Route: Ski Hayden
Posted On: 2019-05-08, By: Grover
Info: This Conditions Report is for North Hayden Peak, aka Ski Hayden, NOT South Hayden Peak. Crossing Castle Creek - Not too difficult. There are a couple of logs that allow you to make it across the flowing creek. I crossed in snowboard boots, but I could see were ski boots would be a bit harder to cross in. I considered crossing in shoes and switching to my board boots on the other side, but I stayed in my boots. Snow Conditions In Sawyer Creek Drainage - Very soft snow down low, even early in the morning. I suggest trying to walk on the ground as far as you can, zigging and zagging as needed, as you try to get to the point where you can start to skin (or snowshoe) on a continuous line. The route up through the trees was easy to find and follow......but consider there is snow falling now here in the Elks. There are ~4 or ~5 trees downed on the track, that can be skinned over. I did take off my splitboard for one of them, to make it less clumsy. Snow Conditions From 'Lunch Spot' To Summit - Amazing coverage and no issues (See: Photo 1). I skinned up one of the Twin Gullies and made it up to the ridge at ~12,800, where I decided to boot it up to the summit. I was tired of skinning at that point, and booting up was easier. Summit Ride Down To Valley Floor - Great coverage on the open slopes. I let it loose and made plenty of turns. The Stammberger Face did have wet slab avalanche debris on it, so keep this in mind if you choose to take this route (See: Photo 2). I followed the skin track back down, with the snow getting softer and softer as you got lower. The final section, where it is very soft is a gong show and I tried to make it as far as possible.