Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Willamette Pass, Anyone Been Up There Lately?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Willamette Pass, Anyone Been Up There Lately?

    Trying to schedule in a trip to visit our daughter who lives only 30 minutes from Willamette Pass, and am wondering what coverage and snow conditions really are. They are scheduled to be open again this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but are still claiming a thin base. I probably won't be able to go this week end, but knowing how it is currently will help me plan when to go.
    Last edited by Hindfoot; 20 February 2014, 03:47 PM. Reason: edit for clarity

  • #2
    Also, We're hoping to get in some BC tele in the Willamette Summit area while visiting. Anyone have any recommendations they are willing to share for fairly easy access, within a mile or two, for some not super steep turns in that area. Have been looking at the Maiden Peak area, but it's quite a tour in to there and the forest looks pretty dense along the way, though I could be wrong about that. We probably would not be spending the night in there on this first trip.

    Comment


    • #3
      I was up there yesterday. With the recent storm, coverage was much better than it has been. All the runs were open and had good coverage. Front side trees were skiable but the best skiing was off peak two. The trees on the back side skied well and were well covered.
      Maiden peak is the biggest back country near Willamette pass but approach is long except in the spring when you can access it from the east. Redtop mountain near crescent lake is a shorter approach but also not as good a ski. On light touring gear I've had a blast getting turns in the hills of the cross country trails at gold lake snopark but coverage is thin at that elevation this year.

      Comment


      • #4
        jjtele... Thanks for the information. Have you ever skied in along the PCT to the Rosary Lakes area? Am thinking there may be some tele turn opportunities in that area, and it looks to be within a couple of miles of the trailhead.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hindfoot View Post
          Trying to schedule in a trip to . . . Willamette Pass, and am wondering what coverage and snow conditions really are . . still claiming a thin base.
          I skied WP as well yesterday and was quite pleased. Backside is in full operations and trees were magnificent, as jjtele indicated. Did not ski a lot of the front-side blacks but coverage did seem a tad thin from what I could tell. For such a low snow winter, I've been really impressed with how well the back side of Willamette has been skiing, even before the last several weeks of more typical western-OR winter.

          jj, where were you skiing at yesterday? I was there with my son who I encouraged to skip school and go skiing on his 14th b-day! He was not digging the denser untracked stuff, so he would straight-line the groomers in a tuck, and I would catch some turns through the trees off the end of boundary and to the right/left of waldo. Fun Fun Fun!!!

          Cheers!
          JT

          Comment


          • #6
            Rock_doc, Spent the morning in the "powder" off cherokee ridge (the trees off the end of boundary pass) By the afternoon when the legs were spent, my group stuck to the groomers.
            Hindfoot, Its been a long time since I've been into Rosary Lakes. Don't really remember much in the way of terrain for turns in that direction. If your looking for easy access for mellow turns you may want to consider heading up to the snopark at Santiam Pass, near Hoodoo. Its an old burn and has a lot of options for tours.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the suggestion JJ, it sounds like the sort of place we want to find. Kind of a long ways from my daughter's house near Oakridge, though. Was hoping for something off Hwy 58.

