The Y, Elevation 5,800ft
December 26-27, 2001
Ben, Charlie, (Troy attempt)
The Y seen from HW12.
A lot of people talk about skiing The Y but few get around to doing it. Tygh and I skied it 5 or 6 years ago. We were so intimidated by it that we actually carried a rope and harnesses. The conditions were perfect with over a foot of stable powder. Our fears were put to rest but my other friends have wanted to ski it ever since, Charlie in particular.
If you head from the east on a clear day you get a good look at it from the highway on your way to White Pass. If you head from the west it's probably worth driving an additional 3-4 miles east of the pass to make sure it has enough snow and that it hasn't slid recently. It's also a good idea to scout the hike back to the highway and leave a car at the pullout if possible.
We had two cars the first day that we tried it. Charlie and I drove up together and Troy met us at a pullout near where the above photo was taken. Troy loaded his stuff into Charlie's rig and we continued west to the pass. The inversion layer of the past days had yet to lift. That was fine because the powder of the past weeks had yet to melt. Conditions at the pass were cool and cloudy. We wore most of our gear minus skins. We were hoping to get a ride on the Great White but the lifties turned us down so we ended up sneaking a ride on the smaller lift. This left us with a short skin to the eastern edge of Holiday. If you are familiar with White Pass or choose to ride the lifts to the top then Holiday is the run you want to follow. Otherwise, get a map and follow the Twin Peaks trail. The ridge that you want to follow is fairly obvious on a clear day but you definitely want a map and compass if it's cloudy. We learned this the hard way.
To make a long story short, we started too far south and ended up getting lost. We spent countless hours skinning through the forest. I eventually realized that that wasn't the right way so I veered to where I thought it was and we ended up doing a complete circle. We made several attempts to continue, not knowing how far off we actually were, but we eventually gave up and followed our tracks back to Holiday. We took off our skins when we reached the grooms and after skiing a short ways down it was obvious where we should have gone. By then it was too late so we decided to call it a day. It would have been a fine day if we had gone up there with nordics or snowshoes but that is the exact opposite of what we had intended. Charlie needed something more so he bought a half-day ticket and skied with some friends. Troy headed back to Tacoma because he had to work the next day. I sat in the lodge full of regret. I was the only one in our group who had skied The Y before. It had been 5 or 6 years but Charlie and Troy were counting on me and I let them down.
That's it. End of story. Go to bed kids.