As some others will likely report, parking at Santiam pass has become a nightmare on the weekends at least. Hoodoo was full by 9:00 and had traffic backed up to below Hogg Rock. No place to park at Santiam Snopark and Potato Hill parking was the same so Dayna, Bianca, and I ended up at Little Nash snopark and skied some unfamiliar area. The snow at that elevation was not great but the track that was set, and well separated from snowshoers, had great glide.
My intent was to ski up to the Hash Brown Loop via the Nash Potato trail but the cutoff sign for the connections was totally engulfed in a small tree with no noticeable tracks and the road 725 continues straight ahead, which we did. Ended up skiing up the snowmobile road for a thousand feet elevation gain and got into some really nice snow up there. Skiing in those areas that have been thinned for fire control is really beautiful. We found a sunny spot with a nice view of Jack and Potato Hill for a lunch break. We did 8.7 miles, got in a good climb, exhilarating downhill, and great diagonal stride on the final leg back. It was a good day despite the change in plan.