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| |-+  December 2003 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  December 12, 2003, Nordic Pass, Snoqualmie Pass
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Author Topic: December 12, 2003, Nordic Pass, Snoqualmie Pass  (Read 1646 times)

Posts: 1090

December 12, 2003, Nordic Pass, Snoqualmie Pass
« on: 12/13/03, 07:50 AM »

Constrained on both ends of the day by domestic obligations, Mike, Nick, and I decided on a quick tour to check out the conditions in the Nordic Pass area forest. The forecast had been looking pretty grim, with predicted 3.5K FL and 12"+ new, but when I checked the telemetry in the morning it showed ~6" new at 3K and mid-20s, with a steady east flow. In contrast, Stevens telemetry indicated that the east flow had reversed at about 6am, causing the temperature to shoot up by 6-7 degrees, so we weren't sure how long Snoqualmie would stay cold.

We parked at the Silver Fir lift and skied up a run to Grand Junction. Very easy travel since the groomers had been out during the night, with 2" of new on top, although we had to use skins because the snow was good enough that our waxless skis wouldn't easily climb the steeper sections. From GJ took a XC trail (also groomed + 2") to the edge of the big trees, then through the forest to Nordic Pass. In the open before the forest there was about 18" of snow over a strong crust; we didn't dig a pit but by pole testing there seemed to be some slightly stronger layers within the 18". In the forest there was 8-10" of nice snow over the crust. The coverage in the forest was fully adequate for touring, but there were still buried logs and stream channels which forced small detours. From Nordic Pass we went down to Windy Pass - this slope didn't really have enough coverage to do turns. Windy Pass was uncharacteristically not very windy. We skied over to see if we could find the PCT bridge heading south (didn't find it), then it was turn around time. We had set a good track, so the stride'n'glide from Nordic Pass back to the XC trails was very enjoyable on the fast snow. Groomers has just worked on the XC trails, so we had a fast trip back to the ski area run. There, the groomers had not been by, so it was a silky fast run back to the car. Once back home, telemetry indicated that the east flow switched to west at ~11am, but we didn't notice any dramatic temperature change, and cloud cover kept the snow in good shape all the way down to 3000'
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