I was surprised at how far up the Ashlu Main we could drive. It was our first foray this season and we had no information on conditions from any other source. The plan was to head up the spur known as A-735 and then to the Buck-Zig Zag col. The turnoff is a few hundred meters after the Mile 25 Ashlu bridge but there was still no snow on the road. Our interest piqued, we kept driving up the mainline. A few smallish snow patches after the Mile 25.5 head pond didn't provide much hindrance to the Pathfinder. We were heading along the north bank to A-800. For a few years it was possible from the top of A-800 to connect with the higher A-730 thereby avoiding several kilometers of alder on the higher road. Recent reports indicated the lower road having itself become overgrown. Naifs that we were, we decided to see for ourselves.
We parked on A-Main about 500 meters before Stuyvesant Creek. A deeper snowpatch blocked the road as it descended slightly. A tracked vehicle had been up the road perhaps a week earlier. It was easy walking in its hard-frozen ruts. A-800 was snowed in to a depth of about 30 cm of consolidated snow and to our surprise had been recently brushed, probably last summer. If it hadn't a-been we'd have been severely punished with heavy bushwhacking.
A few kilometers up A-800 is a crucial junction. Unfortunately, the spur heading up to the right was not brushed out and this is the one normally used to gain A-730 about 300 or 400 meters higher. It looked formidable with skis so we just continued on the lower fork towards Pykett Creek. There were no major... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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