Skyler and I headed up to Winchester fire lookout last weekend. The snow conditions were abysmal, but the views were spectacular, and it’s always cool to sleep on top of Winchester Mountain.
We drove up Saturday morning from Bellingham. I threw chains on the Jeep at the highway and was able to drive a few miles up the road. Snow driving is something I miss about Colorado, and it was fun to rev and bash our way up the snow-covered road. We dropped our overnight gear after skinning up the road for a few miles, and headed up to Goat Peak. The views on the summit were sublime, and the ice on the descent was survived. The sun set as we headed up to the old fire lookout, and I enjoyed skinning in the moonlight.
The next day dawned cold and windy, we decided to be cautious of any windslabs formed overnight. We skinned toward Tomyhoi Peak. It was fun exploring some new terrain, and proved to be an enjoyable tour. We headed back to our overnight gear, and skied out to the road in the sunset. We made it to the car at dark and quickly proceeded to drop one tire off the edge of the road. A few hours later, with the help of a come-along and some creative rigging, we were on our way.
La Nina looks worn out from a hectic November, and the little girl seems to be sleeping in through the start of December. The massive high pressure has made for some beautiful weather in the high country, but I sure hopes it snows soon. Here are more pictures from the trip.
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.