All photos by Jamie Caudill
This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry.
Taking full advantage of a sunny Pacific Northwest day, Louie, Jason, Jamie and I decided to head to Mount Daniel on Sunday, March 10th. Jason and Jamie flew in from Colorado the day before and were stoked for an adventure. I had been stuck at home with the plague for a week, so I was also itching to get out.
Awake at 5 am, we realized we’d forgotten daylight savings time. With an extra (or, psychological) hour in our plan, we parked at Salmon La Sac at 8 am, snowmobiled into the Cathedral Rock trailhead and started skinning at 9:30 am.
The first part of the skin is completely flat for about three miles. It feels twice as long on the way back.
Complex terrain navigation is required for the Mt Daniel route. We followed guidance from Martin Volken’s Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes Washington guidebook, although we did opt for a slightly different route on the way up. We can’t say it was the most straightforward way, but it did go.
We turned around just shy of the summit, after we gained the ridge between the east and middle summits. The trek in took a bit longer then expected, but it was a gorgeous day with not a single cloud in the sky. Taking in the views felt like the priority.
We skied down the Daniel Glacier, enjoying fresh powder turns all the way to about 4900 feet. The top part skied phenomenally, with the lower section being a bit more wind affected. After a short climb and a few minor shenanigans involving some sun crust, we skied all the way down the valley to return to the extremely flat skin track.
Louie and I are super psyched that Jason and Jamie experienced Washington alpine skiing with breathtaking views of the Cascades. We sure hope that was convincing enough to get them to move here, or at least visit more often!