Gold Lake - Rosary Lakes

April 9, 1995

The snow in the Willamette Pass area had been melting all the previous week, but on Friday and Saturday the area was dumped with about a foot of heavy new snow. Just what was needed to make an already challenging 12-mile, one-day ski trip even more demanding. Fortunately, I (Bill Montgomery) was accompanied by three gung-ho trail-breaking skiers (Dick Hildreth, Mike Landes and Royal Murdock). And break trail we did! From Willamette Pass to Gold Lake, up the Maiden Peak Trail to the PCNST. Shortly after lunch, however, I lost track of the blue diamonds and we found our-selves suddenly encountering someone else’s ski tracks. Well, as macho as we thought we were, I think we were secretly all glad that we could follow someone else’s tracks out. Until we realized that the broken trail we were following was our own! Well, at least it was a good trail. Of course, it only took us to the bend where I’d lost track of the blue diamonds, so it wasn’t much help. I realized I’d misinterpreted a blue arrow going in the opposite direction. I don’t even know why I’m admitting this, it’s as embarrassing as the bear I saw at Summer Camp last year. [For those who weren’t there, I thought I saw a grizzly bear and it turned out to be a mere black bear that had a remarkable ability to lie motionless like a log. In fact, many summer campers actually mistook it for a log!] As if that weren’t enough, one of my state of the art, Salomon backcountry boots broke. The thick metal loop that inserts into the binding simply fatigued and snapped. Suddenly, all that silly duct tape and rope I’d been carrying came in handy … in fact, I even “borrowed” more from Mike. At least I had a good excuse to not break trail. Somehow, despite my bungling and incompetence, we made it back through Rosary Lakes and down the trail to the car. And we even seemed to have fun!

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