              Comment


              • #8
                You can get some turns on the slopes to the north and west of Rosary Lakes, but that approach is longer than it looks at first, 3 miles to the first lake. The first couple of miles are on a south-facing slope that can be icy with lots of highway noise. The easiest way to access the BC is through the ski area, you can buy a hourly pass and at the end ski off the backside to the top of Maiden Peak saddle or near Pulpit rock above Rosary Lakes. Alternately, West Peak is another nice sidecountry option if you've got a lift ticket.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lungesallday View Post
                  You can get some turns on the slopes to the north and west of Rosary Lakes, but that approach is longer than it looks at first, 3 miles to the first lake. The first couple of miles are on a south-facing slope that can be icy with lots of highway noise. The easiest way to access the BC is through the ski area, you can buy a hourly pass and at the end ski off the backside to the top of Maiden Peak saddle or near Pulpit rock above Rosary Lakes. Alternately, West Peak is another nice sidecountry option if you've got a lift ticket.
                  Thanks lad, it's good to find out about the PCT route to Rosary Lakes. Thought it might be further than it looks, but had not considered it being S-facing, so sounds like that way is sub-optimal, especially considering the current wet weather. It's a great idea to do the hour pass and access the BC through WP resort, but it's most likely we will be there on a week day when it is not open. Someone at Berg's told me that the owner frowns on uphill travel on their trails/slopes when the area is closed and that he is usually there to tell you so. So we can't count on doing sidecountry there, probably. Are there any good access points to the Maiden Peak area on the East side of it?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hindfoot View Post
                    Are there any good access points to the Maiden Peak area on the East side of it?
                    There's no feasible access to Maiden Peak from the east before the Cascade Lakes Highway is open and the higher elevation FS roads have melted out (think May). If you're planning a trip that late, you should probably look into Diamond Peak.

                    If you're going before then, it sounds like your best day tour choices in the area are probably Rosary Lakes if you want a cross-country tour with some bonus turns, or Redtop mountain if you want more of a climb up and ski down experience. Redtop has a couple of nice north-facing lines from the top, a bit of a slog to get there, but about the same distance as Rosary Lakes.

                    I've never had a problem skinning up WP, but I've mostly been up before they open for the season. Seems a little strange, since I've regularly seen snowshoers going uphill while the resort is open to access the Maiden Peak trail. You could probably do West Peak using the tie-in from the Gold Lakes trail to the WP nordic trails and skin up from there, but I've never tried that.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lungesallday View Post
                      There's no feasible access to Maiden Peak from the east before the Cascade Lakes Highway is open and the higher elevation FS roads have melted out (think May). If you're planning a trip that late, you should probably look into Diamond Peak.

                      If you're going before then, it sounds like your best day tour choices in the area are probably Rosary Lakes if you want a cross-country tour with some bonus turns, or Redtop mountain if you want more of a climb up and ski down experience. Redtop has a couple of nice north-facing lines from the top, a bit of a slog to get there, but about the same distance as Rosary Lakes.

                      I've never had a problem skinning up WP, but I've mostly been up before they open for the season. Seems a little strange, since I've regularly seen snowshoers going uphill while the resort is open to access the Maiden Peak trail. You could probably do West Peak using the tie-in from the Gold Lakes trail to the WP nordic trails and skin up from there, but I've never tried that.
                      Thanks once more for the helpful info. After looking at terrain maps of the Maiden Peak area and wondering if any of the closer FS roads might be low enough to be open still/yet, it's good to hear that is not currently a way in.

                      Looking at terrain maps for Redtop Mountain I don't see it labeled, but perhaps it's the lone peak SE of Maiden Peak? If so, do you know where's the best road access to it? Also assuming West Peak is the high point just NW of WP summits and connected by a saddle to them. Diamond Peak looks great but seems to be quite a trek to get to it. No roads; it's Wilderness all around it, I think. Do you know if there is a shelter out toward Diamond Peak? I know there's one between Gold Lake and Maiden Peak.

                      Sure hope we can go before May. For now we're waiting for the present wet snow, soon to be crust, to resolve into a base for further snow or develop into corn. If the BC seems decent whenever we go up there it may be worth an attempt to skin up or around at WP if they are closed, asking permission if anyone is around. I think skinning up somewhere and cruising for turns on the down would be a great day trip, and likely preferable to a long xc type trek on heavier tele gear.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hindfoot View Post
                        Looking at terrain maps for Redtop Mountain I don't see it labeled, but perhaps it's the lone peak SE of Maiden Peak? If so, do you know where's the best road access to it? Also assuming West Peak is the high point just NW of WP summits and connected by a saddle to them. Diamond Peak looks great but seems to be quite a trek to get to it. No roads; it's Wilderness all around it, I think. Do you know if there is a shelter out toward Diamond Peak? I know there's one between Gold Lake and Maiden Peak.
                        Yep, West Peak is the other peak in the troika at WP, they plan to expand over there in the future and I think have already done some cutting. There's no shelter in the Diamond Peak area that I know of.

