Evergreen Mountain via SW ridge

The Mountaineers group parked on Road 5630 (along Rapid River) at a gravel pit shortly before an abandoned logging road starts up the south side of Evergreen Mountain's S/SW ridge. The abandoned logging road is shown on USGS but not Green Trails. I found the old, regrowing logging road quite pleasant, it had lots of greenery and a population of grouse (?) calling from the brush. The road eventually becomes a trail then follows the nose of the ridge all the way to the summit.

The only difficulties we encountered were centered around me, specifically my right foot, which ended up on the wrong side of a whoomphing crack running from a cornice at around 5,300' on the ridge. When I cracked the cornice I was dumbly following in the snowshoe tracks of the three people ahead of me. It made a heart-stopping whoomph sound but luckily it only cracked an inch or two then stopped moving. (Note: we weren't *on* the cornice, but we were too close since cornices can crack diagonally upslope, as Bruce Tremper says, "Cornices have a nasty habit of breaking farther back than you expect.") Mary, who looked back at the sound, later told me that I triggered an avalanche below.

At the start of the day when I turned on my avalanche beacon at the trailhead, I asked the other party member with a beacon if his was on. He said no, he'd turn it on if he felt like it would be useful. He was one of the three people ahead of me who also walked on the spot where the cornice cracked. I asked him later and found that he never got around to turning his beacon on.

Copyright © 2004 Gabriel Deal.