McClellands Butte

January 23, 2000

1 Day

Josh, Jason, Ben

Author: Josh Hummel

Our line can be clearly seen making a serpentine shape toward the summit.


We had gone mountain biking the day before just off I-90. We encountered a lot of snow. On our way back to Seattle Ben mentioned McClellands Butte. It sounded like the medicine we needed to cure our fairly sober January. We were not expecting much, but when we saw the line it got our hearts pounding.


Making our way up the trail.


We were a little worried about the avalanche danger and so we stayed in the trees. We were unsure of where to go and so we simply headed up paralleling the chute. Ben was on a mission and trudged on while the snow got deeper and steeper. We began to realize that we were taking the hard route. There was some rock, ice, and the occasional hand from a tree.


Skiing a couple hundred feet from where we stopped. Notice I-90.


We were disappointed about not making the summit no matter the circumstances. We ended up topping out just below a rock cliff on the left ridge a hundred feet or so short of the summit. We turned around because we could not navigate the area safely because of avalanche danger. We ended up resting in a nook of rock just below the summit that offered shelter from the wind. After a half-an-hour we traversed east to a steep drop. This was our line that wed seen earlier from the road.


Some excellent turns about midway down the chute.


Notice I-90 getting closer.


The turns were spectacular. The winter had hardly begun, but if these turns were a precursor of what was to come, one could only imagine. The chute was tight in places, but opened up a little toward the bottom.


You can see the debris scattered across the chute knocked down by us on the upper slopes.


Josh exiting the chute.


The ski turned out well even though the weather turned out sour. We were pleased with the line and definitely hope to ski the chute again. As soon as our gear was loaded in the car, we drove across the interchange. Ben snapped a photo and we admired the line.