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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Trip Report: A First Ski Trip of the Winter!

A trip report came in that we had to share:
Just Barely Enough    -It has been a sparse winter in terms of snow, with the lower elevations of the Cascades snow-free thus far, save for a day of snow here or there that quickly melts away.  Despite frigid temps over the past couple of weeks, it has been dry (not unusual). But suddenly the forecast called for "snow overnight, with rain by afternoon." So I took my chances and headed up, carrying hiking boots just in case there wasn't enough snow.  I left late enough to allow the plows to clear any problems on the Mountain Loop, and sure enough, on my way out, passed the plow on it's way back in from Deer Creek. I was able to drive to Sunrise Mine road, where there was just barely enough snow to ski on!  I could have driven the road, but why drive what can be a scenic ski tour??  And scenic it was--dry, with the high peaks of the Stilly headwaters flirting with the clouds. (See pics.) The skiing was quite enjoyable--at times I was able to lock my ankles together and slalom with my 210cm XC skis. I feel cold air rushing in to my lungs, frosty wisps of exhalations, my heart working in rhythm with my legs, my whole being at one with the world around me. Then the clouds and rain came--I glanced at my watch:  12:15.  Quite a forecast--rain in the afternoon was spot on!  I continued skiing until about 1:30, when it really started coming down.  I headed out, the snow thinning under the deluge. It was just barely enough!
Stilly Headwaters                                                  Morning Star Peak 

Del Campo

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