Magic S Loop Ski Tour — PNW

Post by blogger | July 10, 2012      

On the fourth of July, Jason Hummel, Andy Traslin, and I completed the “Magic S Loop” above Cascade Pass. Good snow, high mountains, 12 hours out, about 8,000 feet of human powered vert (since we didn’t have to hike the access road). It was a blast!

Backcountry skiing in the North Cascade Mountains

Starting the hike to Cascade Pass as the sun reaches the magic peaks above. Click images to enlarge.

First done in 2007 by Sky Sjue and Dan Helmstadter, this backcountry skiing tour travels through the heart of the Washington Cascade mountains, from Cascade Pass, to Cache Col, to the top of Hurry Up Peak, down the S Glacier, and back to Cascade Pass.

The weather didn’t look promising the night before. Thick fog covered the parking lot. The murk lingered the next morning but we started off anyway. Sure enough, our day of ski mountaineering got better and better. Turned out to be one of my best days of the season — I’ll just let a few of my photos speak for the trip.

Backcountry skiing in the North Cascade Mountains

Traversing toward Cache Col

Backcountry skiing in the North Cascade Mountains

Jason hiking toward the top of Hurry Up Peak

Andy Backcountry skiing on Hurry Up Peak in the Cascade Mountains

Andy skiing down the S Glacier

Check out Sky’s account of his inaugural S-Loop in 2007.

View Larger Map


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


10 Responses to “Magic S Loop Ski Tour — PNW”

  1. Jack July 10th, 2012 11:48 am

    Wow! 10k feet in 12 hours? Holey Moley, I would be happy to be able to do 1/2 that.

  2. Chuck July 10th, 2012 12:11 pm

    Good on you, Louie, for keeping the ski stoke going!

  3. Lou July 10th, 2012 12:46 pm

    Jack, I think they did more around 8,000 plus, but still, they nailed the whole thing quite fast, and that’s with messing around with photography the whole time.

  4. Lisa July 10th, 2012 2:17 pm

    Love the photo of Jason hiking to the top of Hurry Up.

  5. Mary July 10th, 2012 2:23 pm

    Beautiful photographs! I put Cascade Pass on my list of places I want to ski. Thanks for the info.

  6. Andy Traslin July 11th, 2012 12:08 am

    Great trip, I was expecting to be walking for 5 miles. It was a bonus to be skinning after 5 minutes of wrestlng with slide alder. Varied and rugged terrain. Some of the best views I’ve scene in the North Cascades.

  7. Sky July 11th, 2012 8:59 am

    Glad you did it! That’s still one of my favorite tours. Spectacular scenery, a good amount of travel and a couple of first-class descents!

  8. Jason Hummel July 11th, 2012 5:34 pm

    Awesome trip Louie and Andy. We had a blast. I can’t wait to get through my images as well. Super cool trip. BTW, that image on the summit ridge is awesome!!!

  9. Brian Mohr July 15th, 2012 10:09 am

    Looks like a great tour! Thanks for the splash of cool thoughts.

  10. Ritz July 18th, 2012 6:50 am

    Very nice photos. Really speak about your trip.

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version