April 10, 2020 – Willamette Pass Dusk Patrol

After a productive day at work that started with an early public meeting, I left the office a little after 1:00pm and headed up to Pass for some dusk patrol turns. The plan was to meet Dan, who was leaving town shortly after me, and search for some fun April turns. With COVID-19 restrictions still in full effect, I pulled into the Waldo Lake pullout and readied my gear.

At the Waldo pullout

From there, it was a short drive up to the Pass, and I was able to begin skinning within a few minutes of parking at the gate. Coverage at the area was still holding up pretty well, and it looked like a few snowmobiles had visited the snow as well. It was warm as I started out, and I was happy when I rounded the corner on KP and was able to find some shade….

The Lodge
Looking up By George

I followed KP up to Good Time, and noticed some ski tracks and sno-mo tracks on the run, so continued on to Eagles. Eagles also had several sno-mo tracks on it, and was quite soft on the skin up. Before too long, I was up top and back on KP, enjoying the views out over Odell Lake…

The view out over Odell Lake

At the top, I called Dan, who was on his way up and had left the car a few minutes earlier. To kill time, I headed over to Peak 2 to check out the conditions. There was over 60 inches at the snow stake, and it looked like the sno-mo’s had hammered the backside as well. I toured back to EPA, and snapped a few pics while waiting for Dan to arrive.

Diamond through an EPA chair
SkyRyze Red from Pelican

A few minutes later, Dan arrived and we enjoyed a few lazy minutes at the top of EPA. Given the social distancing protocols in effect, we took appropriate precautions by masking up and staying 6 feet apart:)

Social distancing atop EPA 🙂

We decided to try a run on the frontside first, and dropped into Success. The snow was rather soft, and after a few turns, we worked our way through the trees over to High Lead. The snow wasn’t a whole lot better there, but the turns were still fun and we skied down to the glades before stopping to switch to skins and head back up….

Turns on Success
Dan approaching the Glades

Back at the top, it was time to crack open our beers, which had been chilling in the snow during the previous run. Sitting at the top of EPA, kicking back a cold one, and admiring the scenery never gets old. Once the beers were finished, it was time to drop in to RTS. As we suspected, it was soft as well, but still skied nicely given the slope angle.

Matt riding RTS

From the looks of things, it had been skied several times during the week, but we still had a blast ripping turns down the slope. Dan set off a decent side wet slide up top, but other than that, we had great turns….

April turns on RTS
Looking back up RTS

At the bottom, we paused for a second to discuss options, and both of us felt like By George would probably ski pretty well. We headed down Amber’s Way and out onto George, and after a couple of turns it was obvious we made a great choice. The snow was really nice corn.

Looking out to the west from the bottom of RTS
Matt at the bottom of George

I figured eighted Dan’s turns all the way down, and we were both stoked on the run at the bottom. We skied down to the lot, made the short walk to the cars, and both agreed that even though the conditions weren’t all-time, it was definitely nice get out and stretch the legs for some after work tuns.