Apr 20 2012

TR: Hull Mt., April 18, 2012

Headed up to Hull again. I was jibbing solo. The weather was warm. I was hoping for more fog. If the sun came out, the snow would not be good. Lucky for me, the weather report was showing a chance of rain. Oh, good. Cloud cover to protect the snow.

Hull Mt. as seen from Elk Mt. on the way in.

I drove up Tuesday. Lots of animals out and about. Deer and turkeys everywhere. Almost hit a turkey down by the river- damn!- there goes dinner.
The elk where hanging out by Lake Pillsbury. Haven’t seen the babies this spring.  No bear sightings this time.

The elk crossing Salmon Creek

Liking my new tent.

Camped out at the sharp turn in the road, at 4800′. The weather cooperated and the clouds came in. FR 19N50 doesn’t see much traffic, so it’s nice and smooth.  Not much dry wood lying around for a campfire, but manzanita burns really well, even when wet. The oil in the wood and leaves is very flammable. Cooked up dinner and watched the clouds roll in.

Had fun driving in. Almost drove off the road checking out the views. Added a few more scratches to my paint job as well.

Slept in, counting on the cloud cover to hold the snow. I tried a new way in to peak 5620′. I’ll call this peak Horse Peak. Because it’s at the top of the ridge shown on the topo map as Horse Ridge. When the snow is deeper next year, the road will be the way to go. I was trying to avoid all the bushwacking on the ridge right off the road. I hiked up to road to skiable snow. Followed the road up to just beyond the first drainage. I thought about following the road up and taking the next left. This option loops around Horse Peak and dead-ends just north of the saddle between Horse Peak and the bottom of Hullaska Ridge. Not enough snow on this day. So I skied up the steep slope to the left instead. Route finding was tricky. I didn’t want to put my skins on just yet. Weaving my way around all the manzanita, looking for a low angle line through the scrub brush, I finally made it to the ridge line just below Horse Peak. Still going to have to do some bushwacking.

On some topo maps, it shows a road going up the ridge from where the Jeep is parked.
We didn’t find this road last time, but I thought there might be an easier way around Horse Peak. I took a bushwacking line around to the left.

Up the road and around Horse Peak.

Was able to shave off a few minutes from last time, but not enough snow down here to get a real good idea of the best way up from the road. I continued on up the broad saddle to the base of Hullaska Ridge. The cloud cover was up near the top, so got a few views.

Looking across to Boardman Ridge.

Hullaska Woods looking down to Lake Pillsbury - Timberline Camp on right.

I was able to ski up Hullaska Ridge to just before the Hullaska Woods without skins.
Put the skins on, as the snow was getting firmer. The temperature was around 54* down by the Jeep. But up here, it was getting colder. The snow was getting more consolidated. Only a whisper of wind. 5-7 mph. I was approaching the cloud layer.

This is going to be a real nice way to access the mountain next year.

Got to the top of Hullaska Ridge 3.5 hours from the Jeep.  Same as last time.  The temperature was 38*

Took a look around.

Looking back down Hullaska Ridge.

Looking north, the ridge along Hullafar Bowl that leads to The Shaft and the Hullback Chutes.

Facing east, from the top of Hullaska Ridge, viewing across Grey Bowl towards the Hully Gullies. Hullafar Bowl is on the left.

Time to ski!

The snow was pretty good up top, but got slow real quick. Made it down to Horse Peak and found a part of the road that I was looking for. This road took me around Horse Peak to the main ridge. The snow drifts in on skiers left a bit. If I had tried harder, I could have kept my skis on, but I hike down a couple hundred feet and found the slope I had skied up earlier. Tough turns in the manzanita mank, but I made it down to FR19N50 and skied back to the Jeep.

Well, it looks like I’m about done here for the season. Still skiable snow to be had up on OB Bowl for a few more weeks, but I’ll be jibbing elswhere for the remainder of the Coast Range season.

As always, more pictures on my Flickr page. I took about 60 pictures this trip, so check ‘em out!

I love you Hull Mountain!

© 2012