Maiden Ski Shelter

January 23, 2010

Originally the plan was to snowshoe to the Maiden Peak Ski Shelter from Willamette Pass up the PCT. But, in preparation for the Maiden Peak snowshoe trip I’d used the route from Gold Lake along the Maiden Peak trail and found this to be an easier and shorter route. By using this route we could also start and end at Willamette Pass snowshoeing a large loop that was essentially the same distance.

We set off from Willamette Pass at about 8 a.m. on the Gold Lake tie trail. We could not have imagined a nicer morning to start the trip as the sky was clear and it was cold enough that the snow maintained a fluffy powdery consistency for nearly all of the day. We followed the tie trail to the Gold Lake Road. Along the way we were treated to some impressive views of Diamond Peak covered in fresh, pure snow through occasional breaks in the trees.

After heading up Gold Lake Road and then snowshoeing along the Maiden Peak trail we were able to see some peaks to the North, possibly the Twins and Fuji Mountain. We passed the Wait Here Camp and the trail junction with Skyline Trail on out way to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). At the PCT we turned and headed south towards the shelter. We arrived at the shelter a little after 11 a.m. and stopped to take some pictures. We were not the first to the ski shelter. Three people had spread their gear about but were no where to be seen. Based on the snowshoe tracks it looked like they were using the shelter as their basecamp and had headed off to climb Maiden Peak. Before we started back along the trail we were surprised to see a woodpecker pecking away on one of the trees just outside the shelter.

After our lunch break we followed the PCT south to Maiden Saddle and then followed Taits Trail along Pulpit Rock Ridge. All the while we enjoyed magnificent views of Maiden Peak and the Rosary Lakes. We descended the south end of the ridge and were able to stand along the shore of snow-covered Lower Rosary Lake and view the ridge we’d just followed.

We then followed the PCT back to Willamette Pass, arriving at about 4:15.

Participants: Logan Bell non-member; Elle Weaver, Brad Bennett, and Suzanne Steussy members; and Matthew Bell, leader.

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