Marilyn Lakes Loop

Saturday, February 19, 2011
Leader: Brian Hamilton
Xski: 4.5 miles, 380 ft (Easy)

After about 7 weeks of no new snow, Willamette Pass finally received 29 inches of snow over three days. With a forecast of a cold, but mostly dry day, we had high hopes of a great trip. Apparently this was a popular idea because the Backcountry Ski Patrol counted 73 cars parked at Gold Lake Sno-park! With a 10:00 AM start on the trail, we had expected someone to have gone before us on the Marilyn Lakes trail, but we were the first. Fortunately, the new snow had settled significantly and breaking a new trail was not difficult. Light snow fell almost continuously as we made our way down to Upper and Lower Marilyn Lakes. After two hours, we were finally brought to a halt when we reached the creek flowing between the two lakes. Any snow bridges that had been in place over the creek had melted out during the long warm, dry spell. The only way across would be to walk over fallen logs; okay for snowshoes, but treacherous on skis! After taking a break for lunch, we turned around and followed our tracks back up to the road. When we reached Gold Lake Road, there were so many people traveling back to the sno-park, mostly on snowshoes, that it was like a busy street. We heard that at one time, there were 20 people in the Gold Lake Shelter! We made it back to the sno-park by 2:00 PM and agreed that it had been a great ski trip even if it didn’t turn out as planned. Thanks to Charlie for being assistant leader and breaking trail while the leader brought up the rear.

Members: Hamilton, Brian, Van Deusen, Charlie, Esch, Patricia, Kameenui, Brenda, Welches, Martha, Jost, Jonathan. Nonmembers: Bailey, David.

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