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Nordic Pass old-growth forest ski touring, Snoqualmie Pass, Washington
Turns All Year: Previous Home Page Galleries
This is a gallery of old-growth forest ski touring photos which appeared on the Turns All Year home page in the past. Thumbnail images on this page can be clicked to view the full-sized photos, and lead into a slide show sequence for the gallery. The photos are from a backcountry ski touring trip to Nordic Pass and Silver Peak bowl, near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington. Our skiing route led through old-growth forest to glades and forest on the northwest arm of Silver Peak.
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Turns All Year CD-ROM

The complete version of this photo gallery is now available on Turns All Year CD-ROM. Below you can view thumbnail photos from this gallery.

Turns All Year CD-ROM contains over 180 photo galleries, containing more than 3200 full-sized photos, from backcountry skiing and snowboarding trips in the Pacific Northwest.

from January 30, 2006:
Old-growth forest ski touring, Nordic Pass, Silver Peak bowl, Snoqualmie Pass, Washington, January 27, 2006
Breaking trail in sub-alpine forest at 3700 feet
Breaking trail in sub-alpine
forest at 3700 feet
Interminable old-growth forest near Nordic Pass
Interminable old-growth forest
near Nordic Pass
Ski tracks through the old-growth forest near Nordic Pass
Ski tracks through the old-
growth forest near Nordic Pass
Ski touring through big trees just short of Nordic Pass
Ski touring through big trees
just short of Nordic Pass
Skinning through old trees at the bottom of Silver Peak bowl
Skinning through old trees at
the bottom of Silver Peak bowl
Forest ski touring near the bottom of Silver Peak bowl
Forest ski touring near the
bottom of Silver Peak bowl
Easier going in the forest than the glades, Silver Peak bowl
Easier going in the forest than
the glades, Silver Peak bowl
Snowing blowing on a forested ridge in Silver Peak bowl
Snowing blowing on a forested
ridge in Silver Peak bowl
Whoa, Joe skis some funky terrain
Whoa, Joe skis some
funky terrain

Photos by Charles Eldridge
Backcountry ski touring trip report:
Nordic Pass, Silver Peak bowl, Snoqualmie Pass, Washington, January 27, 2006

   Joe and I started skinning up the nicely groomed runs by the Silver Fir lift at about 7:45 and took the Rockdale loop trail (not yet groomed) from Grand Junction over to the edge of the old-growth forest. In the open there were 12-16 inches of fairly nice (cohesionless, not too moist) new snow overlying the crust from earlier in the week. In the big trees, unfortunately, most of the new snow had gotten hung up high, and there were only about 4-5 inches of new snow in the most tree protected areas. This might have been ok if the underlying crusty snow had been smooth, but it was lumpy, cratered, and hard. Overall good coverage, though our route avoided the potential creek problems lower down in the forest. Made for pretty easy trailbreaking though when we stayed in the densest trees, and pretty soon we were at Nordic Pass.
   We dropped down to Windy Pass and then skinned up through the strip of trees between the huge clearcut and the bottom of Silver Peak bowl. The underlying refreezing snow here was much smoother and not as hard, and there was a little more new snow under the trees. We got over to the glades of the NW arm of Silver and skinned up through the trees, stopping where we were going to have to head out into the glades and their deeper snow (probably around 4800 feet). It was snowing and blowing pretty well there and there were some definite signs of the top few inches of snow becoming cohesive.
   Coming back to Windy Pass was mostly gliding with a few turns here and there. We had to re-skin to climb back to Nordic Pass, then it was mostly gliding in our track back to the XC trails, now groomed. The Silver Fir runs had been pretty well skied but it looked like everyone had already left, and the snow on the lower part was a typical Snoqualmie skier-packed moist and firm surface.
   With the amount of new snow, steeper non-forested terrain would probably have provided some good turns, but it sure was nice to be back skiing though the beautiful old-growth forest after (for me) a two year absence.
   Charles

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