Louie enjoys short but sweet Slot Couloir. Helmet is a Petzl Sirocco, said to perhaps be the lightest casque made per amount of protection combined with durability (the foam is resilient, not fragile). Quite nice other than the color, the changing of which is the subject of discussion. Paint? Cover? Accept the new style in safety coloration? OSHA approved? Review is coming.
Moving through the North Cascades backcountry can resemble jungle warfare rather than the sun-fun we want our spring skiing to be. Fortunately, you get over on the east side of the range and vegetation density reduces, along with dryer weather. To enjoy such delights a traditional ski trip I’ve had on my list takes a loop called “Birthday Tour” behind the Liberty Bell and Early Winters complex of rock spires.
We did a variation that involved skiing two nicely sized bowls, then reversing to re-acquire what seems to be the standard route and nip over a ridge through Slot Couloir. Super. Check it out.
Starting on the Birthday Tour. Lots of nice white ahead. Long version of the trip goes over Copper Pass at center of photo. We did the pass and skied the bowl on other side, discovering that enough snow had melted to uncover what looked like a difficult route through forest (yes, you can end up bushwhacking over here on the east side as well.) So we skied the bowl south of Copper Pass, then reversed and skinned back up to the pass. After that we headed up the bowl hidden to left in photo, where we took the standard Birthday Tour route over Slot Couloir.
Skiing the first downhill section of the route, Madison Avenue off Blue Lake Col just behind the spires.
Scenery gets evermore beautiful.
Bonfires green below Early Winter Spires and Liberty Cap.