Tait’s Trail

February 19, 1983

The 15 minute ride up the Willamette Pass chair lift provided our party of 12 zealous skiers with both a neck wrenching, and breathtaking backwards view of Mts Diamond and Yoran — both sparkling like diamonds in the early morning light. And so began a challenging day of varied skiing ranging, in part, from fast to too dang’d fast!

The 0.6 mile trail with a 410 ft elevation drop leading from Eagle Peak to the plateau below provided the first of many opportunities for one and all to display their well honed abilities to avoid pitfalls and pratfalls while skiing in the rapid descent mode. Once the plateau was gained, we swung into the Tait’s Trail Loop — grateful for the gentler roller coaster terrain that provided us with an hour of pleasant, non-demanding skiing. Early on in this loop, we peered down from a scenic overlook and managed to sight the Rosary Lakes Basin through swirling, broken clouds. The easier skiing gave us more opportunity to savor the Wonderland appearance of trees so heavily laden with snow that their branches drooped to near vertical. Tait’s trail was definitely the high point of our day.

By 11:30 we were exiting the plateau via loop A, from which an access trail takes off, providing a connection with the PCNST at its highest point that lies between Rosary and Gold Lakes. It was at this junction that we paused for a well earned lunch.

The remaining six miles dropped a bit over 1,000 feet, and provided us with more thrills, chills and spills. Chris lost the basket off one of her ski poles in four feet of snow, and Tom labored gallantly to dig; it out. It was the only time all day that Tom was seen sprawled in the snow. The icy 3-mile slope from Lower Rosary back to our starting point was, as usual, a Trail of Horrors.

By 2:00 p.m. all hands had completed “The Grand Loop”. And by 2:05 all were ensconced on the upper floor of the lodge replenishing lost body fluids, and swapping yarns about an invigorating day of hard skiing. The participants, accomplished skiers all, were Emmy Dale, Tom Donnelly, Bob Doppelt, Bea Fontana, Jane Hackett, Dot Leland, Leona Mattson, Dave Predeek, Chris Shuraleff, Andy Thompson, Jan White and leader Bob Devine.

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