It was another weekend of conservative skiing due to avalanche conditions, so we decided to explore the Kendall Knob area and try to stick to the trees as much as possible.

The danger level was moderate the night we made our decision, but it changed to High over night and we forgot to recheck it the morning of the tour. Had we known that we would have made different decisions, but thankful we had the opportunity to learn without consequence this time around.

Note: Remember to check the avalanche forecast the morning of the tour, as a change in overnight conditions can cause the danger report to adjust.

The Approach

We parked on WA-906 and had a nice chat with the family next to us getting ready to do some resort skiing, before heading towards the PCT North Trailhead.

Kendall Trees Approach Working our way up through the Kendall trees, making good time.

We worked our way up through the trees, making good time and passing a couple parties on the way. We shared our respective objectives for the day, discussing our thoughts on the snow conditions.

Just as we neared the top of the trees, we saw a skiier dropping down through trees, the powdery turns looked like fun.

Kendall ski lines Ski lines above Kendall trees.

We ended up going a little higher then we planned, but decided to traverse over anyways and get a closer look before making a decision on whether or not to drop back down to a more conservative crossing.

The steepness and exposure was concearning, but doesn’t look too bad. That said, we ended up misjudging it and got worse the closer we got. We move fast and cautiously, spread out from each other, as we examine each step for shooting cracks in the snow.

Gettin to other side and back into some trees was such a relief as that was the crux of the day.

After traversing some more through the trees we reached the top of the ridge and rip skins and decend down, getting a tiny huck off a downed tree, and coming to rest at an opening the banks of the lower Kendall Peak Lake.

We then worked our way through terrain that was at too low of an angle, making it more of a wallow, before seeing tracks up to the backside of the knob. We were happy to transition back into uphill mode, agreeing to never take that route again.

We finally got to Kendall Knob #2, but didn’t tag the true high pointi. The view over I-90 was pretty amazing, you almost forget you’re so close to civilaization at times.

Kendall Knob descent Descending off Kendall Knob through the trees.

We discuss the plan to get down through the trees, but it isn’t long before we unknowingly get off course. In the exciment of an open section we ended up following it too far right into steeper and denser trees.

We decided to stick it out, but while charachter building, it wasn’t exactly what I would call fun. Thankfully we both made it our without incident.

After what seemed like an eternity of tricky turns, we were relieved to finally get back to the PCT and follow it out.

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