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Stemilt Basin

WA Cascades East Slopes Central
Posted by mikerolfs on 1/19/22 2:54pm

Who knows why we thought we might find better snow here, but Jtack and I decided to poke into the Stemilt basin in the recently designated winter non-motorized area to try to find good skiing. I dug a pit near the top and found 100cm of compact-able moist snow that tipped off the ground as a solid column. No result except that the crust crushed and fell away in pieces.

As for our snow surface optimism? We got three great turns off the top...

Followed by tree bomb debris and supporting crust slippery-ness:

Followed by an intermittent breakable crust that knocked Jamie down! (if you zoom in, you can see his tracks disappear and reappear in the supporting crust) Also, this area got the same 30" that everywhere else around Wenatchee got, and look at how much snow is gone after less than 2 weeks!

It was the kind of surface that had me wishing for both ski crampons and two whippet tips. (which I had not brought). Jamie sledded home and I skied back to my car through the ski area which was its own kind of terrifying. The uppermost groomed run was scraped clean and skied like an inclined ice rink. I was powerless to stop or steer. Cat out the window side skid. When I got to the cat track, I followed it all the way to midway. I don't think I've ever done that before. The groom was so hard, we could hear the skid noise of skiers in the area from the microwave tower!  There must be a good run out there somewhere! It is hiding though.

Railing turns on icy groomers is its own kind of fun... just not usually as fun on my touring gear! Still, you got out on a nice day, so you're winning I guess!

Kam you are right. I should go back to the ski area with appropriate gear and see if it is more fun. I was on my biggest skis and they are not the right skis for hard groom.

Mike has been witness to multiple outside shoulder/ head punch falls by me in this last desperate crust cycle. He has taken to saying “don’t get cocky” I don’t think it’s had the desired affect! 


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2022-01-19 22:54:32