Our route begins in the center of this photo and continues up the couloir (Shown below). Photo: Josh

Jason, Josh and Phil

Cadet Peak Movie Edit by Phil. Film by Josh and Phil

Cadet Peak stands among similar sized peaks, each not much higher than 7000-ft, a lack for which they make up in variety and terrain. There are glaciers and lakes, rivers and waterfalls, spires and couloirs. There is even an old mining town called Monte Cristo. Locals can still drive there but visitors must have other modes of transportation in mind.

  The upper couloir on Cadet. Photo: Josh

It was 7:30 a.m. by the time we set off on mountain bikes. I felt foolish. There was nearly a foot of snow in places but there was no way I was going to leave my bike at the car.

Anyhow, the road didn't look too bad (C' mon Phil, it's a joke!).

We made no more than a mile or two before stashing our bikes in the trees. The other ~2-miles (4.1 total) were continued on foot.

It seemed like my every word was being documented as Phil and Josh both had video cameras. One such incident occurred on Dumas St. (just beyond where the road ends in Monte Cristo) where I boasted that the street was named after my forefathers and that I had come "...from a long heritage of dumb asses."

A trail leads out of town. We followed on skins and continued along Glacier Creek for a few miles at which point we had a choice. Phil mentioned a high route. It would put us too high, but it was clear of trees. Continuing on the trail would put us right where we needed to be, but it was steep (there is a waterfall right next to the trail) and thick in trees and brush.

Jason riding across a stream. Photo: Josh
An old sign just before town. Photo: Josh
Mush team members two and three. Glacier Basin with part of Wilman's Peak behind.

We wallowed and climbed up the stream bed that masquerades as a trail. I fell 15-ft down it providing entertainment for my fellows. It didn't seem to take a long time, but it must've. When we arrived at Glacier Basin it had been 4 hours since we had left the car. "Are you sure Josh?"


"Are you really sure Josh?"


Phil found a flat rock and we stashed our overnight gear before continuing up. The snow wasn't making life easy except where the shadow lay. After 1200-ft of this we reached the top of the first couloir where we breaked before traversing over to the base of the second and more appealing couloir.

Wallowing up to a good place to stow away our skis. Climbing into the gut of the couloir.
Nearing the top of the first couloir with Glacier Basin below. Photo: Josh
Preparing to skin. Looking up at the second couloir.

After a short break we continued up the second couloir where we continued to wallow. Halfway up, I was the first to enter an icecave as it struck me as unusual to see bedrock above and below. Inside I noticed icicles and a stream falling from above (where we would be climbing).

The schrund was not very easy to surmount. My first attempt ended in my falling down into the rotten snow that had been the culprit to begin with. Josh came up with the solution. He laid my pack on the most compact snow and I climbed up it. With my axes I was able to clear a staging area for gear and people.

  Looking out of the ice cave. Photo: Josh
Preparing to skin.
Looking down the couloir and (2nd picture) is of Monte Cristo.
Sloan Peak. Making our way along the summit ridge.
Josh near the summit of Cadet.
Josh sitting on the summit. The view from the top.

We reached the summit after topping out on a ridge. This was gentle enough for skins. Unfortunately snow didn't go all the way up to the tippy top, so we left our skis a few feet below and climbed the summit block, which was an easy scramble.

At the top we took in the view, signed in the register and relaxed for a few short moments. The day was waning and far quicker than we desired.

The ski began on icy snow, but soon transitioned into the mush we had been in all day.

I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story.

  Phil entering the first couloir.

Go for it bro. Wipe that grin off of your face and get out of my way.
Oh yeah!

Jumping over the ice cave. Josh continuing down the couloir.
Go get it Phil!
Phil phantom.

Sunset. Phil chasing darkness.

Camp. Photo: Josh On our way back out. Photo: Josh

The light was amazing! It was near nightfall by the time we reached our gear. It was all piled into our packs and hauled further up into glacier basin where we would have water. What I didn't expect was the view. Rarely have I seen the stars so bright. Phil pointed out Mars but it wasn't needed because it glowed red and was brighter than anything else. Later on the moon brightened up the basin and the sparkling snow left you with a surreal sense. Awe inspiring!

Morning led us from our tents and back to the cars. The snow was terrible. So bad that it was fun. If it had been better we would have stuck around and climbed more, but as it was we couldn't have been happy enough with how the previous day had went, especially considering how much better this year was than the last year. I'll take whatever I can get.

HOME Until next time.