March 11, 2018 – Patrol Room Cleanup

Sadly, March 11th was the last day of the 2017-2018 season at Willamette Pass. Even sadder was the fact that the area only opened for a three day period for the entire season. Nevertheless, Dan and I headed up for a “duty” day to clean up the patrol room on Sunday for what would be the official last day of the year, even though the area had been closed since mid-February. It didn’t take long for the few folks who showed up to put the sleds away, take care of the avy gear and radios, organize the aid room, and otherwise clean up the patrol room. By 11:00 am we were done, and gearing up to find some corn on mountain. 

Getting ready to head out

In addition to Dan, Greg and Mark joined us for the skin up on a beautiful sunny day. The snow was frozen as we started out, and the skin went quickly — soon we were heading up Eagle’s, which was just starting to corn…

Heading up Eagle’s
Looking out over Odell

Dan and I topped out before Greg and Mark, and elected to skin over to Peak 2 to check out the conditions. It had been warm the day before, and didn’t appear like anything on the northern aspects would corn, so we decided to head back and try the southern aspects of the front side. Before leaving, I snapped a few pictures of a big roller ball that had dropped down off the cornice with Mt Bachelor in the background….

Roller ball on Peak 2

The turns back down from Peak 2 to the saddle were quite fun, and we made the short hike up to EPA to meet up with Greg and Mark. The sun was beating down pretty nicely, and I captured the below shot of Dan on the hike up…

Hiking up to EPA

At the top, we cracked open a beer and enjoyed a snack along with the views. A few minutes later, Dan and I bid farewell to Greg and Mark, who were going to ski Charlie’s, and dropped in to Timburr. The snow was smooth and near perfect corn, and we enjoyed prime turns down to the glades below…

Dan skiing Timburr
Looking back up Timburr

We put a skin track back in directly up Timburr, and it didn’t take long to reach the top, where our half full cold beers were waiting. Looking out to the south, Diamond was gleaming in the sunlight. We soaked in the views for a few minutes, then decided to do another run on Timburr to give RTS some time to get a little more sun.

2nd lap corn on Timburr

Run 2 was just as good as run 1, and again we skinned back up to the top. By now, the sun had worked it’s way around to RTS, and our hope was for soft snow on the steepest and best run on the mountain. Dropping in, the snow was smooth, and we enjoyed excellent turns on the upper half of the run…

Dan skiing RTS
Looking out over RTS

Unfortunately, the lower half of the run had slid a day or two earlier due to the warmer weather, but it still skied ok. Dan snapped a few photos of me riding down through the manky debris, including the shot below…

Matt riding the debris

The bottom third of the run was prime, and after exiting through the avy debris, we ripped turns down to Amber’s Way, ultimately ending up on Swoosh for a fun run back down to the car, officially ending the “patrol” season for 2017-18. Although it wasn’t a great year by any stretch of the imagination, I am still thankful for being able to get out in the mountains with friends to enjoy earned turns, and hopeful that next year brings a deep winter snowpack and a long lift-serviced season.