Touring Snoqualmie Pass

Red Mountain, Snoqualmie Backcountry

For a visual tour, jump to the ANIMATED MAP.

David and I had big ambitions for the weekend. We’d hoped to ski the North Face of Mount Shuksan. That line stares you in the face from the Baker ski area. Unfortunately, injury and questionable snow stability convinced us this wasn’t the time for anĀ attempt.

So, keeping with form, we turned our eye toward Red Mountain, clearly visible from Snoqualmie Pass, and slightly less committing. The result was a great, early-spring day in the mountains.

David, Bish and I left the car at 8am. We toured up Commonwealth Basin in firm conditions. Navigation wasn’t much of an issue. The deep snow pack provided ample opportunity to cross zigzagging creeks.

A ramp extends from the SW of the peak. We followed that to above treeline, then cut a skin track up and across the SW face. The slope is sustained and gets steep enough at the top that we switched to boots.

Great view up on the ridge. We stuck to exposed rocks during the transition. At the time of touring, big cornices hung off the north face.

By the time we dropped, sun breaks had done their work and the first 1,000 feet of turns were packed powder.

Back in the valley, the snow was wet and deep. Best cement that side of I-90.