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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ode to Old Ski Road

Ssshh-whump, ssshh-whump
Life is Good
On old Ski Road

Sorry I haven't blogged in a long time--life is busy, and frankly, I haven't been in the North Cascades too much lately (waiting/hoping for snow).  I've certainly been working on/for the North Cascades, and while such work is at the core of being a conservationist, not many pretty pictures or fun stories emerge from this important work.

The past week has seen cool temps and plenty of precipitation, so I figured conditions would be just right for a weekend ski.  As you can see from the pics, it was simply spectacular!  About a half-foot of fresh snow atop a firm, crusted foot of Cascade Concrete.  At 2,000' elevation, there was about 18" total, and at 2,400', there was more than two feet of snow.  Water content is relatively high, which is a good thing for glaciers and rivers.

I'm a bit surprised at the healthy low elevation snowpack, given the lack of La Nina conditions.  But things are shaping up to be another great year of snow sports and glacier maintenance in our North Cascades!  There have been as many winters over the past 30 years where there was no snow at this location as years where there has been this much.

Nothing like cutting track for a few miles, and visting the headwaters of a pristine river.  This is the Stillaguamish River--I've been exploring here for 30 years.  Each trip brings new understanding about the landscape, and affirms what is really of value and worth. 

 Check out this lovely scene of a temperate rainforest in winter.  She has icewater in her veins!

Dare I say that a road closed (in this case by snow) is not about access lost, but opportunity found.  Opportunity for quiet reflection, peace in mind, body and heart.
This place is within a 90 minute drive of more than 2.5 million people, but on this day, I saw no other humans once I left the plowed road..

Life is Good
On Old Ski Road!

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