Mystery Ski Trip
December 29, 2005
I postponed the trip until Thursday as it was raining in the passes on Wednesday morning. One potential participant couldn’t make the rescheduled date, so Bob Haberman was the only one meeting me at the Amazon Community Center lot at 8:30. We spent the next hour and a half driving to Willamette Pass trying to decide where to ski.
Conditions were surprisingly good—the decision to postpone was a good one. It had snowed several inches that night and it was cold, so we had some very nice powder on top of a hard crust, making for fast skiing. Maryanne Reiter and friends showed up at the Gold Lake Sno-Park just behind us, and headed off for parts unknown. Bob and I skied up past the Westview Shelter and over to Eagle Rock for a short break. Diamond Peak was out in its full glory, but Lakeview Mountain was shrouded in fog. Alas, no eagles were spotted this day.
We then proceeded down the PCT. Under the trees the snow was often thin and icy. At Pengra Pass we turned left towards Odell Lake. We took the high trail (no known name) that parallels Odell, then turned up the Yoran Lake trail. Conditions were similar as those on the PCT to the north of Pengra Pass—some nice spots, but thin and icy under trees. Conditions improved as we got to higher elevations. Lunch was above West Bay Creek.
After lunch we continued on up the Yoran Lake trail for about a mile, then took a bearing and headed for Midnight lake. This was a big mistake. We had to climb what seemed to be an icy cliff, then got stuck in an endless thicket of small hemlock trees. We abandoned the attempt to go directly to Midnight Lake, and instead headed through more open territory to the PCT. (A review of the map after getting home suggests a better plan for this loop is to go about ˝ mile further up the Yoran Lake trail, then head NW to intersect the PCT.)
After skiing a short ways up the PCT we decided we had done enough for the day so turned around and headed back. We stopped at Midnight Lake on the way back, then returned to the car via Pengra Pass and Abernethy Road. We got back to a bustling Sno-Park just behind John Mowat.