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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    686

    TR: The sleeping Giant of the Central Cascades Mt Aix

    Mt Aix is the sleeping Giant of the Central Cascades relatively unknown but rivaled in size only by the massive Goat Rocks. Mt Aix is in what you would consider the middle of nowhere from Washington standards. The 90 mile summer drive is more then doubled when 410 closes down for winter leaving the area isolated and unused. From Crystal Mountain you can get a distant view of the massive alpine bowls of Aix and the Nelson Range that rise over 800 feet higher then the top of Crystal. Aix had become somewhat of an obsession for me over the years as I studied approaches and access issues of the mountain. Trying to get beta was all but impossible as trying to get any skiing info was dead end after dead end, The question kept coming up in my head “why isn’t anybody heading out to the Nelson Range”.

    View of the Nelson range and Mt Aix from the top of the Silver King at Crystal Mountain. We skied the high point on the left side of the pic and the huge alpine bowl to its right

    Thanks to Boot from Turns all year for the photo

    The forecast was looking good with Mostly sunny skies on the Eastern side of the Cascades and according to the Forest service the road was plowed all the way to the Mt Aix trailhead Saturday was going to be the day. Friday night I met up with Ian and Jeff at the North Bend Safeway and made the 190 mile drive all the way around the Eastern side of the cascades then back into the Central cascades and camped a few miles from the trail head. The next morning we woke up under the early morning sun, stuffed our sleeping bags into the car and drove up towards the trailhead. The forest Service was wrong the road was not plowed to the Aix trailhead it was only plowed to Bumping Lake there were two options 1. Abort or 2 go for it but to me number one was not an option. The slog fest up the road was an uneventful 4 and a half miles getting deeper into the Nelson range before finally hitting the Mt Aix trailhead. Once we reached the trail we lost it within the first 5 minutes and proceeded to bushwhack up the semi densely forested slopes. The bushwhacking proceeded for a couple of brutal hours until we decided to make a downhill traverse into the beginning of the alpine.

    Our first real view of point 7495 during the bush whacking

    Photo by Jeff

    Finally breaking into alpine terrain

    photo by Jeff
    Ian skinning with Rainier in the background

    Photo by Jeff
    Once in alpine travel was so much faster and efficient as the terrain mellowed out and you could actually the best areas to put in a skin track. We skinned up to a low saddle and finally got our first view of Mt Aix and the huge alpine bowls that surrounded it.

    Our first view of Mt Aix

    Photo by Ian
    Looking South at Bismark peak, the goat rocks and Mt Adams

    Photo by Ian
    The whole area was a corn skiing heaven with enough room to fit all of the Ski resorts in Washington in the three alpine bowls surrounding Mt Aix.

    Only one of the three massive bowls (looking North)

    Photo by Ian
    During the ridge scramble to the summit I had spotted a skiable line off the NW face of Mt Aix it was sketchy and looked like it was close to melting out but at the moment it was skiable.

    Photo by Ian
    Last edited by Kyle Miller; 08-14-2009 at 06:29 PM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    After nailing the summit and taking in some of the best views in Washington
    we switched our gear over to downhill mode and one by one rode down the NW face for well over 2000 vert of alpine skiing.
    Summit Group photo

    Photo by Jeff
    Rainier

    photo by Jeff
    Another one of the Massive alpine bowls (looking South)

    Photo by Jeff
    I am officially stoked about this line

    Photo by Ian
    Looking back up the face from halfway down

    Photo by Ian
    Riding down into the basin

    Photo by Jeff
    Once arriving in Rattlesnake basin we switched back over to skinning mode and returned back to Nelson ridge for our final decent back to the car.

    Jeff skinning up rattlesnake basin

    Photo by Ian
    Ian skinning to the low saddle

    photo by Jeff
    Peak 7495 had caught my attention on the way up and was easily accessible with an additional 30 minute skin so Ian and I made the ascent while Jeff stayed behind and took in the views of bumping lake and Rainier.

    Photo by Ian
    We noticed a small choking colouir that exited onto a huge alpine ramp “this was going to be the line”.
    Scoping the line

    photo by Jeff
    I dropped in first not knowing how shallow the snowpack was and if I was going to hit a rock so I straight lined it and ripped down the massive Northern face.

    Photo by Jeff

    photo by Jeff

    Photo by Jeff

    photo by Jeff
    Looking back up at our tracks

    Photo by Ian
    We met up with Jeff 2000 vert lower for the decent back down to the road and made the decision to follow the creek until it was impassable then boot pack the rest of the way. Luckily we were able to meet up with the trail and after countless switchbacks we were back to the road for the 4.5 mile slugfest back to the car. We made it back to the car around 8pm. As the first drops of rain started falling so we threw our gear into the car and made a quick getaway.



    We dropped Jeff off at his car in Cle elum while Ian and I drove up the North fork of the Tenaway River to tackle our next beast Mt Stuart on Sunday. We made it to a camp ground around 11:00 p.m. and passed out until 5:30 a.m. and drove the additional 4 miles to the Beverly Creek trail head and started packing our gear. I started putting my skins on my split when all of a sudden SNAP and as soon as the trip began it was over.

