regrouped at the top the Hourglass and that's when Tam said she was turning around. Jeff climbed a little higher with Rob Denny and I and then skied back down to head down with Tam. Rob Denny and I continued to within about 200 -300 feet of the summit and left our skis as there was no way we could ski down from above that point. Climbing the ridge was fun with some nice exposure on mixed snow, ice and rock. We got to the summit at 11:00 AM signed the register, took some pictures and kicked back for about 45 minutes. There was only a slight breeze and not a cloud in the sky. Forty-five minutes after we left the summit we were back at camp (gotta love skiing down). The ski down was fun with pretty soft snow on the East face and firmer snow in the Hourglass.

We got back to camp packed up and headed back to the car, remembering to stay on the East side of the drainage. It was a perfect trip. Photos http://community.webshots.com/album/140040902uqeczn


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