The trip from Eugene got going right on time at 7a.m. The roads were clear, and the day promised to be warm (in the high 40s) and clear. We arrived at Santiam Sno-Park in no time, threw some skins on our skis, and proceeded north/northeast directly from the parking lot to meet up with the PCT. Almost immediately views of Mt. Washington to the south and Three Fingered Jack to the north beckoned us to keep going through the crusty/icy/blah snow. Those of us with metal ski edges were at a definite advantage given the snow conditions. Other than a few problems adjusting skins along the way, following the virtually unmarked PCT proved no problem for us as Sam "Snow Dog" Miller just kept finding it (as confirmed by my GPS again and again). We finally crested a ridge about 2.5 miles in and were rewarded with a spectacular (but windy) view of 3FJ in the distance. The group lost a little elevation as we entered tree line, proceeded up a pretty steep 100 foot climb, and began the steady climb towards the climbers trail through the trees. We stopped for lunch at a prearranged time with the views to the south revealing a breathtaking Three Sisters and Mt. Washington. Five of the 7 chose to continue on to the climber's trail after lunch and the two others were obliging enough to wait for us. The trees opened to reveal sparkling snow crystals with the clearest of blue skies and, WOW!, suddenly 3FJ was right in front of us with its towering spires. After a quick photo thanks to Dave Jensen's camera we started back to meet the others. Luckily the snow had softened slightly by the time we returned, and we all carefully swooshed back to the way we came with the last of us making it out just as the sun began to set. A full and beautiful day in the mountains! Many thanks to Sam Miller who took the lead with Sean Breslin acting as sweep. Those on the trip did a great job and I can't wait to get out with you all again.Members: Breslin, Sean, Miller, Sam, Jensen, Dave, Hartman, John, Lipton, Becky. Nonmembers: Grevstad, Fritzi, Anderson, Pamela.
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