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November 2, 2001, Heather Pass

WA Cascades East Slopes North
Posted by ema on 9/16/02 10:36am
Weather reports were calling for a 3000' freezing level on Friday, so my house mate and I skipped work to head up once again to Washington Pass. We reached the Heather Pass trailhead by 8:30 am to find some very balmy temperatures.

There was well over 2' of snow at the car and the trail had a nice skin track laid in from the day before. It was nearly raining in the forest as snow melted of the trees. While the weather had appeared threating, the clouds were definitely burning off as we climbed above timberline.

The heather pass/ maple pass area is a series of gentle ridgelines and open bowls just under 7000'. It was high enough to have avoided the melt-out going on lower down, and we found excellent skiing in about 10" of wind compacted powder on a plenty deep base. Conditions were somewhat treacherous on lee side slopes and I managed to ski cut a 12" deep, 60' wide slab that scoured a long north facing coulior. After that we stuck to mellower slopes before a thrilling run down the trail at dusk.

Temps are currently in the high 40's at the passes but the freezing level is dropping to 3000' for the next couple days. Might have to skip work again this week!


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2002-09-16 17:36:36