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The Three Faces of Earl
May 01 2012, 18:26 Posted in
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The Three Faces of Earl by Tom Janisch
We live in such a great area – which is why Lowell Skoog called from Seattle on Friday in his search to find some good East-Side corn snow skiing on a weekend when the West Side and the Cascade Crest was likely to be enveloped in sloppy weather and unconsolidated snow. Lowell suggested Earl Peak via the Teanaway.
A week earlier Mark Shipman and Fred Stanley had reported a fun outing on Earl Peak. Logging operations near the North Fork of the Teanaway Road meant the road was plowed to the vicinity of Beverly Campground, which in turn meant the North Fork of the Teanaway road was plowed and drivable to about 3,000 feet and the Beverly Creek spur road.
We agreed on a plan so Lowell, my wife Patti and I, and two fun Seattleites left cars at the spur and skinned, with only a couple of bare spots, to the Bean Creek Trailhead. From there we skied up Bean Creek and ascended the Northwest ridge of Earl – it’s a scenic route to the top.
Of course from the north shoulder of the peak it was just too tempting not to take a run down the seductive slopes leading to the flats in Stafford Creek Basin. After a lunch break there, we climbed to the East ridge of Earl and followed it to the summit (7,033 feet). After another break we skied a nice long run down the south flanks of the peak toward Standup Creek. Some of us left packs on the summit (an ingenious trick to guarantee yet more skiing), so we all skinned back up the SW ridge to the top again.
Finally, we skied the West flanks of the peak back down to the Bean Creek basin. We passed the Mountaineers who were foolishly practicing rope and rescue techniques when any sensible person would be enjoying the corn on the north, east, and west faces of Earl. We glided all the way back to the car, with only a few removals of the skis to cross those obstinate patches of dirt intent on ruining our skiing fun for a few months each year. The dirt is gaining ground but Earl still has plenty of good days of spring skiing to offer.
on May 01 2012, 18:52
Excellent spring report! Way to rip it up with the legendary Skoog. Love his photos. How about those high marks just below Earl's summit?
on May 02 2012, 07:45
The snowmobile tracks in the summit ridge photo ascend from the east, non-Wilderness Stafford Creek drainage. The skiers ascended from the Bean Cr drainage within the 'Voluntary Beverly-Bean Non-Motorized Area.'
The WMC (Wenatchee Mountains Coaliton) Proposals for new NMA (winter non-motorized areas per USFS Closure to snowmobiles) add Stafford Creek between Earl and Navaho to the current 'Voluntary Beverly-Bean NMA.' The Voluntary areas (no legal standing, informal) are violated by snowmobiles regularly, and in comments to the Forest Plan are defended as regular riding for snowmobiles. Shown here in Proposal 1 and Proposal 3-
To the north is Wilderness, the area that has seen extensive snowmobile traffic for more than a decade. There is likely far less Wilderness traffic as a result of the hard work of some snowmobile riders trying to protect their sport. We applaud that. In spite of that, USFS has really done nothing of significance to control snowmobile traffic into the Wilderness. I have personally observed snowmobiles riding the Wilderness on two occasions as I stood on the summit of Earl Peak. On many other trips I have seen the tracks through the Wilderness drainage. This has often been reported by many and well documented, including by video of USFS Wilderness patrols.
Aside from adding some significant and high-quality NMA, the WMC Proposals would move the enforcement boundary to the NF Teanaway road to allow USFS personnel to patrol and enforce on snowmobiles.
The entire south slope of the Teanaway/ Ingalls crest has been put forth in the first round of the Draft Forest Plan as Proposed Wilderness Area. As well, the proposal by a consortium of environmental groups who claim support in congress and from our Governor for a National Recreation Area in the upper Yakima basin includes the south slope of the Teanaway proposed as Wilderness.
on May 02 2012, 21:29
Thanks for this information, Rob. Over the past year we've posted articles about the Wenatchee Mountain Coalition's (WMC) efforts to create more wintertime non-motorized recreation areas for snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, backcountry skiing etc. WenatcheeOutdoors is not affiliated with WMC but we support their stance and their proposals on this particular issue.
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