February 22, 2014 – Another day at the Pass

After an epic four days at Tam McArthur Rim, I was scheduled for a patrol day at the Pass on Saturday.  With the several feet of snow that fell in the past couple weeks, it promised to be a fun day.  I met several of the crew at the LCC parking lot first thing in the morning and we carpooled up Highway 58.  Pulling into the ski area, it looked like a couple of inches of snow had fallen overnight and the sun was starting to peek out from behind the clouds.  After the morning meeting, we filed out to open the mountain.  Before heading down for my first run, I snapped a photo of Raleigh and Todd with Odell Lake in the background – it’s hard to beat the scenery of Willamette Pass!

Raleigh and Todd ready for opening

Raleigh and Todd ready for opening

Since I was fooling around with the camera snapping a few pictures, I ended up opening KP, which was nicely groomed – in stark contrast to the steeper frontside runs that were icy gnar.  As I rode the EPA chair back to the top for a second time, I noticed a large crown fracture in the northeast bowl of Diamond Peak, which I ridden last June.  It appeared to be several hundred feet across and a couple feet deep at the crown face.  As I stepped off the lift, I snapped a picture of Diamond, but the avalanche isn’t apparent in the photo below…..

Diamond with a fresh winter coat

Diamond with a fresh winter coat

With all the backside runs open, it was time to hit up RTS with Raleigh and test out the snow on the hill’s steepest run.  The lighting was still looking ok for pictures, so I rode down first and set up to snap a few shots of Raleigh as he cruised down towards me…..

First turns down RTS

First turns down RTS

 

Raleigh in cruise mode

Raleigh in cruise mode

The snow didn’t disappoint, and even though it was skier cut, it was soft and nice.  I was on the hook to help out with sled training at 9:30, so we busted out three or four more runs on RTS, each one just as good as the last.  At 9:30, I met up with Joe and Jeremy, and we headed to Peak 2 with Toby, Dusty, Shannon & Brian to run the 100 and 350 sleds on Junes & Northern.  Running the 350 is always a treat, especially if the snow is soft.  Powder is really what the 350 is made for, but it still works in skier cut as T0by and Brian demonstrate below…..

Toby and Brian running the 350

Toby and Brian running the 350

 

Sledding down Northern

Sledding down Northern

After several loaded sled runs everyone headed in for a quick lunch.  Since it was Saturday, the BBQ was out and hamburgers were on the menu.  After lunch, sled training resumed, and we moved over to Down Under for several runs.  In the shot below, Dusty and Shannon are pulling Joe on the 100.

Shannon & Dusty running the 100

Shannon & Dusty running the 100

Around 3:00, we ended sled training for the day and I scurried off to enjoy a few more runs on the front side before returning to Peak 2 for sweep.  Sweep on the backside went off without a hitch, and I hiked over to EPA to get ready for front side sweep.  Timburr was the run remaining to be assigned when I arrived at the top, and I was looking forward to sweeping it (not having been down it yet this year).  The snow on Timburr was soft and nice, but I didn’t envy the patroller who would open it the following morning, knowing it would be an icy mess.  After the remaining runs were swept, everyone gathered in the patrol shack for our evening meeting, and enjoyed a frosty Oakshire beer after a fun day.  All in all I’d have to say it was another good day of patrolling at the Pass.  Here’s a parting shot of the chair from Peak 2 sweep…..

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Last Chair

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