December 2, 2006
Most of the approach was easy skinning, but climbing the valley's headwall involved a little route-finding. The way we chose ended up taking about an hour to climb a mere 200ft, as we wallowed over short cliffs in 3 feet of snow on top alder on top of air. It was hard enough that one should consider giving up, but it was way too early to turn around.
Most of the remainder of the ascent to the first ridgeline went quickly, but the final bit posed some problems. It always looks easier on the map. We picked a way that was steeper than some other options, but had denser trees. It worked, with a little bit of hesitation crossing some steep exposed slopes right near the ridge top.
The final slope to the main ridgeline had lots of rolls and looked like it had received plenty of wind... not a good combination. We decided to go as far as we felt comfortable.
That ended up being the ridge top, and the first time we had seen the sun all day.
The descent was better than expected. Nice long pitches and very skiable snow - five or six inches of powder on a crust that varied from firm to soft.