Maiden Peak Shelter

Saturday, January 22, 2011
Leader: Matthew Bell
SShoe: 12 miles, 1300 ft (Difficult)

I'm not really sure if Obsidian trips can count if you are your only participant but I still went on this trip as planned.

I set out at 6 a.m. from Eugene. I began snowshoeing up Gold Lake Road a little before 8 a.m. Although it had rained several days during the week, Saturday was a beautiful day to snowshoe in the Cascades. The snow was definitely compacted and crusty from the rain and the number of skiers and snowshoers that use the road. All day there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. I easily followed the road to Maiden Peak Trail and then followed it to the PCT, enjoying glimpses of Mt. Fuji and Mt. Ray through the trees.

As I was the only participant, I’d decided to do a little double duty on the trip by doing some winter trail maintenance on the PCT. (I adopted the PCT and Skyline trails from Maiden Saddle to Maiden Peak Trail.) I replaced, raised, and added the blue diamond winter trail markers along the PCT as I snowshoed to Maiden Ski Shelter. I cleaned up a corner close to the cabin.

I arrived at the cabin to find it toasty warm (47 degrees) with a freshly stoked fire. It seemed as though a few people were using the cabin as a basecamp and skiing around or to Maiden Peak. I enjoyed a quick lunch and continued along the PCT to Maiden Saddle. No one had come into or left from the cabin along the PCT so I got to enjoy breaking trail though a light crust of snow. As I got closer to the saddle in got warmer and warmer and the snow became a little slushy and clingy. The snowpack is so low and the diamonds were so high for most of the trail that even in the snow I’d need a 15 to 20 foot ladder to be able to fix and replace them. I cleaned up the sight lines as best I could but I needed a pole-saw. I’d packed about 20 diamonds and 60 nails and ran out a little before the saddle. There is definitely more work to be done making the trail corridor more readily apparent and easily followed.

I snowshoed to the high point of the saddle and enjoyed a nice view of Odell Lake and Diamond Peak. From the saddle I followed Taits trail onto the ridge behind Pulpit Rock. Along the ridge I could feel a warm breeze coming up from the south east. A visual reminder of the warm was the reflective light blue center of Lower Rosary Lake. I think that this effect was caused by water pooling over ice or a mixture of ice and water. I followed the ridge and to the southern shore of the lake. I followed along the bank to the PCT and the first sign of fresh activity I’d seen all day.

I followed the PCT to Willamette Pass and used the Tie Trail to get to Gold Lake Road. Along the tie trail I ran into fellow Obsdians Pat Sousan and Jane Allen enjoying the days beautiful weather snowshoing and cross country skiing. I arrived back to Gold Lake Sno-Park arriving at 3:45 p.m.

SEHS departure time: 6 a.m.

Total trail miles: 12 miles

Total elevation gain: 1300 ft.

Total driving miles: 135 miles

Rating: Difficult

Members: Matthew Bell.

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