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Author Topic: 1/13/13 Meany Lodge Ridge-to-Rails_Nice 1300' Tour  (Read 1361 times)

Posts: 68

1/13/13 Meany Lodge Ridge-to-Rails_Nice 1300' Tour
« on: 01/17/13, 10:41 AM »

Earlier this season Nigel, who is a regular up at Meany Lodge, started researching (on maps and on split board) touring options out of Meany.  For those unfamiliar with this place, it is Washington’s oldest continuously operating ski area (1928) with 3 rope tows and about 500 vert (rounding up a little!). It is near Stampede Pass and is accessed in winter from The Crystal Springs Snow Park, usually via snow cat.  If you search this site I have posted info and videos from time to time or look at  It’s run by The Mountaineers.

I really wanted to sleep in on Sunday morning, but Nigel (whose youthful energy level runs very high, even with 2 small children and a FT engineering job) was insisting that we needed to check out his new tour before breakfast.  The dawn patrol was planning to leave at 7:00 and skin the whole way up, but Andy, who helps operate the tows, generously offered to fire up the rope for us.  That shaved about 20 min off our time.  So we rode the infamous “Mach Tow” at 15+ mph to the top of the ski hill. 

From there the tour heads up and SW on the open slopes under the power lines until one is opposite and above the second set of power line towers.  At that point you can cut up into the forest heading S or a better plan is to continue along the edge of the forest (you are on the far left edge of the open slope with trees on your left) and you will drop just a bit and see a road swath that heads straight up and hard left into the trees.(Not a main road, not groomed).  It’s a little too steep at first for comfortable skinning, but soon eases off and just follow that road until it levels off in an open area near the top of the ridge.   From there we headed back in the direction on I-90 ( NE, visible in the far distance) and right down the fall line on some lovely open terrain of moderate pitch.  Photo and video is this section.  It would be worth several runs in the right conditions.  Sunday we had about 6” of new with non-breakable crust under.  Very short video of Nigel shredding the best section:

After that pitch you will cross a major snowmobile road.  There are various lines one could take.  We moved left along the road past the first creek gully and then down some steeper slopes with more trees than up above, but still very nice.  Seemed best to work left and avoid getting sucked into the gully.   Next you hit another groomed road.  The best place to leave this last road and head down is something we have not yet figured out.  We just dove into the tight trees so those last 10 minutes or so were not all that great, especially with the icy conditions in the trees.  Soon you will pop out on the railroad tracks (hence the name of this tour).  A word of caution:  these are live tracks with 3 or 4 trains a day.  Be careful.  One approached us going downhill coming from the west out of the Stampede Pass tunnel and I saw it before I heard it.  They are very quiet when coasting.  Skin along the tracks and back to the lodge.

Total vert on this tour, according to Nigel is 1300’ and it took us 2 hours.  The cook had saved us some breakfast.  This was a fun tour in its own right, plus it gives us something to do in the unlikely event that we ski out the whole ski area on a powder weekend! If we come up with any worthwhile variations I may post them here.   The map shown is a good approximation, but there appear to be other good routes possible.

* Nigel_on_dawn_patrol_Meany_RidgeToRails.JPG (94.71 KB, 800x600 - viewed 493 times.)

* Approx_Ridge_to_Rails_Route_Lodge_Circled__.JPG (143.56 KB, 800x666 - viewed 492 times.)

Posts: 506

Re: 1/13/13 Meany Lodge Ridge-to-Rails_Nice 1300' Tour
« Reply #1 on: 01/17/13, 08:16 PM »

Hey Art! Good to see you're earnin' a few turns in all that private Meany pow stash

We need to get out this spring, a little birdy told me we shared some common objectives  Wink

chill people, skiing is fun
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