                        Redtop is the southernmost of the peaks in-between Odell and Crescent Lake. You get there from the Crescent Lake sno-park, head east roughly following Cold Creek and gain the east ridge when it's opportune. It's popular enough that there's usually a skin track set unless it's dumped recently. 43.5099, -122.03 will get you the peak location for GPS or Google Maps.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lungesallday View Post
                          Yep, West Peak is the other peak in the troika at WP, they plan to expand over there in the future and I think have already done some cutting. There's no shelter in the Diamond Peak area that I know of.

                          Redtop is the southernmost of the peaks in-between Odell and Crescent Lake. You get there from the Crescent Lake sno-park, head east roughly following Cold Creek and gain the east ridge when it's opportune. It's popular enough that there's usually a skin track set unless it's dumped recently. 43.5099, -122.03 will get you the peak location for GPS or Google Maps.
                          Again, thanks for the useful information. Found Redtop thanks to your geo-coordinates. Can't locate the Crescent Lake Sno-Park but assume it's close to the "Town" of C.L. at NE end of Crescent Lake. Cold Creek is not shown on the map but it may be an up-watershed continuation of Cold Spring Creek. This open E slope looks to be a good skin route through open forest, if the snow goes anywhere near low enough to the start elevation at 4,800ft, and providing free ride if not turns all the way back, depending on the snow quality and cover. Does your route go through the Pretty Lake basin or on the ridge S of it?

                          I'm trying to understand why most of the forests are so open here. First thought was it was selectively logged, but there are no roads. Due to most dense coverage on N slopes it must be soil moisture regime, and maybe fire history. Looks to make for great BC skiing if there's enough snow to cover all those logs.

                          Looks like there may be a linear clearing for future lift on N side of West Peak? Good BC run now, maybe.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When you leave Hwy 58 heading towards Crescent lake, you'll cross some railroad tracks, then the road turns sharply left. The trail head is here. The snow park is on your right in a couple of hundred yards by the intersection with the road to crescent lake.
                            You can head up either ridge to the summit, and I've gone both ways. You can descend down either ridge and also find away down between the rocks on the east face. Have fun. Think I may have saved my old GPS waypoints somewhere ( posted a TR on the old teletips web site)
                            West peak at Willamette pass has one cleared run for a future lift. The rest of the trees are nicely spaced for skiing. If one is careful it is possible to ski nearly back to the base of the peak 2 lift.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jjtele View Post
                              When you leave Hwy 58 heading towards Crescent lake, you'll cross some railroad tracks, then the road turns sharply left. The trail head is here. The snow park is on your right in a couple of hundred yards by the intersection with the road to crescent lake.
                              You can head up either ridge to the summit, and I've gone both ways. You can descend down either ridge and also find away down between the rocks on the east face. Have fun. Think I may have saved my old GPS waypoints somewhere ( posted a TR on the old teletips web site)
                              West peak at Willamette pass has one cleared run for a future lift. The rest of the trees are nicely spaced for skiing. If one is careful it is possible to ski nearly back to the base of the peak 2 lift.
                              Thanks JJ for the nice clear directions and suggestions. No GPS, but thanks for the offer of waypoints. I suppose figuring out the way is half the fun. Suggestions for best routes to West Peak when WP is closed?

                              Forecast is for rain at WP middle of this next week. Waiting for weather to snow or stop raining up there before planning a trip. Pretty crappy year and have not skied yet as usual local snow here is zero. First time I've seen this in several decades. Any idea how low the current useable snow goes on the east side near Crescent Lake? Guess that may change with coming rain.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X