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NWAC Avalanche
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| | |-+  Mar 6, 2011 - Nash Crater near Santiam Pass
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Author Topic: Mar 6, 2011 - Nash Crater near Santiam Pass  (Read 3148 times)

Posts: 44

Mar 6, 2011 - Nash Crater near Santiam Pass
« on: 03/10/11, 06:29 PM »

A recent neck re-injury gave me an opportunity to grab my snowshoes and scout out a hill I've had my eye one for a few years: Nash Crater near Santiam Junction, Oregon.  Nash Crater is that smallish nearly perfectly conical mountain that seems to sit alone just south of the ODOT station at Santiam Junction.  I wanted to see first hand if it was suitable for skiing.  Access is good and it appeared steep enough for my tastes.

I went into full scientist mode to examine it so here's the data.

Park: Little Nash Snow Park on Hiway 126
Conflict potentials: CC skiers and snowmobiles use the trails, no snowmobiles seen or heard, snowmobile trails seemed lightly used
Elev top: 4800
Elev bottom: 3900
Hike to bottom: ~1 mile
Hike up: < 1/2 mile
Slope angles degrees: (bottom/mid/top) 25/27/30 west side, 33/35/30 NE side

The NE slope is thinned top to bottom which makes a nicely shaded and protected slope steep enough to pound out 900 vert ft of turns.  There's not much variety as it's all tree skiing on all aspects.  If avalanching is a risk, you have your choice of slopes.  It appeared all non-thinned slopes had a consistent mature tree density with plenty of space between them.  I'd ski the whole mountain but I think that NE slope is the tastiest.

I was there the weekend after the big dump so everything was covered well.  I would imagine this place will melt out fast in a few weeks.

The secret crater near the top is pretty cool.  From the top you get a great view of Three Fingered Jack's west side.  The second picture is a view of the NE slope from the top looking down to the flats below.  It turns out two others were out scouting too.

* nash.JPG (238.16 KB, 988x1011 - viewed 730 times.)

* IMG_4390.JPG (136.96 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 748 times.)

* IMG_4402.JPG (179.54 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 735 times.)
« Last Edit: 03/11/11, 08:45 AM by johnspeth » Logged

Posts: 480

Re: Mar 6, 2011 - Nash Crater near Santiam Pass
« Reply #1 on: 03/10/11, 07:49 PM »

Nice - I've been meaning to check out Nash for a couple of years now.  It definitely takes a good snowpack and low elevation snowfall.  I bet the cinder on the south side wouldn't take too much snow though to yield turns.  Nice work!

There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty." - Theodore Roosevelt

Posts: 605

Re: Mar 6, 2011 - Nash Crater near Santiam Pass
« Reply #2 on: 03/10/11, 09:06 PM »

I too have been wondering what was up there!!  Thanks for the recon information-- another possible gem like Black Butte.  That would be a great little break from the drive over to the valley..
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