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Skied Arrowhead Peak w/ Russ
Round trip 5.8 miles, (a slow) 6 hours, total elevation 3130 feet
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GPS data includes tracks and waypoints for parking, trail forks, etc.
Trip Report 2/26/06 SunIt's February... in fact it's LATE February and I'm finally getting out and doing my first backcountry ski trip of the year. What kind of lame ass skier am I? After listening to myself say "I have too much work to do" even *I* finally get tired of it and just make it happen.
Our goal is Arrowhead Peak. I've been nearby to Jim Hill a couple times and heard good stories. Russ has been there several times. He's on AT gear and I'm on tele skies.
It's a high overcast gray day with one other truck (w/o ski rack) parked in the pull-off. Not much new snow but probably about a foot has fallen in the previous few days and it has stayed cold. Someone has tracked the road ahead of us. The route up and down is defined by 3 big open areas. We reached the first one and cut uphill opting to avoid a lot of logging road in exchange for a little trail breaking. At the top of the clearing we regained the road where there's a fork. Tracks go west to Jim Hill and east to Arrowhead. The road leads to the bottom of the 2nd big clearing where we stopped for lunch. We followed the track to the top of this clearing, back into the woods and eventually where it breaks into the left side of the third big clearing near the top.
I am totally draggin'. I've been on a bunch of winter hikes and other training so I'm thinking I must have a bit of the flu or a cold or something. Russ is patient and we take quite a while to get to the summit. I'm immensely thankful we had a track to follow.
The weather gradually closed in as we reached the top and then suddenly cleared again. Still high overcast and gray but giving big views in all direction - notably, Jim Hill to the SW and Nason Ridge, Rock Mtn, Mt Howard to the north. There were Zillions of wintry peaks I couldn't name everywhere.
Thankful for the better vis we started down. Picking our way carefully through the summit snags back to the big (3rd) clearing. I nice steep even gradient and nice snow made for nice turns. I'm still pretty low energy and making parallel turns, knowing I'll probably go to tele-hell if I don't get off it. I'm on new bindings... it's my first day out... all the excuses... I finally kick my knee out in front and redeem my tele-soul with a bunch of nice linked turns. We followed this section clear to the bottom and continued straight down through the woods to pop out pretty quickly at the top of the number two clearing.
This clearing is less steep making for big cruising turns. At the bottom we stopped for a snack. My energy level finally caught up with me - I was cramping up pretty badly - so after our snack we decided to head out. From here you can follow the road but we opted to ski straight down through the woods. After a bit you insersect the road again and can follow it to the top of the number 1 clearing. We traversed to the west side thinking the snow might be better but it was pretty heavy at this point and I was reduced to mostly survival parallel turns. At the bottom of this clearing we caught the road out to the highway.
All in all it was a good ski despite my lack of energy. Good views. Varied terrain. Nice snow. Lots of turns. Great potential for yoyo'ing next time.
Round trip 5.8 miles, (a slow) 6 hours, total 3130 elevation gain
Access and waypoint info:Drive 6.6 miles east of the Stevens Pass ski area and park at a big plowed spot on the north side of the road. The access road up to Jim Hill and Arrowhead is about 50 yards farther east on the other side of the road. Follow the road. If you're interested in Jim Hill you can continue a long way on this road but I recommend turning uphill after about .6 miles and about 50 yards
before you would otherwise cross Henry Creek (waypoint: ARR_FKJIM in the data file). We continued on the road about for 1 mile coming to a big clear cut. We cut uphill here (waypoint: ARR_FK01) avoiding another mile plus of road. We regained the road (waypoint: ARR_FK02) and then near the top of the clear cut the road forks (waypoint: ARR_FK03) going east to Arrowhead and west to Jim Hill... We followed the road another .75 miles across the top of the BIG clearcut, back into the woods, past a few switchbacks to about 4170 feet. Here we left the road tracking up the left side of a big open area. At the top of the open area turn left (waypoint: ARR_WAY02) into the woods. Bear SE (pretty much straight uphill)... eventually you'll see the "arrowhead" rock formation above you to the left and a while later you enter the left side the another BIG clearing. Follow the left side of the clearing up to the summit.
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