April 29, 2009 – 3rd Annual Willamette Pass Dusk Patrol

Todd and I waited until the end of the month for our 3rd annual April Willamette Pass Dusk Patrol in hopes of getting some fresh snow two years in a row. The previous year we were blessed with unbelievably light and deep powder on the 28th of April. Though we had a bit of fresh snow, this year’s conditions were nice, but not comparable to 2008.

Todd enjoying earned April turns at Willamette Pass

As usual, we left work in Springfield around 2:30 pm and made the drive to the Pass in just over an hour. The skies were cloudy when we arrived, and spitting snow off and on. We started skinning up By George, and had the mountain to ourselves as usual. I love getting out to the ski area after the season is closed. Earning turns after work when no one is around is always special to me. We traversed over to Timburr and were able to skin all the way up without incident. The snow was about 3-4 inches of new over a wet base. Towards the top, it got a bit gloppy on the bottoms of our skins. We reached the summit of Eagle Peak in quick time, and spent some time enjoying the weather and sitting on the chair.

Todd hanging out on the summit of Eagle Peak

After assembling my board and packing skins in the pack, we chose to ride down Success. The turns down were nice, with the fresh snow providing a nice smooth soft ride over the wet base.

Matt enjoying turns on Success

At the bottom of Success, we cut it loose and made enjoyable turn after turn down By George to the parking lot. I filmed most of it with my point and shoot while riding, which proved to be a bit difficult but I did manage to get the hang of it after a few turns. We rode right down to the asphalt by the patrol shack and then hiked to my pickup where the cold beers were waiting. The taste of the cold suds after another great dusk patrol were a delightful way to end a nice day in April at Willamette Pass.

The brew!