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Glorious Metal Dome Loop - Again
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.28 - 04:21:05
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1287m
Participants: Betsy Waddington, Dave Williams, Matt Nodwell, Darlene Anderson, Robin Tivy
Difficulty: 3: Some route finding going up, and lots of route finding coming down. Snow was excellent, temperature -3C.
A repeat of last year's loop route. Fewer snowmobiles, all with some mufflers. Descent on north side through trees untracked.
Metal Dome has long been a February destination, but over the years, the standard trip route has changed numerous times. The latest is a loop route: up the south ridge, then down the north Glacier and out via a long traverse on the logging road. It is easy to reach with any car. Route finding can be tricky both up and down, so it's handy to download a track log onto your GPS.

History: Over the years, the best routes on Metal Dome have varied. In the 1980's and 1990's the standard route to Metal Dome was up the south ridge. But when the snowmobiles took over the area, self propelled skiers were displaced and Metal Dome fell into disuse. But after the 2010 Olympics, a snowmobile free zone was established and the Callaghan Valley Road was paved. This made it possible to start at a parking lot at a "Dogsled" staging area and go up the north side of Metal Dome. The original Dogsled launch area was close to the present parking area at Metal Dome Parking Area. From the Dogsled area I was on numerous trips were a route was worked out by going to the very end of the road, then up through the trees and steep gulleys to reach the north glacier. In those years the standard trip became to go both up and down from the north. The Dogsled operation was moved a bit further south on the same road, and a backcountry ski parking area was standardized where it is now. The final evolution was to do a loop rather than the up and down. So last year we did two trips starting from the same parking lot, but going south. The second trip last year we went all the way south and then hit the south slopes, from which it is a easy climb to the summit and then over the top and down the steep north route. It was an interesting route, in spite of going through snowmobile terrain of the south...

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