April 25, 2002, Silver Creek, Wenatchee Nat Forest

WA Cascades East Slopes Central
Posted by Charles on 7/14/02 10:02am
The forecast promised a nice spring day, and I was hoping for nice spring snow to match. I got it - great snow everywhere, smooth, fast, and nice turning, in the woods and in the open. The road to the trailhead (2400') was passable until the last 100', and the trail was mostly bare until it entered shady slopes at 3000'; after that it was continuous snow up to the lip of the hanging valley (3600'), where there was maybe 6' of snow. Telemetry suggested that Snoqualmie Pass had gotten 8" of new snow three days earlier, but little seemed to make it this far east of the crest - a trace had filtered through the trees at 3600' and about 1" was present on south-facing slopes at 5200'. That trace in the forest was just enough to smooth out the snowpack's slight bumpiness, and the firm snow made for fast travel up the 4 miles of valley which lead to meadows and open slopes.

I did runs on E- and S-facing open slopes up to 5200', and the snow was perfect - up to 1" sun-softened surface on a smooth, firm, and stable base of medium-grained corn. A few slopes didn't look so perfect: south-facing greater than about 30 degrees (littered with old pin wheels) and north-facing (appeared less consolidated and covered with pin wheels). I tried a new variation on coming back down the valley, staying skier's left of Silver Creek until 4000', making a 1200' run from open slopes of West Peak into big-tree old-growth, all on the best-skiing snow I have ever had there. The rest of the trip back down the valley was enjoyable on the very fast but turnable forest snow. Warm sunshine, waxless skis, no skins, no gaiters - spring has arrived (at least for one day)!

Photos from this trip can be viewed  here.


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2002-07-14 17:02:51