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Crater Lake trip cancelled - where to go?

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  • Crater Lake trip cancelled - where to go?

    Lack of snow. They aren't even allowing skiers to circumnavigate the lake.
    Anything tourable up by Three Sisters?
    Looking for a multi-day ski tour.
    Dates are from Jan. 3 - Jan 8. We have to come home to drop off one of us, then the two of us
    have another week.
    But we need something within driving distance of NorCal for that time period.

    How's Idaho for snow right now?
    Scrambling here at the last minute...
    Coastal Crest Snow Patrol

  • #2
    Unless we get a good sized dump over the next few days, which sounds very unlikely, Three Sisters, Bachelor, Central Oregon area might not be the best choice for a backcountry tour for even a couple of hours let alone several days. Oh...and a big dump would make things pretty scary in the backcountry.


    • #3
      So, what's the deal? The snow that is on the ground is frozen solid, or what?
      How much snow around the Bachelor area?
      Too icy to tour?
      Coastal Crest Snow Patrol


      • #4
        Don't care if we don't get turns - weren't going to get any at Crater Lake anyways. Just have some time to kill
        and one member of our party just purchased new gear. Solo tent, scaled skis, etc. Wants desperately to use it.
        Any flat-ish tours or is the ice that bad?
        Is it too icy for skins on flat ground?
        Last edited by jibmaster; 29 December 2013, 04:45 PM.
        Coastal Crest Snow Patrol


        • #5
          How 'bout Jackson Hole?
          Last edited by jibmaster; 29 December 2013, 05:04 PM.
          Coastal Crest Snow Patrol


          • #6
            I had a nearly identical problem a week ago, and am happy with the solution I've come up with. In other words I'm having a fantastic vacation...
            Here's my scenario: I'm a Seattle area resident, rookie level BC skier, with a preplanned vacation for the weeks of Christmas and New Years. My version of BC means few or no turns, I fly solo and am not proficient in avy safety. Took the level one class and own/ carry the gear but that does little to help when you are by yourself. I also shamelessly enjoy inbounds skiing.
            So faced with poor snow conditions locally, I got on the internets and went looking for ski areas w/ snow, preferably small and homey and cheap. Found this one as a good match and hit the road:
            Three days into my trip I've spent all so far at the ski area and holed up in a great little motel nearby. My 'commute' takes me along route 43 through Chief Joseph pass, which has trails, huts available through the USFS, and good parking access. And snow, plenty now and more coming in the next few nights.
            What I don't know about are overnight parking, rules that need to be followed, and I need local USGS maps before I'll set out for even a day trip on my fishscale equipment.
            Being that I'm 'camped' a couple blocks from a ranger station I will find out more in the morning.
            Hope your crew finds suitable snow!

            Edited to correct typos.
            Last edited by Yoyo; 29 December 2013, 06:34 PM.


            • #7
              They aren't allowing skiers to circumnavigate the lake??? That seems really odd. You don't need much snow to x-c and skis aren't going to damage ground anyway. Is it because of the danger of falling off the rim due to icey conditions?

              Two thoughts come to mind...touring into and around Yellowstone, or around West Yellowstone, and touring into the Thousand Lakes Wilderness in Lassen NF...

              Another would be touring into Tuolomne (following the road from the west)...heck, that sounds like such a good idea for current conditions I might just do that.....
              Last edited by Baaahb; 30 December 2013, 10:54 AM.


              • #8
                I found it odd as well. They said there was 6 inches of snow at the Rim that was solid ice.
                After letting that sink in, I realized there would be about a day of travel on the east side that gets very little snow,
                where we would get no snow for water...

                Thinking Lassen - simply touring around the Park.

                Tuolomne, eh? Maybe...
                Not much time to plan here. Working tonight, then working NYE 'till about 2am and working New Years day evening.
                Then we leave at 9am Thursday morning.
                Coastal Crest Snow Patrol


                • #9
                  Tuolomne conditions Apparently the glacier point road is not skiable but the TM report makes it sound like tioga road is, from the west.


                  • #10
                    Yellowstone is a pretty long haul... but probably has plenty of snow. Be nice for a flat tour 'round those parts...


                    • #11
                      the Jackson area is light for snow and has a very continental snowpack right now but there is still more snow then most places and skiing to be had. I did not read the whole post so I am not sure what you are planning or looking for.


                      • #12
                        There's always a snowfield in the Cascades worth skiing. Or you could climb Smith. How's Crystal for snow? They saw some nutty weather in the sound this December. How're the Wallowas? Shasta?


                        • #13
                          Shasta's got nothing worth skiing right now. Trending towards heading to Bend and doing a tour up by Broken Top.
                          Looks like maybe some freshies coming in Friday night.
                          Anyone get out on the snow up that way?
                          How's that evil crust?
                          Apparently there's about 1-2 feet of snow on the ground.
                          Coastal Crest Snow Patrol


                          • #14
                            There's a real mixed bag in the PNW. First of all, it's boney as hell out there. My buddy and I split the cost of a petex base repair gun recently, if that tells you anything...

                            It's been cold, it's been warm, it's snowed, it's rained,... it's doing so much warming and freezing at different elevations that you can get huge swings in conditions as you climb.

                            Yesterday, I started at 3000 ft and it was like spring corn, but the coverage was minimal. By the time I got up to 4000ft there was a light crust covering the skiable corn albiet with better coverage. The better coverage only meant that the voids and rocks were harder to pick out, I still got a core shot above 4000 ft. You definately didn't want to fall on a thinly covered rock.... The higher we climbed, the thicker the crust was becoming. We didn't go up to 5000 ft because we didn't have the time, but there is a chance that if you got above the "thaw zone" that there could be no crust at all above a certain elevation, but you would still be skiing down on bony slopes with the conditions changing every 1000 feet.

                            I see guys giving trip reports on crystal on TAY. I think it's hit and miss there, depending on the aspect and elevation. It would certainly be good exercise, but definately not great skiing. Honestly, I haven't been on Rainer yet this year either, so I can't speak first hand about it. It could be horrible or wonderful,... or both in the same day, depending on aspect and elevation....

                            So, basically I am no help directing you to anywhere good... I think most of us are going because that's our nature, but the snow isn't yielding many awesome turns...
                            the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile


                            • #15
                              I'm headed up to Bachelor tomorrow and can give you a bit more details after that. They are reporting a 30" base with spring skiing conditions. I know they've been making exceptional efforts to keep what they have around like spraying the runs down with water at night.

                              I'll probably cruise around the resort a day or two for family time, but intend to do my BC skiing at the nordic center

                              I might bring some XCD gear so if I poke around the woods I'll let you know what it looks like.