March 21, 2020, Pilchuck Workout

3/21/20
WA Cascades Central W
1342
1
Posted by JimD on 3/22/20 8:55am
Following healthy guidelines I headed up for a little solo jaunt on my local peak. Heather Lake trailhead was packed when I got there around 10 am. Brought the bike for the first 3 miles of closed road. Was already tired when I hit the trailhead. Someone else had been up on skis in previous days, and also snowshoes, so their tracks helped. Luckily most of the hikers (there were a surprising number) went up the summer trail.

When I pulled onto the saddle at 3 pm I decided to call it good. The breakable crust and icy patches, mixed with little depressions of powder worried me and I wanted to keep a reserve to get down safely. Pure survival skiing for me - lots of long traverses and kick turns, but no falls. Not worth the road walk, but all good exercise. The road on the other hand was iced up when I hit it making for a great fast glide back to the bike. I felt sorry for the two young women I'd met on the road earlier in the day who made it all the way to the parking lot in their running shoes, but were just leaving when I passed them. I hope they made the car before dark.
A buddy and I went up on Thursday 3/19, didn't post because we didn't take any pictures.  Was probably about 2 miles walking past Heather Lake TH until we hit snow, able to skin from there only having to take skis off for one section that was melted out.  We too turned around before the summit, but were able to find some nice sun-softened snow in places.  Overall, probably was not worth the skin on the roads unless you were going to do an overnight at the lookout.  Bike would have been a great idea, although it was a fast ski out for us as well.
2020-03-24 19:45:00
sunvalleyskier

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JimD
2020-03-22 15:55:45