    In total the trip was around 20 miles
    Ians Trip report
    http://students.washington.edu/climb...p=26815#p26815


    It is very possible that the NW face of Aix has never been snowboarded before.


    I have already spoken with the Prior rep and they have always treated me good but the factory opens again on June 9th but until then. If anyone has a splitboard or some ski boots they could loan me (size 29.5) until I get my new board it would save me the hassle of the brutal snowboarding method of transportation know as boot packing.
    Last edited by Kyle Miller; 08-14-2009 at 06:28 PM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NorCal
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    2,370
    Your TRs are absolutely killing it so far this season...

    This picture is $$$$$$$$:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Miller View Post
    Dan looking down into the chute

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Couloirfornia
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    5,478
    WILL SOMEBODY LEND THE GUY A SPLIT PLEASE!!!

    Thanks Kyle. Good luck on finding a loaner.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Suit
    Oh for sure. Every time I walk in the garage and see that lame-ass Porsche I have to drive now, I think to myself "Better head down to the bus station and suck some dicks until I get my self respect back."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Seattle/Snowbird
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    1,004
    Nice creativity. That place would Washington on the charts if someone had vision to put a ski area there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    686
    Quote Originally Posted by powdherb View Post
    Nice creativity. That place would Washington on the charts if someone had vision to put a ski area there.
    Especially compared to the 200 vert at Stevens Pass, soon to be Washingtons number one ski destination
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Denver, Co.
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    1,426
    Another great TR, this shot is sick!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    JH/Los Andes
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    2,491
    You make me want to move to Washington. How long till you get another split?
    "The idea wasnt for me, that I would be the only one that would ever do this. My idea was that everybody should be doing this. At the time nobody was, but this was something thats too much fun to pass up." -Briggs
    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    Wear your climbing harness. Attach a big anodized locker to your belay loop so its in prime position to hit your nuts. Double russian Ti icescrews on your side loops positioned for maximal anal rape when you sit down. Then everyone will know your radness
    More stoke, less shit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    2,817
    Yeah, ^^^^^^that shot is sick. Great snow and light. Must have been a fun line. Gotta let 'em run sometimes eh?

    We should meet halfway between here and there and ski sometime.
    "The skis just popped me up out of the snow and I went screaming down the hill on a high better than any heroin junkie." She Ra

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sea Level
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    3,563
    That was pretty cool, man.
    The trumpet scatters its awful sound Over the graves of all lands Summoning all before the throne

    Death and mankind shall be stunned When Nature arises To give account before the Judge

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    denver
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    1,847
    love the washington trs
    I can't believe you are a rando racer because I look so much better in Lycra than you.

    People who don't think the Earth is flat haven't skied Vail.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Seattle
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    Kyle. You da man. I've got some 326 bsl flexons sitting around if you need them, maybe too big.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Portland, OR, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,520
    c'mon, somebody must have a split we can get to Kyle. This dude cannot be slowed down - the summer stoke drought is just around the corner and we need to keep this gusher flowing!
    another Handsome Boy graduate

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    686
    Quote Originally Posted by tone capone View Post
    Gotta let 'em run sometimes eh?

    We should meet halfway between here and there and ski sometime.
    Thanks for all the kind comments

    Yeah I love hiking 8 hours for a 2 minute ski run
    Whats halfway Im always looking for touring partners who enjoy full on sufferfests

    It could be awhile till I get my new board.
    The Prior factory opens again June 9th but hopefully it will only take them a few days to ship me a board.

    and to this question raised a few weeks ago
    Quote Originally Posted by cascadianwarrior View Post
    So do tell: how do you have so much time to get out and post these awesome TR's? No job? No school? No wife and kids? Unlimited cash? Oh yeah, that's right; those are all the reasons I can't do it
    I am a unemployeed ski bum, I dont have a wife, a girlfriend (not to say I wouldn't mind a cute chica) or kids. While I have alittle bit of cash (not much at all) I dont think I would be eating Top Ramen if it was unlimited .
    Last edited by Kyle Miller; 05-13-2009 at 05:16 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Dec 2006
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    north of north
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Miller View Post
    Im always looking for touring partners who enjoy full on sufferfests
    Tough ain't it?
    Sunday ends with her head in a pillow, ass in the air with me pounding her from behind. Life is good.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A Material World
    Posts
    1,602
    Damn, I never heard of that mountain before. Good stuff finding it and getting out there, rad pics too.
    "Unfortunately, Meadows mgmt/marketing found out about the PR stash and published it on their trail map."

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    855
    Please someone lend Kyle a split! He is my ride to the mountains. Although it would be kind of fun watching him fall all over the place trying to ski, LOL.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    K-Falls, OR
    Posts
    198
    Thanks for contributing to the sickness that has been TGR recently. Nice stoke too bad about the split.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    686
    Great news I was lucky enough to borrow a split from Jon Garrison of TAY (he is the man )

    Looks like Im heading to N Cali and S Oregeon for the next week or so
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