April 5, 2007 – Willamette Pass Dusk Patrol

Todd and I left work early to get some evening turns in at Willamette Pass for the first of what would become an annual event -an after work April Dusk Patrol. The drive up Highway 58 went quickly and the weather was nice and sunny when we arrived in the parking lot. The resort has been closed for a few weeks now, but there’s still good coverage for those willing to earn their turns. We shouldered our packs and started skinning up By George around 5:30 pm. Skinning up was pleasant in the afternoon sunshine, but it was quite warm. At the top of By George, we traversed over to Timbur and were able to skin about 1/2 the way up before switching to booting for the last pitch since the snow had mostly melted out on the South exposure.

Hiking near the top of Timbur

Standing on the top of Eagle Peak at 6,666′ by 6:45 pm, we enjoyed some Deschutes Cinder Cone beers along with the views south to Odell Lake and Diamond Peak. I love hanging out at the top of the Pass after ski season is over, it’s so peaceful and serene, and there’s never anyone around!

Looking off towards Odell Lake & beyond

After about 20 minutes of relaxing, the sun began to set to the West and it was time to begin the descent to the truck. We did snap this photo of both of us with Todd’s before we headed down though……

Matt & Todd atop Eagle Peak on a great April evening

The ride down was decent, as the snow had firmed up quite a bit from earlier. Most of our pictures didn’t turn out because there wasn’t enough light, but take my word for it – it was fun! We made turns all the way to the parking lot and had the whole mountain to ourselves. There’s something very enjoyable about skipping out on an afternoon’s work to head to the mountain and make evening turns, and the tradition of an April Dusk Patrol has begun!