Stevens Pass, Icy Climb - Groomer Ski

5/5/21
WA Stevens Pass
823
3
Posted by JimD on 5/5/21 4:18pm

I woke up early this morning and decided to hit Stevens for some casual laps. The drive was nice, but I got there too early (8:30) for an easy climb - the clear night had frozen the snow solid. I started booting up Big Chief thinking I'd run laps there but the firm snow put me off. At the roll over into the bowl I had to decide what to do and gambled that I could make the climb up the bowl above and the steep exit from the top to access the softer back side that had been in the sun all morning. Without crampons, an axe, or whip-it I had to rely on my old snow climbing skills and the trad-dad mantra that the leader shall not fall. The run-out was ok, but it wouldn't have been fun for this old man to take a ride down that steep slope. This wasn't what I was expecting from an easy day at the closed resort! I was kicking two or three times at the crux to chop an edge for my boot, but then lucked out when it got really steep at the top the sun had hit it enough to allow me face in and kick half a boot for a secure platform. 

I skied Pegasus to the bottom and was surprised to find a lot of runnels and tread marks that I managed to avoid for the most part by skiing the edge. It wasn't until I was climbing back up that I figured it out when the snowmobilers started arriving from down valley. Not worth dropping down there again IMHO. They don't seem to be hitting the front though.

I skied Skid Road down and was happily surprised to find it freshly groomed! Don't know why they did that today, but it made for a sweet run back to the base. I climbed back up Big Chief for a final run on now softened snow around noon. Sure nice driving home on dry roads without the ski traffic.

“My Kingdom for an Ax - or even a Whippet”😄


I thought that Vail was banning all uphill traffic, even when the resort is closed?


I saw a sign 2 days ago that said no sledding. They can only ban for so long...It’s National Forest Land and once they are torn down, we should be able to use it. I guess unless they say they are getting ready for biking...


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stevens-pass-icy-climb-groomer-ski
JimD
2021-05-05 23:18:01