December 28, 2010


After our reconnoiter a couple of days prior, Kyle and I were glad to go to back to Pete's Creek headwaters.  Clear skies and one degree above zero (F) at our dawn departure from the Johnson Trailhead pull out.  We entered the dark hemlock forest and emerged in a brilliant light and much warmer temperatures.
We extended the glacier trail to the saddle overlooking Center and Bench Creeks.  From ridge of Peak 4173 we ventured down toward Center Creek with trepidation into a classic bowl funneling into an avalanche ravine.  Several consecutive green light days influenced our decision to our venture up Pete's Creek to begin with, but we felt like we were at the end of a gun barrel on 4173 south side. 
Looking Up the Gun Barrel
The south side had variable snow with some hollow-sounding wind pack, exposed Thanksgiving Rain Crust (TRC), along with some excellent powder.  We hustled back up to the saddle to ski the dark side.
Extremities of Pete's North
Kyle Liking It
Entering Pete's Darkside

Kyle Liking It Again
One Last Look
We lapped the shady side of Pete's Creek headwaters in the most consistently sweet powder we've skied in several weeks.  We stretched a 4th ascent up to the saddle at sunset and enjoyed the 3300 ft vertical run home.  The lowest 400 ft vertical is challenging with a lot tracks set up on the TRC on steep slopes with partially buried alders.  The Johnson Trailhead was still only 2 deg F when we returned.

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