Maiden Peak Shelter Overnight

March 20-21, 2003

We left the Gold Lake SnoPark at about 11:30, thankful that a recent storm had dumped enough snow on the Gold Lake road for us to ski on. We only encountered one small totally bare spot on the Maiden Peak trail, though there were a few icy patches. Even the big, exposed hill between the Skyline Creek trail and the PCT was well covered. Arrived at the Shelter at about 3:30. As predicted, there was a good five feet or so of reasonably nice snow in the vicinity, only slightly crusty. We rested in the cabin for about an hour, during which time it began to snow lightly. We spent much of the remaining daylight exploring the area around the cabin, glad that we were no longer carrying our overnight packs! Had a glorious dinner in celebration of the equinox, and stayed up late playing cards, etc., making use of the solar powered lights recently installed by Chris Jensen.

We were up bright and early Friday morning, greeted by about four inches of new snow, and had another marvelous meal, further lightening our packs, then spent more time exploring the vicinity. By 9:30 we had packed up and left the cabin. We completed the loop, following the PCT by the Rosary Lakes, to the Willamette Pass ski resort. I had forgotten how much uphill there is between the cabin and Maiden Saddle! At the Upper Rosary Lake we hunkered down to get out of the wind and had an early lunch with a view of Pulpit Rock looming in its white coat over the lake. Leaving the lakes we encountered numerous bare spots in the trail where we had to carry our skis. At the ski resort I skied ahead, taking the interconnect trail back to the Gold Lake SnoPark to retrieve the cars so the others wouldn’t have to deal with the poor conditions of that trail (thin, mushy snow.) On the way back to town the four of us (John Cooper, Sue Sandstrom, Jim Whitfield and myself) stopped in Oakridge for a big lunch at Rosalinas.

—Wayne Deeter, leader.

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