Yodelin Road towards Valhalla Mountain (Nov 18, 2012)

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yodelin_coverConditions: day hike, snowshoe
Gear: snowshoes
Map: USGS Labyrinth Mountain, USGS Captain Point
Area: Stevens Pass
Stats: 10.27mi, 2213' gain (round trip)

Hiked in via Yodelin Road. Near the end of the road I kept thinking we should head uphill to the left (south) towards the PCT. We went uphill for a bit those in the lead didn't think the route would go and pretty much took a route that lost all the gain we did, taking us all the way back down to Nason Creek before heading back uphill for one more try at connecting with the PCT. Arrrgh. We finally did meet up with the PCT, though connecting with it at just about the steepest, and crappiest hillside possible. Arrrgh x2.

After a it, snow became deep enough to put the snowshoes on. We reached a small basin area NW of the head of Nason Creek and then headed uphill, towards the gap to the west. I'm not used to the steep uphill, I'm getting reacquainted with it though. After reaching the gap, it's a drop of 200' or so and then a level traverse towards Valhalla Mountain. I was going slower than I wanted. Arrrghhh x3. So I told the rest of the group to continue. I'd wait for them in the basin area on the other side of the gap and from there we would hike out as a group. Good think I made the decision. Deep, unconsolidated snow made for slow travel. It was getting late when the group finally arrived in the basin. No time to spare...we needed to hoof it back out to get back to the waiting cars before dark. One gain, a bit (OK, more than a bit) of route finding errors had the group staying on the PCT much longer than needed. Then it was a not so fun schwack through the brush. Tip...just because road are marked on maps...DOESN'T MEAN ROADS EXIST ON MAPS! We arrived back at the cars with only minutes to spare before real darkness arrived. This trip was a good example of a trip turning out to be way harder than it needed to be. Lessons learned for any return trip.
Yodelin>Valhalla Mtn Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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