Maiden Peak

January 22, 2006

On this day the weather and snow conditions could not have been much better for skiing to the summit of Maiden Peak. Around 10:00 a.m. nine back country skiers set off from Willamette Pass towards Maiden Peak via the Rosary Lakes area. From Upper Rosary Lake we began our ascent up through 12 inches of untracked dry powder under heavily snow-laden trees. Shortly after leaving the lakes, as the terrain steepened and snow deepened, we applied skins for the final push on up. Taking short breaks and alternating the lead often, the group had the energy to complete the 2800 foot elevation gain to the top at a steady pace. As the group pushed on up the final few hundred feet to the Peak, weather conditions changed from calm and pristine to a raging almost hurricane force cold wind greeting each person as they rounded the rim. However, in spite of the windy conditions, there were clear panoramic views of the nearby lakes and summits from the top. Here we enjoyed lunch around 3:00 p.m. while hunkered down on the lea side of the mountain taking in the views and contemplating our descent. The ski off the top was exciting with everyone skiing their own track, carving telemark turns down the fall line through the powdery snow. All in all a great day with everyone out and back to the cars by around 5:00 p.m. Many thanks to the group of hardy trail breakers: Jan and Rich Anselmo, Kathy and Chris Jensen, John Hegg (leader), Dick Hildreth, Kevin McManigal, Bill McWhorter, and Sam Miller.

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