Shaun & Robert tackle
on crampons, skis, and snowboards

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Robert starts up the bottom of the 2.000' chute

After waiting weeks on the weather, the snow finally quit falling and Robert and Shaun kicked their way up the best chute on the west face of Cascade.

Leaving the car at 8:00 a.m., they found the snow in the chute pleasantly hard and stable.

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Shaun makes good use of axe & crampons on a particularly steep section

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Robert took the time to traverse a narrow ridge to gain this overlook on a ramp
This perfect chute just climbed and climbed, opening and constricting and finally spitting us out over 2/3 the way to the summit, right in the center of the mountain.

Rather than sloping off above the chute and cliffs as expected, the mountain actually grew steeper. This was added to the beautiful but difficult & deep fresh snow we waded through.  After lunch, things got a little better, and we summitted around 2:30.

We were both more interested in the ride down than in taking a mile walk through deep, soft snow to the summit, so we picked a spot between cornices and started down.

With our first steps over the edge, the top few inches of wet snow slid away with us, clearing the way below.

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Shaun takes a breather near the top of the chute

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Shaun carves a nice slice of heavy snow

The snow on the back was between a foot and two deep and extremely heavy, making snowboarding difficult for first-timer Shaun.  Even so, he got enough good turns in to make the trek up and over the mountain worthwhile.

His recommendation to other beginning boarders: avoid snow-goo and buy a lift ticket (ie: don't try this at home, kids, we are fools for high adventure).

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Robert telemarks his way down the upper bowl

Once the terrain leveled off, the board wouldn't move through the heavy snow.  He walked a significant part of the way down, sometimes sitting on the board and nearing 30 mph through thin aspens, snow flying everywhere. 

They eventually reached a 100+' cliff that cut across the entire cirque.  A careful descent through the only available narrow chute brought them to the lowlands where the trail soon appeared from beneath the snow. The hike into springtime was magnificent, leading through bright green meadows, rustling leaves, and the most beautiful golden brook you've ever laid eyes on. Ahhh, west and wewaxation at wast.

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