March 30, 2020 – Willamette Pass Dusk Patrol Redux

It was continuing to snow in the mountains, and with the COVID-19 pandemic having everything shut down, it was a good time to head back to the Pass in search of some late season powder turns. Like a few days earlier, I left work a couple of hours early, hoping to score a few runs on the backside before meeting up with Dan who was leaving his job at 4:00 pm. Upon arriving at my parking spot, it was snowing and there was 2-3 inches of fresh snow at the highway elevation…

The Suby at the Pass

I skinned up the familiar route of Timburr Glades and High Lead, and headed straight over to Peak 2 to check it out. The snow stake read 79 inches, up an inch from 5 days prior, but there was easily 8-10 inches of new snow on top of the previous new snow. I would later learn that by Wednesday morning (two days later), the stake would read 102 inches! I was stoked that nobody was on the back side, and dropped in to Northern for what was probably one of my top 5 runs of the season.

Ready to drop in

The decision to bring my Amplid Millisurf was a good one, and I floated on top of the pow, cranking face shot turn after face shot turn to the bottom. The fat skis on the Millisurf kept me floating on the skin track as well, and soon I was back on top ready for another lap. Lap 2 was equally as good as lap one, and I was super thankful to have the whole place to myself. I skinned back up one more time, and debated dropping in again, but needed to head to EPA to meet Dan before it got dark. Before I left, I snapped a pic of my beer of choice for the afternoon, as well as my board looking down from the Peak 2 chair…

Love Potion by Block 15 Brewing
Parting shot from Peak 2

I skinned over and met up with Dan at the top of EPA, and it was snowing, blowing and downright cold. We figured about 20 degrees or so. I had to add my puffy jacket under my shell to keep from freezing, and by the time we finished our beers and were ready to drop in, the daylight was waning pretty hard. We ended up skiing Success (RTS was blown off), and I didn’t snap any pictures since the light was so flat, which I regret. Nevertheless, the turns were sweet, and we ripped Success and By George all the way to the bottom. The skiing was so good, that we decided it was worth skinning back up for one more lap on the lower mountain.

Skinning up by headlamp

We headed back up, and by the time we got to the top it was still snowing hard. The skiing by headlamp on this evening proved to be more difficult than a few days earlier, since in was snowing so hard — kind of like driving with the high beams on during a snow storm. Even so, we managed to have a good time and navigate our way to the base area below. Back at the car, we were both stoked on another sweet powder day at the hill, and thankful for the opportunity to get out and enjoy it! With the gear put away, we dug out the car, and headed down the road. It would be another late night, but well worth it for another fun day at the Pass!