November 22, 2020 – Patrol Rm Cleanup + Turns

The middle of November means it’s time for the patrol room cleanup, and although this year’s event was both delayed and much smaller than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I still found myself heading up to the pass looking for some double duty of work and play. With the avalanche gear in tow, I arrived at the Pass a few minutes before 9:00 am. A short time later, there were six of us that were organizing gear, checking evac equipment, and restocking medical supplies. Dan arrived around 11:00 am, and after an hour of making sled packs and checking the Cascade 100’s, it was time for a bite to eat and to don skins and head out for a few laps.

Ready to hit the skin track

Ski area sign

We set out and headed up KP, which looked like a herd of elephants had trampled all over it, and eventually worked our way up towards Charlie. The skin track, such as it was, had been post-holed by numerous people, and also had snowshoe tracks in it.

Heading up lower Charlie

 We worked our way up Charlie, abandoning the track less than half way up as it crisscrossed the run numerous times. Eventually, we topped out, and headed back to see what Peak 2 looked like. A few minutes later, we arrived at the top of Peak 2, and the snow state read 42 inches. There were several tracks down Northern, but skier’s left looked pretty good, so we cracked a beer, had a few swigs, and prepared to drop in. My beer for the day was a tasty Batsquatch Hazy IPA from Rogue Ales

Batsquatch from Rogue

After stepping into our bindings, I dropped in first, made five or six really nice turns, and set up to shoot a few shots of Dan as he rolled over the top.

November pow turns on Northern

We skied the run to the bottom, and were surprised to see that there wasn’t a skin track up Escalator. Regardless, we set one up and out and headed back to the top for another run down Northern. At the top, we finished our beers, and then headed down. Our second run was equally as nice as the first, and it was nice to utilize our skin track back up.

Heading back to EPA

The light was starting to wane, so even though it would have been nice to get a 3rd run in on the backside, we decided to head back to EPA to check out RTS. It was starting to get a bit chilly by the time we stepped into our bindings and slipped off the top, but the snow was soft and the coverage was looking pretty nice…

Matt at the top of EPA

Dropping into RTS

RTS skied was in decent shape, however there were two to three large trees down on the upper half of the run on skiers right. Most likely they had fallen a few weeks prior during the big wind storm. Otherwise, the work we’d done cutting over the few seasons appeared to be paying off…

Cruising down lower RTS

We skied Lois Lane out, and headed over to make turns down to the bottom via Swoosh. Cruising by the intersection with Duck, I was reminded of the last time we were there, when I tried to ride a 50 foot dirt patch in much less snow. We hung to skiers left on Swoosh, and the turns were quite nice tucked in close to the trees.

Heading down Swoosh

We worked our way down Swoosh, and the light was getting pretty flat by the time we reached the bottom. After a brief stop, we skied down to the lodge and our cars in the parking lot. We hung out at the cars for a little bit, eating a bite and changing into warm clothes, then pulled out past the gate just as it was getting dark. Dan locked the gate behind us, and that brought another patrol room cleanup day to an end. All in all, it was a pretty good day, and I’m looking forward to the season starting at the Pass soon!

At the bottom of Swoosh

Back at the cars

 

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