Backcountry Skiing Green Mountain - Mountain Loop Environs

Description: Green Mountain seems like a difficult ski to time well.  As the route gets in, the road typically gets less accessible. The trail is 20 miles up Suiattle River road, and access can be a challenge with road washouts and blowdowns.  Last year we were shut down just a few miles up the road and no good backup options really exist. If those aren't a problem then the TH is at 3600' so the ski approach will quickly lengthen as the freezing level drops. I was lucky to hit it this year when there was 6-8" of fresh snow up to the TH and the brand new mid sized SUV could plow through that.  From the TH you essentially follow the summer trail the whole way to the summit. It does traverse some exposed avalanche slopes so alternate safer approaches may be possible with some creativity.  But we lucked out with stable conditions and were able to follow the trail for the most part. From the summit it appears you have a few options we skied a slope on the south face, but with limited vis we had to stick close to trees. With some scoping, a longer fall line ski may be possible to 5000' before skinning back up.  Also the east face looks really good, but with no visibility we couldn't scope it or get any recon photos.  Once back to the saddle you can either de-skin and retrace steps, or continue skinning up toward the a high point at 5200'.  We had great fresh snow on limited to no base. So beware of the sharks if similar conditions exists.  The exit trail in the trees was certainly an adventure with only a few inches of snow and no base, so most of us ended up walking a decent portion and doing a number on our bases. 

Stories by Scott Heinz ( Medical Moose Labs)

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