Climbing and Skiing Whitehorse Mountain in Darrington

Description: 

Anyone who has seen High Ice knows how radical Whitehorse is, for those that haven't you've now got plans for the night - and you are welcome!  EPIC.....DANGER.....FIRE AND ICE A MILE HIGH!!!!  Could you want to watch anything else?  Whitehorse towers above the town of Darrington with nearly 7000' of prominence directly from the valley floor.  Its steep with prominent glacier and large cliff faces, every climbers dream.   It was also my first official mountaineers climb in 2007 as the Mountaineering season is typically a week or two long in early May, before the bergschrund to the summit melts out.  It can be climbed during the winter, but has significant avalanche exposure on all aspects.  

The Route and Important Details: 

Time: Winter- May 

Trailhead: Neiderprum Trailhead

Left Cars at 5 am 

Time to High Point: ~8 Hrs

Car to Car: 11-12 hrs

Since 2007 the road has washed out, adding a mile of road walking to the trail.  During the winter the standard route is to head more directly up the Whitehorse glacier.  During the spring it is easier to head up the standard mountaineers route which follows the trail to the open slopes and ascends directly from there on the north side.  After reaching the ridge, the route drops on the southwest slopes and traverses those until reaching an upper saddle  From this saddle you wrap back around the north slopes where you can see and ascend the summit block. A bergschrund typically melts out by the first week of May if not early.  When I skied it in 2017 on May 7th, almost a year from my first mountaineers ascent, there was a thin bridge over the bergy, but without pickets or a rope we decided not to tempt fate as it was already midday.  The ski down was fun with a few fall line pitches and some traversing.  Its easier to ski down on the south side and then skin back up, vs trying to traverse the whole way.   This is a fun and slightly easier way to ski than the glacier, but the glacier would be a more consistent fall line ski.

Whitehorse Mountain

Looking up the Whitehorse glacier to the summit

Whitehorse

Started to venture off the trail up the first bowl

Whitehorse

Heading to the summit from the upper saddle

Whitehorse Summit Boot

Final boot to the summit block

Whitehorse Bergy

Would you tempt fate?

IMG_4739.JPG

Ski from the summit block

Whitehorse Saddle

Skiing down from the saddle

Whitehorse ski

Skiing down from Saddle

Stories by Scott Heinz ( Medical Moose Labs)

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