Me and Mel have been having a great winter so far, decided to sneak one more winter ascent in before the 21st. I posted in the Facebook group looking for other to join and received a message from Katie another new person to hike with and someone who wanted to goto the next step and try some off trail peak bagging. The Threesome was set. Drove Hwy 3 to the Cascade Rest area. It was only plowed about 10m from the hwy.
We were fairly lucky as there was an older track to follow in the snow, this was the very first time isothermal snow showed up this year. It was very warm from the start and even in the trees it was already mushy. We passed the junction that leads towards Snass and carried on towards Dry Lake. There is no easy way up from the lake, it is an incredible amount of elevation on steep terrain the whole way up. If the snow was hard it would have been fine, but it was the worst snow conditions of the year. Me and Mel took turns breaking trail the whole time, Katie was new to this and we didn't want her to burn out, and she was still learning how to ascend such slopes in snowshoes.
Fast forward a few grueling hours we eventually started to find our way into the alpine, and our route finding up lead us bang on to the narrow upper ridge and the only spot we wanted to be thank fully. Once we arrived on the ridge that connects Ford & Dewdney we had a well deserved break and got a look at our route up Dewdney.
We contoured just below the false summit of Dewdney then traversed across the slopes that would lead us into the bowl and below the face. The girls were quite worried about the face and snow conditions and at one point wanted to take the Western ridge to the summit. This would have added a fair bit of time and even getting onto the ridge looked to be a problem. Luckily they noticed this and realized up the face made the most sense. I was quite happy they decided this.
From tree island to tree island we hopped our way up, just going straight up, all very straight forward. Upon arriving at the summit the amount of work required to get here made it a very rewarding peak, Mel and Katie soon arrived and Mel gave her a big hug to let her know she did great.
It was below freezing but not much wind, we stayed on the summit for a good 35min at least and then off we went. The descent was all good up until we hit the forested ridge down. It was too steep for snowshoes but the snow wouldn't support us. We left then on for awhile but too much sliding and falling was just downright ridiculous. So we had to play russian roulette in boots sometimes sinking upto our thighs. It was a lose lose situation. We all fell a million times, it because down right silly and ridiculous that all we could do was laugh it off somehow.
Relieved to be back on the Dewdney trail the mellow walk out was a nice way to wind down. We all changed into some comfy pants, sat in the car and had some beers to finish off the day.