November 21, 2015 – Willamette Pass

Dan and I had to head to the Pass to go through the chairlift evacuation gear as part of the patrol room cleanup, so we figured we’d find some way to get some exercise after our we finished our obligations.  Plans were to ski if there was enough snow, or maybe brush some trees off some of the runs if there wasn’t.  Not expecting too much after the previous week’s, we left Springfield around 8:15 am, getting a leisurely start to the day.  Arriving at the Pass around 9:30 am, there wasn’t much snow on the south facing slopes.  An hour or so later after our patrol obligations were complete, we headed up in Dan’s pickup to see how far we could drive and what we might find.  We ran into some snow on the road around the base of Eagle’s Flight, and managed to drive to the big corner.

Looking west from KP

Looking west from KP

Even thought there was only about 6 inches of snow around 6000 feet, we had to check things out, and set about getting skins and boards ready to head up.  Shortly thereafter, we’d gained the ridge and were enjoying the views back to the east overlooking central Oregon and Odell Lake.

Looking out over Odell Lake

Matt and Odell Lake

We decided to skin over to Peak 2 to check out the conditions on the backside, and it was nice to enjoy the views north towards Maiden Peak and beyond.  I realized that even though I’d boarded the backside twice the year before, it had been two years since I’d enjoyed the views towards Maiden.

Peak 2 Chair

Peak 2 Chair

Looking down the backside, it was obvious there wasn’t enough snow for decent turns, even by our low standards, so we soaked in the views for awhile, before enjoying some turns back down the road to the saddle.

Dan skiing

Dan skiing below the Peak 2 lift shack

At the saddle, we decided to head up and check out the top of Eagle Peak.  Skinning over, I snapped a few shots of Dan and he returned the favor for me near the tree farm.  Each year when I return to the Pass, I’m always reminded of how beautiful the scenery is here in this part of the cascades…

Dan

Dan touring towards Eagle Peak

 

Matt

Matt at the tree farm

We made a few turns down from Eagle Peak along KP, then hiked back up to finish with a few turns down through the tree farm.  Dan grabbed the camera and caught a few shots of me riding through the softening rain crusted snow….

 

Matt

First turns of the season at the Pass

 

Matt

Cruising

At the bottom of the tree farm, we hiked back up to Southbound for one more mini-run before calling it a day with respect to skiing.  This run, our last, was definitely the longest as we cruised our way all the way back to the car across the flats of Upper Rosary run….

Dan

Dan skiing Upper Rosary

Back at the truck, we wasted no time finding our ice cold beers waiting in the snow.  After beers and lunch, we headed down the hill and stopped at Eagle’s Flight to do a little Brushing.  The temperatures had definitely started warming, and before long sweat was dripping from our brow’s as we cleared numerous small trees.  Hopefully the hard work will pay dividends later in the season when we enjoy pow laps on little to no base.

Dan

Dan cutting brush

After a couple of hours of cutting, we were beat and it was time to head down the hill.  Looking back at our work, we made significant progress and I’m definitely looking forward to getting back on the hill when the snow flies again.  Here’s a parting shot from the day…cutting brush on Eagle’s Flight with Diamond Peak in the background….

Matt

Brushing on Eagle’s Flight

 

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