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General Conditions on May 13, 2018
The road to Northgate is rough. Two wheel drive, low clearance vehicles can make it but it will be a long bumpy ride. High clearance vehicles recommended. Leaving the trailhead, skiers and snowboarders can expect to carry their gear for 1,000 vertical feet before encountering continuous snow. One can take the trail or the climber's gully for a more direct approach (photo). At approximately 8,000', I reached the top of the gully and emerged from a gap onto a bench where continuous snow was reached and I put on my skins. I skinned up to 10,400' and transitioned at 2pm. The upper mountain was intermittently obscured by clouds at this point and I briefly encountered a very light rain. Winds were light and calm. When the clouds cleared I observed three skiers descending the Hotlum Bolam Ridge route via "The Ramp", a line of snow that runs up from left to right between two rock bands above the Hotlum Bergschrund- from ~12,000-13,000ft. Very good, smooth corn snow was observed on my descent .