April 10, 2021 – Closing Weekend at the Pass

After a pretty fun dusk patrol the night before, Dan and I woke early at the cabin, anticipating the final weekend of lift accessed turns at the Pass. Both of us were on the schedule with P3, and it looked to be a decent day, with a break in the warm weather we’d been having. We had a hearty breakfast of sausage and eggs, and headed out the door around 7:30 am to make the short drive to the Pass.

Morning at the cabin

There was a  half inch of new snow at the Pass when we pulled in, and I donned the patrol coat and radio for the last time of the season. Heading over to the patrol room, it was bittersweet for the season to be coming to an end, but I knew we’d have many days of turns in the backcountry ahead of us before the snow was gone.

Dan and Brian before the morning meeting

After a morning meeting, we headed out and helped get the ramp and fencing setup prior to the lift opening. The area was running a little slow, so after our work was done I snapped a few pictures…

Waiting on EPA
EPA base from the patrol room

Around 8:45 am, we finally loaded the lift and headed to the top. I was tasked with opening Timburr and Timburr Glades — not the most pleasant task. The snow was super frozen skier cut, and nearly chattered the teeth out of my head. Nevertheless, I made it down, and helped set up the closure at Sleepy…

Quin, Ian and Dan ready to load
Kris running the Sleepy Closure

It was basically one and done to get the mountain open since Peak 2 wasn’t running, so I headed back up with Dan to check out the grooming on Charlie. The corduroy was quite good, and Dan and I ripped it up for a couple of runs. I snapped a few shots of him slashing turns on the first run down…

Cranking turns on Charlie
Dan headed down Charlie

After three or four runs, I headed to the parking lot for a quick break, and found Quin, Matt and Dan hanging out. A few minutes later, Dan and I headed up to Peak 2 with Ian to get all of the patrol gear packed onto the sleds and bring it down for the season.

Quin, Matt & Dan in the parking lot
Ian and Dan headed up Peak 2

Once at the top, we pulled out the two Cascade 100’s and the 350, and set about loading them up with the medical gear, evacuation gear, boo, signs, and packs. It didn’t take too long, and we had Peak 2 ready to be closed down for the year. It was nice hanging out on top of Peak 2 with nobody around, and I was looking forward to being back with my splitboard in a few weeks. Before we left, I snapped a picture of us loaded up and ready to go…

Loading gear atop Peak 2
Closing Peak 2 for the season

Dan and Ian kicked off, and started out down Southbound, with sights set on the Kris Kross closure to grab the gear there as well. I followed behind, towing one of the Cascade 100’s, and snapped a few pictures, before we all headed down Rosary and KP to the base.

Ian and Dan headed out
Picking up the Kris Kross closure

The ski down with loaded sleds was pretty fun, and it didn’t take long to reach the base. I ditched my sled at the bottom, and headed back up EPA in order to get to my bump slot.

Ian arriving at base
Hanging at bump

Hanging out at bump was pretty nice, and was something I didn’t get a chance to do much during the season with P2, either because I was hill chiefing or because we were so incredibly busy most of the year. I was a bit bummed however when a few folks headed back to Peak 2 to pull the tower pads — I wanted to get one more lift ride back there, but it wasn’t to be. Oh well, next year! After bump, I skied a few runs down RTS, which remained super icy. In fact, I think it was as icy as I’ve ever seen it. Success was really nice however in the afternoon sun, and I made several laps on it, adjusting tower pads on EPA as I went. The afternoon passed quickly, and soon we were ready for upper mountain sweep.

P3 ready for sweep

I ended up sweeping Rosary, and although we had to wait for a couple of slow skiers, we worked our way down to the parking lot with plenty of time for the evening meeting and social hour afterwards. The meeting went quickly, and just like that my patrol season was over. There would be one more day of skiing in the morning, but I had several things to take care of on the home front. But that would be tomorrow — for now, it was time to enjoy a cold beer in the parking lot. My beer of choice for the day was a super tasty Cocoa Cow from Sunriver Brewing Co. The pic below was from the day before at Gold Lake snowpark.

A tasty Cocoa Cow from Sunriver Brewing

For the first time all season, the parking lot scene felt like “normal.” With all of patrol fully vaccinated (but still taking some precautions), it was super nice to enjoy the apres’ skiing activities. Dave even busted out the shot ski, complete with pixie cups that were changed out each time it was used.

Shot ski in the parking lot

An hour or so later, it was finally time to hit the road, and call it a season. All things considered, it was a pretty damn good year at the Pass, despite the issues presented by COVID-19, and despite the near record number of people. I’m already looking forward to next year, and hope the snow flies early and often!