Mt. Tahoma Trails Overnight Trip

March 4-6, 2004

Copper Creek Hut – Mt. Tahoma Trail Association

The Mt. Tahoma Trail system is in the Mt. Rainier foothills; on a clear day, the mountain looms right outside the cabin. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a totally clear day on this three day ski/snow shoe trip!

The group set out from three different locations — two cars in south Eugene, one in Springfield, and one in Portland. Amazingly, we all arrived at the turn-off to the cabin road within five minutes of each other. Then we encountered a logging truck loading logs and waited ½ hour. And then we took an unexpected tour of a gravel pit, one of the cars had a flat tire, and one car had to chain up. The occupants of the two Subarus decided to stop at the lower trailhead because the road suddenly steepened and the snow level increased. That meant that we’d have to ski or snow shoe approximately five miles with packs. Fortunately, the driver of a large Tahoe with 4 wheel drive was willing to shuttle nine of us and all the packs to the upper trailhead — thanks much John! Two hours after turning off the highway, we were ready to set out on the trail. But alas and alack . . . one person brought 3 pin boots and skis with Salamon bindings! Amazingly, after saying only one bad word, she was quickly able to reframe her experience into an hike instead of a ski trip and the snow was packed enough to be able to hike in ski boots (the next day, folks shared skis and snow shoes). It was 5:30 p.m. when the last folks arrived at the warm cabin.

The Copper Creek hut is fully furnished with propane heat and cooking stoves, tables, chairs, and sofas. Upstairs, there are mats to sleep on. All we had to bring in was clothes, sleeping bags, and food. Of course, there was plenty of food. The prize goes to Chris for scrumptious (and heavy) cheesecake!

The next day, there was a blizzard. The “Endurance” crew shoe shoers went out in the am for about an hour. After encountering stinging snow and howling winds around lunchtime, the wimpy skiers retreated, and finally emerged around 4:00 p.m. once the storm temporarily abated. Both groups enjoyed napping, reading, and playing cards in the afternoon. The last morning, it was mostly clear — we saw a couple of very brief glimpses of Mt. Rainier. With fresh, velvety powder, it was a fantastic ski or snow shoe downhill to the cars.

The great group of folks on this trip were: John “Sledge” Agnew; Marsha “Where did I put x” Barr; Dave “Freight Train” Becker; “Water Boy” John Hudson; “Mr. Clean” Richard Hughes; Bob “Card Shark” Huntley; “Holey” Bill Johnson; Lana “Lapin” Lindstrom; Evelyn “One Glove” Nagy; Nora “Hot Enchilada” Nicolaidis; Joan “I miss my dog” Skarda; and Chris “Cheesecake” Stockdale.

(photos by Richard Hughes)

The inside of Copper Creek Hut — we slept upstairs for 2 nights; cooked, read & played games downstairs

View out the window the next day — if there were fewer clouds, we could have seen Mt. Rainier.

View out the window after the storm

The Obsidians: Richard Hughes, John Hudson, Lana Lindstrom, Bob Huntley, Evelyn Nagy, Nora Nicolaidis, Marsha Barr, John Agnew, Joan Skarda, Bill Johnson, Chris Stockdale, and Dave Becker

Chris and Lana in the blizzard....for about 2 minutes! It hurt!

Getting ready to snow shoe in a blizzard: John, Evelyn, Nora, Richard, & Marsha

Look at Joan’s snow plow — it’s a steep drop from the hut!

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