Ascent of Mount Catherine on 2018-01-07

Climber: Greg Slayden

Others in Party:Eric Gilbertson
Date:Sunday, January 7, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Catherine
    Elevation:5052 ft / 1539 m

Ascent Trip Report

We decided to try to ski up Mount Catherine by a novel route suggested by Martin Volken's 2002 guidebook "Backcountry Skiing Snoqualmie Pass"--up from the north, instead of the usual approach from Windy Pass. This worked out well for us, saving a long boring road ski and allowing us to bonus-bag Mount Hyak on the way out. See the GPS track for our route.

The north and northwest slopes of Catherine are quite steep and forested, and the ski-bushwhacking can be challenging. We used many slopes of the Summit East (Hyak) ski area, which were a bit crowded with downhillers in the afternoon--as we skinned up we stayed to the edge of the downhill trails, and we saw numerous ski patrollers and no one accosted us as we skinned uphill. So we used a few groomed trails without every paying for anything.

The crux of our route on Catherine was a short, steep icy couloir, which we booted up and down with skis on our backs--on the downhill we only walked down about 40 vertical feet on the narrowest and iciest part. Other than that, this was a true skis-on-summit climb.

Other obstacles where huge logs we had to cross on snowdrifts, and a few narrow tree well spots in the lower logged-over section. Most of the old growth was good skiing, although the snow was icy crust with just a couple inches of powder--not the greatest, but at least one could make turns more easily than in the usual Cascade concrete.

The high point of Mount Hyak was a snow mound just north of the exit chute from the Hidden Valley chairlift.

All in all a successful and enjoyable outing. The skies were pretty overcast and it snowed lightly pretty much all day, but it certainly could have been far worse.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2592 ft / 790 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1892 ft / 575 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.1 mi / 8.2 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Skis, Ski Poles
    Weather:Snowing, Cool, Breezy, Low Clouds
Light snow
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2592 ft / 790 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2432 ft / 741 m; Extra: 160 ft / 48m
    Loss on way in:160 ft / 48 m
    Distance:3.7 mi / 5.9 km
    Route:N Slopes
    Start Trailhead:Summit East Parking  2620 ft / 798 m
    Time:3 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1732 ft / 527 m
    Distance:1.4 mi / 2.3 km
    Route:N Slopes
    End Trailhead:Mill Creek  3320 ft / 1011 m
    Time:50 Hours 
Ascent Part of Trip: 2018 - Catherine

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Catherine2018-01-07 a2592 ft / 790 m
2Mount Hyak2018-01-07 b425 ft / 130 m
Total Trip Gain: 3017 ft / 920 m    Total Trip Loss: 3017 ft / 920 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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