Mt. Daniel — Pacific Northwest March Adventure

Post by blogger | March 20, 2019      

All photos by Jamie Caudill

This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry.

On to to pow.

Finding pow on Mt. Daniel. Photo by Jamie Caudill

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.

Introducing the flat skin track that goes on forever, via a lake. Be prepared for some tired toes at the end of your tour.

Crossing a lake, the flat skin track that goes on forever. Be prepared for some tired toes at the end of your tour. Photo by Jamie Caudill

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.

Reached a bit of a crux on the up route. Louie and Jason discuss options.

Reached a bit of a crux on the up route. Louie and Jason discuss options. Photo by Jamie Caudill

Figured the route out. Julia topping out from a short, spicy bootpack.

Figured the route out. Julia topping out from a short, spicy bootpack. Photo by Jamie Caudill

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!

Do you ever stop and stare at snow sparkes?

Do you ever stop and stare at snow sparkles? Photo by Jamie Caudill

Just about to gain the ridge between the east and middle summit of Mt. Daniel.

Just about to gain the ridge between the east and middle summit of Mt. Daniel. Photo by Jamie Caudill

Jason enjoys his first PNW pow turn of 2019.

Jason enjoys his first PNW pow turn of 2019. Photo by Jamie Caudill

The vast glacier ahead, full of pow.

The vast glacier ahead, full of pow. Photo by Jamie Caudill

Of course, Louie had to jump off something.

Of course, Louie had to jump off something. Photo by Jamie Caudill

Jason enjoying some low angle turns through the trees lower down.

Jason enjoying some low angle turns through the trees lower down. Photo by Jamie Caudill


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11 Responses to “Mt. Daniel — Pacific Northwest March Adventure”

  1. Darin Berdinka March 20th, 2019 9:59 am

    3/10 was an all-time epic day of perfect conditions in the Cascades for sure!

  2. Lisa March 20th, 2019 12:29 pm


  3. John March 20th, 2019 5:53 pm

    Yeah Darin, I had a phenomenal day of skiing myself on 3/10. Gotta love sunny pow days.

  4. Adam Goode March 22nd, 2019 5:06 pm

    flying across the country to ski, great way to destroy the environment you profess to love. -Adam

  5. Terrance March 22nd, 2019 11:10 pm

    Actually new airplanes are more fuel efficient than trains. Do you walk everywhere? Even on holiday?

  6. XXX_er March 23rd, 2019 9:14 am

    Adam, actualy that computer on which you write this silliness and likely everything around you came over in a container on a big ship that burned high sulfur bunker oil, just sayin – XXX_er

  7. Lou Dawson 2 March 23rd, 2019 3:30 pm

    Not to mention that the data centers of the world are using more electricity than the entire U.K., meaning if one wants to make an impact on reducing CO2 production it might be a good idea to turn off computer and stop using internet. Lou

  8. Kristian March 23rd, 2019 6:02 pm

    The past year’s bit coin mining energy usage was approximately 51.59 TWh.

    One TWh (Terra Watt Hour) = 5 billion barrels of oil per year or 1 billion tons of coal per year.

  9. Jim Milstein March 23rd, 2019 9:58 pm

    Computer/internet energy usage worries me too. So that is why I use an abacus only for all my digital work, but the clacking of the beads is annoying. Someone needs to invent a quiet abacus.

  10. brian burke March 24th, 2019 2:49 pm

    great photography!

  11. Jim Milstein March 24th, 2019 3:15 pm

    Seen proportionally, internet use and bitcoin mining are a very small part of the world’s CO2 production and with technical maturation will become an even smaller part. Computers are a brazillion times more energy efficient (per FLOP) than when I was a baby. Electric generation is trending lower carbon and will likely approach zero carbon.

    From Quartz

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