Snowshoe West Wind Pass

Has anybody tries to snowshoe to West Wind Pass from Spray Lake?
Three of us tried yesterday and didn’t make the pass. The problem—a lot of side-hill traversing across some fairly steep slopes. We tried following the summer route using a track log obtained from the web.

West Wind Pass from our highpoint

West Wind Pass from our highpoint

 
From the road, the summer trail soon heads up onto the bank to the left. The bank top is followed for about 800 m. At this point you have to make a descending traverse right to keep under the cliffs below the ridge leading up to Rimwall. We tried to follow the summer trail, but on several occasions had to traverse downwards across steep side-slopes. This was tiresome and awkward. Pete and I both rode surface sluffs down one slope. We persevered up the line shown in solid red on the map to the rocky area west of the pass. To get there we would have had to take our snowshoes off and scramble down several rockbands before cutting across into the pass. We gave up.
A better, though less scenic, route might be to keep low after leaving the ridge and find a line lower down in the valley. I will try the lower route next year (the snow in the valley is currently rotting out).

Crossing steep sideslopes on summer trail

Crossing steep sideslopes on summer trail

 

West Wind Pass map

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