We’re just getting into backcountry skiing and were looking for something close to home and not too technical so we decided to hit up Kendall Stump.
We parked at Summit West and headed under the highway to get started. In the forest before the clearcut we encountered pretty variable conditions. At times it’d be pretty firm/icy at others you’d be up to your waist in heavy wet snow. Moving the forest was pretty challenging, the trees were thick and we had a hard time getting into a rhythm.
Once we got above the forest into the clear cut we found it tough going for a few hundred more vertical feet until we fortunately stumbled upon a clear section. We switchbacked up through that up to 4800′ (according to Sam’s watch). Having never been up Kendell and in pretty bad visibility we don’t know if we got to the top or not.
The first 200′ vertical feet of distinct was pretty firm. Reminded me of the Chugach a couple weeks ago! But then we got into heavy spring snow which was pretty fun. Once we got back into the thick trees it got pretty challenging again.
We did make the mistake of not going skiers right enough on the descent and ended up at exit 53 instead of 52 so we had to hike back to Summit West. The most dangerous part of the trip was the walk along I-90! :) Next time we’ll park at exit 53.
The whole time it was lightly snowing, at times windy, low visibility.