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| | |-+  January 25, 2015 - Lodge Lake reconnaissance
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Author Topic: January 25, 2015 - Lodge Lake reconnaissance  (Read 5295 times)
Lowell_Skoog
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January 25, 2015 - Lodge Lake reconnaissance
« on: 01/25/15, 10:07 PM »

On Sunday, Brandon and I braved 60F temps and T-shirt conditions to get some exercise around Summit West. We originally planned a few skinning laps of the ski area, but I suggested we do a recon to Lodge Lake along the Crest Trail. The Patrol Race is scheduled to follow this route on February 28.

Having found good conditions at the pass on Wednesday evening, I was dismayed to see how much damage the rains did later in the week. We warmed up by yo-yoing Big Bill and Thunderbird, then skied shady death crust to Beaver Lake, which was frozen enough to lure us across. At the pass west of the lake, we took off our skis and began walking the partially snow covered trail.



Brandon skis across Beaver Lake


In the 1930s and 1940s, the Patrol Race linked two lodges established by The Mountaineers. Meany Lodge, below Stampede Pass at the south end of the route, still stands, but the old Snoqualmie Lodge (located near Lodge Lake) burned down in 1944.



Old Snoqualmie Lodge in 1914, shortly after it was built.


I visited the old lodge ruins a few years ago with my son. Since Brandon and I were in no big hurry, I suggested we swing by for a look.



Remains of the Snoqualmie Lodge hearth, burned in 1944.


Remnants of the lodge include the old stone hearth, pieces of the iron stove, and a few other metal objects. The rest of the site has been reclaimed by the forest.



In the foreground, the old stove and a cooking pot. In the background, the toilet.


Having studied the history of the Lodge and the Patrol Race, this site evokes a sense of reverence for me.  I hope visitors will continue to leave it undisturbed and will contemplate being here a century ago, before any ski areas existed in America and before the road over Snoqualmie Pass was open in winter.



A crosscut saw embedded in the soil.


Eventually we continued south on the Crest Trail, which became completely bare south of the old ruins. Encountering the old road bed below the powerlines, we diverged from the Crest Trail by following the road as it climbed toward Rockdale Lake.



Crest Trail south of the lodge ruins.


The powerline road has become quite overgrown since my first ski scouting of this route 15 years ago. We put our skis back on after leaving the woods, but had to negotiate some brush and an open creek. The main road below Grand Junction was poorly snow covered, but at Grand Junction and above the coverage was good and the road was actually groomed for XC skiing.



Returning to Summit West after our loop trip. It was a busy day for skiers, but we really need more snow.


We ran into to a few friends at Grand Junction and continued up the roads to the Central Express chairlift. We followed the crest back to Summit West, where the slopes were swarming with skiers, but its doubtful they'll be able to keep it up if winter doesn't return soon.

-----------------

A bit more about the old lodge can be found in my online book-in-progress here:

http://alpenglow.org/written-in-the-snows/far-country3.html
« Last Edit: 01/26/15, 07:21 AM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
Jonn-E
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Re: January 25, 2015 - Lodge Lake reconnaissance
« Reply #1 on: 01/26/15, 09:11 AM »

That picture of Brandon walking the PCT in ski boots with no white in sight is the stuff of nightmares.

Maybe the Patrol Race will be best done with fatbikes.
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kciari
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Re: January 25, 2015 - Lodge Lake reconnaissance
« Reply #2 on: 01/26/15, 05:18 PM »

Fascinating look at history as always Lowell. Thanks for sharing. And I'm with Jonn-E, here's hoping we get some snow in time for the race.
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I love skiing in a tutu. Find me via #tutusallyear.
jtack
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Re: January 25, 2015 - Lodge Lake reconnaissance
« Reply #3 on: 01/26/15, 10:08 PM »

Febuarary better come through, or the Patrol race might be a jog instead of a slog.
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: January 25, 2015 - Lodge Lake reconnaissance
« Reply #4 on: 01/29/15, 08:26 AM »

Did another skinning session at Summit West last evening. I'm glad to report that the ski area is moving snow around to cover thin spots and the conditions were better last night than on Sunday, despite no new snow. I talked to an employee who said they're prepared to move mountains to keep West operating. Goodonya to the Summit!
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Mofro
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Re: January 25, 2015 - Lodge Lake reconnaissance
« Reply #5 on: 01/29/15, 09:12 AM »

Thanks for the report Lowell. I visited those ruins back in September but didn't know the back story on the lodge.
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not always bad
Randy
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Re: January 25, 2015 - Lodge Lake reconnaissance
« Reply #6 on: 01/29/15, 11:05 AM »

FWIW: I saw a patroller on a snow-machine with a trailer full of snow filling in some low spots last night.

I was a bit peeved that the Pacific Crest lift was closed last night -- as Wednesday is lesson night for the Mountaineers and Washington Alpine club programs, which I help out with.    I skinned to the top of PC a couple times and there were some large bare patches right at the top -- but really no more so than the bare patches on the Julies chair.

Since the Summit offered season's pass holders a pro-rated discount on next year's passes based on 100 operating days -- the Summit is strongly motivated to keep West open as many days as possible -- even if it's very limited terrain.

Hopefully this dry/warm pattern will shift soon.
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nsteere
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Re: January 25, 2015 - Lodge Lake reconnaissance
« Reply #7 on: 02/05/15, 04:54 PM »

Yikes - The woods look more bare than my bleak expectations.  I will be touring the Patrol Route on Sunday Feb 7th and will report back with what I find.  The race is about getting through the terrain in whatever conditions might exist.  A pair of running shoes might be an additional line item on the recommended equipment list for the race this year:)  - Nigel
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Bronco
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Re: January 25, 2015 - Lodge Lake reconnaissance
« Reply #8 on: 02/08/15, 11:16 AM »

Well, avvy danger should be stable for the event...
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