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The Asulkan Cabin is an incredible place for ski touring. I’ve been up there a few times, but have failed to get it in good weather — until now. Elliot booked the hut for an early April trip hoping to find nice spring conditions. Although the avy and snow conditions left a bit to be desired, the sun was out, and we had an excellent time.
We cruised up from Seattle late Thursday and crashed in Revelstoke for the night. With a high avy forecast and warm temps, we got going early the next morning, and made the long slog up to the hut by mid-day. We were pretty beat, but after a few hours of hanging out and eating we decided to head out for an evening ski tour. We skinned up to Asulkan Pass in beautiful evening light, and enjoyed vistas of Mt. Dawson and Young’s Peak. After so many socked-in trips, it was an incredible view. As we skinned up, we were surprised to find light powder. We skinned to the top of a little bump we dubbed the “Sunset Bump” and had an excellent run through the sun-warmed powder. As we neared the hut we crossed into the sun-shade line, and the powder turned to heinous breakable crust. We thrashed our way down to the cabin and enjoyed a hearty dinner.
The next morning dawned clear. We decided to head up to the Forever Young Couloir, one of the most enticing lines in the area. We enjoyed a beautiful, sun-drenched skin to the top of Youngs Peak and made our way down to the entrance of the chute. We found icy conditions and lots of tracks at the entrance. Evidently in the days since it had last snow, the classic line had seen quite a bit of traffic. Nevertheless, we decided to check it out. I headed down first. The snow conditions were even worse than I expected. Very icy, runneled, and sluffed-out. Shenanigans ensued, but eventually we all made it to the bottom safe and sound. It was great to finally ski the famous line, hopefully I’ll be back in the future to get it in softer conditions.
That evening we enjoyed the relaxed hut life, and made plans for the next day. Although we had experienced reasonable avalanche conditions so far, the forecast was still high and considerable, so we opted to keep it conservative. The following day we once again toured up to the top of Youngs Peak, but opted to head down the mega-classic Seven Steps of Paradise. We once again found better than expected snow conditions. Intermittent powder and wind buff up top transitioned to creamy slushy snow down low.
That evening we skinned up once again to “Sunset Bump” and once again found the best snow of the trip. Light, stable pow right off the top. We did a few laps, and headed back to the hut just as the sun was setting. The next morning we beat the heat and skied out to the car in the morning. The drive back to WA was beautiful, sunny and warm. Seems like spring is here!
All in all, a great trip. Check out the rest of the photos below:
Louie Dawson earned his Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from Western Washington University in 2014. When he’s not skiing Mount Baker or somewhere equally as snowy, he’s thinking about new products to make ski mountaineering more fun and safe.