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Roderick Peattie, ed. - The Cascades, Mountains of the Pacific Northwest

"The Cascade Range," by Grant McConnell

An overview of the range, describing its discovery, naming, dimensions, volcanoes, northern mountain system, and status as a public domain.

p. 84: "The Cascades are not the only mountains of perpetual snow [in America], but of all the great ranges they are the most heavily snow covered and it is this more than anything else that accounts for their peculiar beauty."

p. 87: "This region has been described as the most alpine of our American mountain areas. On one very important score, however, this region is the antithesis of the Alps: it is a wilderness."

"Cascade Holiday," by Weldon F. Heald

This chapter imagines a grand summer tour of the range from south to north, describing the attractions of each region.

p. 136: "In the near future you will be able to circle Mount Baker by a loop similar to that around Mount Hood. Road builders have only to close a gap of a few miles between Baker Lake and Austin Pass on the east side of the mountain to make such a loop possible."

"Mountaineering," by Grant McConnell

An overview of Cascade mountaineering from the earliest scouting on Mt Hood by Joel Palmer in 1845 through the ascent of Bonanza Peak in 1937.

"Skis on the Cascades," by Charles D. Hessey, Jr.

The final chapter of the book is a fine overview of skiing in the Cascade range, with an emphasis on wilderness skiing. It appears that this chapter was written in late 1948.

p. 369: The author writes that the earliest mention of skiing in Mazama records was in February, 1897, when a party of three men skied to Cloud Cap Inn on the northeastern side of Mt Hood. He writes that the first mention of skiing in Mountaineer publications was in 1914. He goes on to describe early attempts to ski Mt Rainier, including the successful Sigurd Hall ascent.

p. 378: The author recommends mid-March to mid-April as the best time of year, with the first week of April being optimal, based on "seven winters spent in mountain cabins above 4,500 feet."

p. 379: In "The Centers, Now and To Be," the author offers a tour of skiing centers from Lassen Peak in the south to Mt Baker in the north. Of Mt Jefferson he writes, "To the few who have done it, the tour from Mt Hood south along the Oregon Skyline Trail to Mt Jefferson stands out as the skiing experience of a lifetime." Of Mt St Helens, "Most of the mountain clubs of the Pacific Northwest plan annual climbs of this peak for May or June, and take their skis along." Of Mt Adams, "On only the south side may the summit be reached on ski, its glaciers having eaten so deeply into the rest of the peak that skiing is out of the question." Of the Goat Rocks, "A strong pair of legs is needed to attain summer skiing here; but I cannot say enough in praise of Old Snowy's Tieton Glacier."

p. 386: The author writes that skiing near Mt Rainier is by no means confined to the mountain itself. He describes Morse Creek as "home to a group of Yakima skiers" with the favorite tour being "a seven-mile circle to 'Crystal Bowl,' a spacious cirque on Crystal Mountain." He mentions that the American River Ski Bowl is the local Yakima tow slope, with a short season due to its low elevation. He writes about Snoqualmie, Stevens and Baker, but doesn't mention anything notable.

p. 387: In "Touring Country," the author explains his passion for wilderness skiing and pioneering. He writes, "The ski mountaineer is the poet of the skiing world. There are two of him. One is he whose ritualistic insistence on reaching the topmost pinnacle brings somber overtones to every outing; the other is one whose chief delight is simply to be in the company of noble peaks."

He continues, "One of the most stressed and important of the dont's--that against skiing alone--I have violated many times in hundreds of miles of high-country skiing. To share your trip is always best, both in joy and safety, but the schedules which rules men's lives are not always flexible enough to grant concurrent freedom to skiing friends."

He describes a solo trip in spring 1948 to Lyman Lake. "Intending to repeat the previous year's spring outing," the author and four friends had supplies taken by pack horse to the Lyman Lake cabin in September. Due to various conflicts, all the author's friends were forced to cancel their plans. He persevered for two reasons, "to complete a Kodachrome record of the Lyman Lake area [and] to put skis for the first time on the Chickamin Glacier."

From April 26 to May 17 he was the sole occupant of the Lyman Lake cabin and "on twenty-one of those twenty-two days, snow fell." On the best day, he skied up North Star Mountain. Finally, on May 17, unable to postpone his departure any longer, he left the lake, crossed Cloudy Pass, and descended Agnes Creek to the west fork. On May 21, after several days of scouting and weather waiting, he set out for the Chickamin Glacier. It was a fine, warm morning. When he reached the river crossing he'd previously scouted, he found the logs were awash in a growing flood. This was the beginning of tragic floods throughout the Pacific Northwest that spring. He retreated, continued down the Agnes until he ran out of snow, and hiked out to Stehekin.


p. 36i: Spring, Bob and Ira, "Sunrise side of Mount Rainier from Naches Pass."

Fine photo of two women skiers atop a corniced divide with Rainier in the background.

p. 357i: Spring, Bob and Ira, "Skiing on Mount Rainier"

Fine photo of a skier making fresh tracks above Paradise Valley.

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Last Updated: Thu Feb 6 12:34:31 PST 2003