Mountain View Shelter

January 2, 1999

Maxwell SnoPark is just a few miles west of Three-Fingered Jack on Hwy. 22. In recent years, the trail and shelter facilities have been greatly improved at this off-the-beaten-path SnoPark. The trails are well marked with diamonds, all junctions are marked with numbered posts and maps, and there is a wonderful cabin that can shelter 15 people per night free of charge, just two miles from the trailhead. Back-country skiers will find plenty of telemark shots in large clearcuts in the rolling hills and ridges near the shelter.

Our group car pooled from Eugene in the fog, to find sunny blue skies on Santiam Pass. The previous night had been clear and cold, and we found difficult skiing conditions on very hard, icy snow. We made good progress on a direct, two-mile route to the shelter. Our final climb to the shelter was marked as a difficult trail, and the icy conditions were no help to some of the less experienced skiers in our group. Everybody in our group persevered and was rewarded with an awesome view of the High Cascades from Three-Fingered Jack to Mt. Bachelor. To the north, only the very tip of Mt. Jefferson’s snowy needle was visible, and on the south we debated whether or not we could see Diamond Peak. Diane and Norma enjoyed the cabin’s chairs and “sundeck”, while Josh and Don went off in search of telemark runs to the east of the cabin. The rest of us had a leisurely lunch in the sun. Because of the difficult snow conditions, we decided to return to the cars by a more direct route, rather than completing our intended five-mile loop. The uphill climbing of the morning was rewarded with afternoon downhill runs as we returned to the trailhead by much easier skiing on nearly level roads and snow that was softening in the afternoon sun. Although the total mileage of this trip was less than five miles, the bumps and bruises suffered by many of our skiers made the trip seem longer.

A big thank you is owed to Josh for co-leading, and to Elliot for his advice and support for the learning skiers in our group. Enjoying this first Obsidian trip of 1999 were Elliot Aronin, Diane Jeffcott, Ruthie Kanagy, Joshua Ladau, Don Ladigin, Norma Lockyear, Sue Peterson and leader Brian Hoyland.

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