March 20, 2008
On a wet first day of Spring I met Chrissy Anderson in Cottage Grove. We drove to Eugene where we met the rest of the group: John Pegg, Dick Hildreth, Dave Jensen and Charlie Van Deusen. The wreck that was reported on the ODOT website was long gone by the time we passed its location, so we were skiing shortly after 10 a.m. With the sun out, some chose to apply sunscreen.
The gate on Abernethy road was completely buried, and the snow stake showed eight feet—an excellent snow year, with the promise of many more fine days of Spring skiing to come. Only a few inches of new snow covered the trail, so trail breaking was not too much of a chore. We discovered that route-finding on the PCT south of Pengra Pass was surprisingly difficult. It looks much different with this much snow! And not everyone is pleased with the large tree wells along the trail.
We passed Midnight Lake without stopping after deciding to have a one o’clockish lunch at Arrowhead Lake. From here (Midnight Lake) we “cheated” and used a GPS to follow the trail—or at least not wander too terribly far from it. Sometimes we knew we were on the trail, other times things didn’t look too familiar. Occasional snow showers punctuated the day.
After lunch we proceeded on towards Hidden Lake. Dick had an unfortunate encounter with a tree and acquired a few unwanted scratches to his face. After John effected repairs (thanks!), they rejoined the group at Hidden. All were for pushing on to Lils, so we did. By 2 p.m. we were grouped together on the shore(?) of Lils Lake. Views were limited by fog/clouds, but we thought we could see “Myran” (the slightly taller but unnamed peak to the SE of Mt. Yoran.) As it was getting late and a snow flurry blew in, we made our stay at Lils short.
Back at Hidden we met John Mowat and Sue Sullivan who had followed (more or less) our tracks that far. (I won’t mention their names as they didn’t sign up or give me a buck a piece.) The downhill tested the skills of all, and we returned via Bechtel way as the tree wells along the PCT to Pengra were “scary” (and probably hungry too.) All in all it was a fine way to spend the first day of Spring out of the wet of the valley.
— Wayne Deeter