Skiing in the Teanaways

Central Cascades, Washington

15 May 2010

Dave, Jake, John

Now that the winter and spring of 2010 are nearly over it's time to admit the truth.  I used talk, albeit jokingly, of being a loser.  Negative self-talk was funny until it became the truth.  Since I knew I wouldn't be working consistently after January I had plans to become competent on skis and rock - ski a few volcanoes and actually climb something.  Mt St Helens would be a warmup for Mt Adams, Daniel and other large low-angled peaks.  On off days I'd ski easy stuff in the neighborhood like Colchuck.  And that would only be if my schedule didn't have something more impressive, like doing laps on the Snow Creek Wall, using only my left hand.  Now that solstice is approaching, and I'm unlikely to do anything between now and then, it's official: I just wasted 5 months of my life.  Therefore, this weekend stands as a symbolic representation of my slothfullness - my biggest trip was to the top of Mt Earle.  I'd never heard of it until we were within 5 minutes of the trailhead, and to be honest, I'm too lazy to even check the spelling of "Earle."

Before I talk about the trip, let me continue this rant.  Nobody reads this anyway, except for Future Dave, who needs to hear this so he doesn't continue down this egregious path.  A message to Dave from Future Dave: Due to your pathetic incompetence in the areas of economic production, athletic ability, sexual prowess, and overall ambition you have grown to become a gigantic drain.  At times it has occurred to me that the oxygen you consume would be better saved for something like a rodent, a more noble creature than you during the year 2010.  Even despite your numerous shortfalls all is not lost, far from it.  Your tenderhearted wife of indescribable beauty still kisses you on her way out the door to work, even as you sit idly with a dumb look on your face.  She believes in you Dave.  Pick yourself up and make something of the last half of the year.  This concludes the pep-talk from Future Dave.

One much needed development was attaining new outdoor partners.  While the aspirations of past partners give way to growing families, house projects and old age our move to Leavenworth has allowed us to find new partners.  Two such men joined me on this trip to ski in the Teanaways.  We donned skis shortly after starting up the trail and skied sluggishly to the summit of Earle where the combination of views and sunshine held us captive for over an hour.  Perhaps my sluggishness was due to extra baggage I carried... and left on the summit.  A large bowel movement, especially one deposited near a summit has always been the source of great pride, at least for me. 

There was enough snow to ski off the top and some 2,000 feet down to the drainage.  Snow conditions were mushy, testing my meager (nonexistent?) ability on skis.  The day will be remembered for its relaxing nature in May's best sunshine, spent with two "new" friends.  Granted, Mt Earle a non-descript bump along the Teanaway would hardly be considered a crowning achievement to show for my first year in Leavenworth.  Just remember this: even when it seems like I'm losing, I'm still winning.  Not sure exactly what I mean by that.... stay tuned.

Jake skinning near the top of Mt Earle.  The Stuart Range provides a spectacular backdrop: in order - Stuart, Sherpa, Argonaut, Colchuck, Dragontail all, believe it or not, more impressive from the other side.

 

Huge clusters of lady bugs on the summit.  Why?

 

John and Jake removing their skins and preparing for a mushy descent.

 

Dave makes his way, shakily, down the mighty slopes of Mt Earle.

 

A more accurate portrayal of our trip.  Resting in the shade below the snowline.

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