Protected: October 5, 2019 – Mt Bachelor Patches

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Protected: June 9, 2019 – Three Fingered Jack, North Bowls

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Protected: June 2, 2019 – Mt Jefferson, West Rib

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Protected: May 27, 2019 – Willamette Pass

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May 22, 2010 – Willamette Pass Dusk Patrol

Due to a variety of factors, including the weather, it had been awhile since I’d been out for some turns, and I was jonesing. Dan had been up to the Pass a few days earlier, and said the snow was holding, so we made plans to head out after work for some dusk patrol turns. We met up at Dan’s house around 4:30 pm, and headed up to the Pass shortly thereafter. The weather started to sour on our drive up, and a few miles past Oakridge it was raining pretty hard.

Gearing up at the snowpark

The rain turned to a light drizzle as we pulled into the snowpark to gear up, and by the time we reached the pass there were only intermittent rain drops. We set out on foot, with the southside of the Pass looking pretty sparse. The weather felt more like March than May, but we weren’t complaining — it was nice to be hiking in the cool temps.

Heading out for some turns

Dan hiking up By George

We worked our way up the snow-less By George, finding a rental ski along the way, which we placed near the road in case management might be out later in the week. After 20-30 minutes of hiking, we found snow at mid-mountain, and were able to switch to skins at the base of Amber’s Way.

Patches of snow on By George

A short skin later, we were standing at the base of RTS, looking up the run at what was pretty damn nice coverage for the end of May! The weather was holding and we were stoked. We put in a nice bootpack up the run to the top in the near perfect snow. There’s just something special to me about climbing and skiing RTS — it’s probably my favorite ski run in the world and a place that’s defines me a person…

Looking up RTS

Dan approaching the top

As we approached the top, there was a thin ribbon of snow that went up along skiers left that had a couple of spicy sections in it. We followed it to the top, which was the end of the snow and only a short distance from the top of EPA, and decided it was good time to enjoy a cold beer. I pulled my beverage of choice for the afternoon out from my pack and buried it in the snow…

Light Me Up Lager

A few minutes later, the beer was cold, and so were we after sitting around in the wind up top. We drank half the beer, leaving the rest for a second lap, and dropped in. Dan dropped first, and negotiated through the cruxy section of small trees and stumps. I came down next while Dan shot a few pictures. You know what RTS stands for…..Rocks, Trees, Stumps…

Sliding down through the crux

Turns down RTS

We made turns back down to our packs at the bottom of the run, and the snow quality was excellent. Halfway down the run, I grabbed the camera back from Dan and fired off a few shots of him enjoying the turns….

Dan skiing RTS

Post work turns on RTS

At the bottom, we were stoked, and quickly put the boards on our backs and booted back up for another lap. Halfway up, the weather, which had held off for the duration of our trip, moved in and started to rain. At the top, we drank the rest of my beer and enjoyed turns back down for a second lap…

Turns in the fog

Evening turns on RTS

Back down at the bottom, we shouldered our packs, and made turns out via Amber’s Way, which brought back fond memories from earlier in the year during patrol. We had to cross a patch of dirt, and them were able to link turns down to skier’s right on ByGeorge and the haul road.

Dan ready to head out

A quick boot across the haul road led us to High Lead, where we were able to link turns on a thin ribbon of snow down to the intersection of Timburr Glades.

Skiing down High Lead Glades

The end of the snow

At the end of the snow, we threw the boards on the packs and made the short hike down Timburr Glades to the base area just as it started to get dark. Back at the car, we changed quickly into dry clothes, grabbed a quick bite, and headed down the road. Although we ended up home late and had to work in the morning, it was definitely worth the effort for an evening of good corn!