E was still too committed to getting stuff done around the house today, but it was way to gorgeous outside to miss out on the powder, so Ty and I headed up to the mountain for some turns. Due to the obvious advantage of elevation with this event, I decided to bring Ty for his first trip into the sidecountry and backcountry off the Wilderness Lift, where we’d be able to check out a lot of wind-protected terrain in the 3,000’ range and see how it fared in terms of fresh powder.
We arrived up at the village (~2,100’) near 11:00 P.M. and the temperature was already around 20 F, then we hopped on the Wilderness Lift to get to its summit (~3,050’). Along the way, I was amazed at how good the conditions looked in the entire 2,000’ to 3,000’ elevation range. There was clearly plenty of powder around where the resort hadn’t groomed, and the skiers and riders below us were making the sounds of turns on packed powder, not ice. I doubted that the amount of snow they’d received would hold up on the steepest terrain, but on the beginner and intermediate runs we saw, it looked really good.
We strapped on our skins and headed off on
We eventually came down the front side of the mountain and explored a new section of woods off Turnpike, finding powder that was sufficient for all but the steepest shots. The snow had definitely accumulated with less substance as one dropped in elevation, but I did a depth check in the woods at ~2,200’ when we were almost back down to base elevation and found 5 inches of accumulation. The skiing was really quite good right down to the village elevations, and this is one of those times when
The Timberline lift is down due to mechanical issues, and there were certainly a few tracks in the powder on the Trails of Timberline (possibly from people that had earned turns or were doing car shuttling), but the powder definitely didn’t look as substantial down at that elevation (~1,500’) as it did at the main base. When we were leaving the mountain the temperatures had climbed into the upper 20s F due to the sun, and it was just over 30 F back down at the house (495’).
Despite all the gloom and doom I’ve heard over the past week about what was going to happen to the ski conditions, if you can get up into the untracked powder in the higher elevations around here you won’t be disappointed – it’s absolutely mid winter delightful. It looks like there are a couple more gorgeous days in the 20s F on tap for this long weekend, so if you can find a way to get out to the right places, there is a lot of powder for the taking.
A few pictures from today are attached below:
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