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Photos of backcountry skinning and skiing in old-growth forest powder snow
Turns All Year: Previous Home Page Galleries
This is a gallery of photos which appeared on the Turns All Year home page in the past. Thumbnail images on this page can be clicked to view the full-sized photos, and lead into a slide show sequence for the gallery. The photos are from a backcountry skiing trip to the old-growth forest around Nordic Pass, near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington. After a winter characterized by long dry periods interspersed with precipitation at high snow levels, early March finally brought the combination of heavy precipitation and low snow levels needed to find powder snow around Snoqualmie Pass. We found easy skinning on recently groomed cross-country skiing trails up to the edge of the old-growth forest, then very difficult skinning in the three feet of new snow in the old-growth forest itself. By setting a good skinning track which we could reuse, we were able to enjoy multiple runs in the best old-growth forest powder snow we had ever seen in the Nordic Pass area.
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Turns All Year CD-ROM

The complete version of this photo gallery is now available on Turns All Year CD-ROM. Below you can view thumbnail photos from this gallery.

Turns All Year CD-ROM contains over 180 photo galleries, containing more than 3200 full-sized photos, from backcountry skiing and snowboarding trips in the Pacific Northwest.

from March 10, 2003:
Nordic Pass, Snoqualmie Pass, Washington, March 7, 2003
Skinning up Outback run
Skinning up Outback run
Skinning up cross-country trail
Skinning up
cross-country trail
Skinning up through old-growth forest
Skinning up through
old-growth forest
Skinning up through old-growth forest
Skinning up through
old-growth forest
CharlesW in the powder
CharlesW in the powder
CharlesE in the powder
CharlesE in the powder
CharlesE in the powder
CharlesE in the powder
CharlesW in the powder
CharlesW in the powder
Skinning up in heavy snowfall
Skinning up in
heavy snowfall

Photos by Charles Wiley and Charles Eldridge

Associated trip report: 
Finally!
   CharlesW and I found the Silver Fir lift closed, and about 2.5 feet of new, ungroomed snow at the bottom of the lift. Fortunately, one pass had been made with a groomer, so we only had to skin up through the last 8" of snow, which was dismayingly damp at first. Up to Grand Junction and on to the edge of the old-growth forest on the cross-country trails which had been very recently groomed, and with the snow getting better. On the steeper groomer walls along the XC trails, one pole swipe would trigger nice soft slabs (barely cohesive) involving mostly the top 8", and sometimes twice that.
   Once we got into the protection of the old-growth forest, all cohesiveness disappeared. In glades there was about 3.5 feet of newer snow over a firm corn-like base. Within the trees there was about 2.5 feet over the base, with a good profile - 18-24" cold and loose on top, and a denser layer below. We set a good track up to the top of the favorite east-facing run, nicely protected by well spaced trees, and then enjoyed the best skiing I've ever had there. Four runs, each one moving left to get a little steeper as we found out what the snow was like. On the steepest runs big pillows of loose snow would push out in front of us as we descended. It was amazing to have our skis 2 feet down in the snow and still have them respond to the slightest effort to adjust their track.
   I've been missing the ambiance of the old-growth forest with good snow, this being my first trip to Snoqualmie this winter, but I got a good fix with this trip. Unfortunately, it looks like the beautiful snow there may be destroyed by tomorrow's weather.
  
Charles Eldridge

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