March 4, 1997
Two Obsidians had signed up for the trip to Crater Lake scheduled for Tuesday, March 4.
One of them canceled after realizing that March 4 was a weekday.
That left two retired professors with the easy choice of either sticking to the original plan of
leaving at 8 a.m. and driving past mountains of fresh snow in the nearby Cascades four hours to the
south entrance of Crater Lake with its own mountains of fresh snow, or of staying in bed an hour
longer, then driving an hour to Salt Creek Falls SnoPark and heading up the nearest ski trail
along Hwy. 58: Fuji Shelter.
We left the Rabbit at the Nordic trailhead but chose to save time by skiing out on the smoothly-packed
I hacked and clawed my way up the snow wall that blocked little-used Fuji Mountain Road from the
highway, and pulled Dick up behind me with the ski pole.
Then it was breaking trail in deep, untouched, white fluff.
Half a mile later, Dick wondered whether Road 5899 towards Pengra Pass might not be an easier trail
to break … It was.
Again, we were the only car in the SnoPark (well, on the way out of Salt Creek Falls we had shared
the road with a huge snow plow that had previously threatened to eat the Rabbit with two professors
The heavily-traveled old ski trail under the six inches or so of new snow provided a firm footing,
and we made easy progress to the intersection with the Westview Trail, where trailbreaking began
again, in earnest.
It wasn’t far, though, to the shelter (it does seem more than half a mile from the parking
lot, however), which truly provided us with west views.
After lunch came the reward for the earlier trail breaking: a nice, gentle run in our own tracks
back out to the road, the easy poling back to the car.
Enjoying an après-ski coffee and strawberry-rhubarb pie in Oakridge were
Obsidians Dick Barrar and Helmut Plant (leader).