Monday, January 29, 2007

Welldigger's Ass 1.29.07

With the wonderful snow conditions and the mostly fair weather I was planning a multiple summit day. I have read some recent reports so I was fairly certain the route would be well broken saving much needed time and energy. I parked 1.6 miles after cresting Stevens Pass. There is plenty of free parking and my route started right behind the staff housing. I was hoping to reach the ridge and then head south for a summit of Big Chief and then retrace my steps along the ridge to reach Welldigger's Ass (pt 5273). There is a well worn snowshoe track that climbs the road that leads to the old Yodelin Ski slopes. Some of the buildings are still intact and made for an interesting side sight. The area was devastated by an avalanche in 1971 killing 4 and burying many more. It is still one of the most deadly avalanches in Washington History. As I was about to start heading south I noticed Tanner had reaggrevated a previous foot injury and was again bleeding quite heavily. He has struggled with this injury the last 3 weeks. I was again forced to change plans. The injury doesn't appear to give him pain so I decided that I could at least make an attempt of Welldigger's Ass ranking it #87 on the Backcourt list. I made my way to the saddle between my summit and Pt. 5023 and dropped pack. I easily made my way the last 400ft to the mostly flat treed summit. I continued on until I hit the high point which afforded no views. I retraced my route to my pack and briefly considered at least climbing Pt. 5023. My worry for my dog's bleeding paw won out and merely plunged stepped my way back to the car. I sure enjoyed not having to break trail making for a quick roundtrip. In my research I have not found the origins of the distinctive name of this peak.

approx 6 miles 1700ft of climb 2:45 car to car

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