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I've been looking at the possibility of setting a marked skin track outside of the Southeastern boundary of the ski area. Once the snow fills in, Dutchman's provides the most straightforward way up the mountain to access the skiing around Allison Clay and the Inner Basin. At this point, however, Dutchman's doesn't yet have enough snow. So, I've been studying the lay of the land and think that a continuous path can be set that starts at the Kachina trailhead, heads down the trail far enough to skirt around the cat buildings, turns up through the glades to the east of Southern Belle and jeep trail, around the pond, along Stump Patch, and then up along Ridge. There are a number of areas where the rock outcroppings are fairly steep, and more areas where there are a tangle of downed trees. As such, the skin track will need wind east in a number of places in order to provide the most efficient path. My plan is to mark tree limbs with orange ribbon--and to move the markings around as an efficient path is pieced together. Anyone interested in helping with this project?
A track has been set. It runs up from the Kachina trail around the rocks, cliffs, and downed trees. The goals in setting the path were to stay out of the known slide path along gully one (seven meadows) as much as possible, to avoid scrambling over rocks and trees, and to pick a pretty line through the meadows. To the find the start, just skin or hike down the Kachina trail for about 10-15 minutes. There will be a piece of orange ribbon on the right (it will be the second you see), and a large meadow to the left with a track up the middle. Orange flagging marks the track so that I can find the path again when the snow falls. Please leave the flagging in place because I'm making adjustments around some of the rock outcroppings. The track ends at the gate by the ski patrol hut up top. So, for those who want to skin up during the hours when the ski area is in operation, here is a nice option--especially if the goal is to get into the woods and away from the crowds.
For those who are interested in having a more direct route to to the gate at the top of the Agassiz lift, it is fairly straightforward to skin up just a short distance in from the trees along the SE border. The only place that gets treed and rocked out is the area that runs next to ridge between waterfall and the mid-way catwalk. When you get to the that section, head further into the woods and you can go right around. Whichever way you go, be sure to bring globstopper--the snow has really been sticking with the warmer weather.
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