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Author Topic: January 1, 2015, Crater Lake  (Read 3629 times)
Kismet
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January 1, 2015, Crater Lake
« on: 01/07/15, 01:25 PM »

Happy New Year. 

Up until a few days ago, my favorite activity at Crater Lake was jumping off a boulder into its 592 meter deep pool on a hot summer day. Now that I've finally visited this national park in the winter, I'd highly recommend bypassing the summer crowds, leaving your bikini at home, and visiting on a peaceful bluebird winter day with your skis. 

With a slow start from Bend and having never skied the area, the plan was straightforward - ski Watchman, Hillman and any surrounding low angle slopes.


Slope angle tool

Skinning miles of flat xc terrain in AT gear (~3.9 miles from Rim Village to the Watchman Overlook) would have been dull if not for the breathtaking views. It didn't take long but by the time we started up the short ascent to the Watchman Lookout shelter, it was relatively hot and the snow was sticking to my skins for a bit.  The gentle breeze kept things cooler towards the top.  On the descent, the SW slope had a firm crust at the top, switching to soft breakable crust in the middle trees, ending with the dash through wet stickiness.   The steeper N/NW slope of the Watchman was wind scoured.

Off to see the Wizard.  Watchman Lookout. Mt Scott (back left). Mt Garfield (right)


Making the best out of conditions.  Hillman.


Pinwheels and turns on west slope of Mt Garfield. Sunset. Maybe next time.


Despite OK ski conditions, it turned out to be a heavenly day.  Looking forward to returning when we have more snow.
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ps44
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Re: January 1, 2015, Crater Lake
« Reply #1 on: 01/07/15, 03:26 PM »

Nice,
Very scenic tour.  What is the coverage currently on the road around the rim?
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radka
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Re: January 1, 2015, Crater Lake
« Reply #2 on: 01/07/15, 04:24 PM »

This is on our list. How would this terrain work for circumnavigation of the lake?

Thanks for posting!
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Kismet
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Re: January 1, 2015, Crater Lake
« Reply #3 on: 01/08/15, 04:01 PM »

I only traveled 4-5 miles of the 31 mile loop.  There were a few wind scoured spots where asphalt was visible.

On the skin back to Rim Village, I started wondering how I would do the circumnavigation... classic xc or BC skis, clockwise or counterclockwise, sled or backpack, tent or snow cave, -20  Roll Eyes or 25 degree bag, 2 or 3 days, etc. I'd use my backcountry setup since I'd hope to add in elevation along the way, to ski some slopes below the road along with the peaks on the SE side of the lake.
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: January 1, 2015, Crater Lake
« Reply #4 on: 01/08/15, 05:28 PM »

Beautiful pictures. A winter circumnavigation is very intriguing. It seems like skimo gear would be cool for a trip like this. Super light and nimble, but you can actually ski with it.
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glenn_b
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Re: January 1, 2015, Crater Lake
« Reply #5 on: 01/08/15, 06:57 PM »

It seems like skimo gear would be cool for a trip like this. Super light and nimble, but you can actually ski with it.

Depends on what kind of experience you want.  On a whim once, driving back from CA, stopped at the lodge and rented XC gear.  We easily skied about 1/4 around the lake and back in a long afternoon.  A tip of the hat to those slogging around on AT gear or snowshoes.  You are strong.
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