June 28, 2010

Mists of Crow Pass

Verdant slopes of Crow Pass with ribbons of snow would be a dull grey or brown if not for the misty moist coastal climate overlooking the rainforest. Wildflower blooms would quickly fade to a dry husk, if they bloomed at all, if not for the frequent precipitation and cool days. Glaciers would rapidly recede and cease to exist, even at this northerly latitude, if not for the frequent cloud cover. All this wondrous surrounding, we owe to the rain, the mist and the clouds.

Yet we summerskiers, saturated and dripping, yearned for the brilliant, shining orb. Our blinded eyes wished to see the vista, hidden shrouded beneath the blanket of mist. We wanted the essential element of this climate to temporarily depart. We were wet.

We knew deep crevasses existed here, but could not see them. We heard the echo of our yell and the rocks clattering in rockfall, but could not view the cliff. We set a beautiful sinusoid down the slope, but could not look back above and admire our tracks.

Geno and yours truly completed the mission to the saddle near the top of Summit Glacier above Crow Pass. We skied well below the 'normal ski elevation' if I may call it that. The normal ski elevation would be the now collapsed shack at the base of the Jewel Glacier moraine.

Below the Barnes-Jewel saddle, Geno skied down the swale beneath the 'High Road' trail. This is the swale we descend for the Raven-Milk Loop egress; it was skiable from the saddle to within 100 ft vertical of the 'Low Road' Crow Pass Trail.

I happily made the trip in the mists of Crow Pass. But, a little more visibility and a little less wetness would suit me. Raven-Milk Loop is still on the list for this summer!

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