A beautiful bright sunny day awaited us near Santiam Pass as we arrived to snowshoe the loop up to Potato Hill and down through the forest. It was 27 degrees as we started up the trail that had already been broken by a previous group of snowshoers. About 1-1/2 miles up the trail, we veered off to the left to ascend Potato Hill. Here we had to break our own trail through fresh powder that was often 12" deep. The packed base snow was a good 5-6 feet in depth. We enjoyed clear views of Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson to the North before we started our descent into the forest loop. Here the way gets tricky because the blue diamonds marking the trail are few and far between. This led to many false starts and some backtracking. We found a small clearing where we stopped to eat lunch and soaked up the warm sun. Then it was mostly downhill through deep powder to where we hooked up with the return trail. Everyone made it back to the cars in fine shape. A big thanks to Mike for helping with a lot of the trail breaking. Trail breaking is hard work and exhausting, and Mike did this with broken bindings on both of his snowshoes. Amazing!Members: Scott Hovis, David Lodeesen, Lynn Meacham, Mike Smith, Tom Rundle, Consuelo Gomez, Marguerite Cooney, Eric Thornton, Daphne James. Nonmembers: Julian Gomez, Amber Gomez.
Potato Hill on a clear day—photo by Daphne James
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