Well, I never thought I’d get to heaven: Chuck Dellenbaugh and I were lucky enough that each of us found a place to park our cars on the entry road to the Santiam snow-park. Unwilling to leave those precious spots to join other club members where ever they found parking, we, along with Ann, geared up and knocked on heaven’s door.
This is another of those places you will not see named on any topo, but is a small knob south of Three Fingered Jack that looks down on Square and Long Lake, with a glimpse of Booth Lake as well. We did the trip as a loop, heading up the Santiam trail, then crossing east, all a modest climb. A bit more climbing on the east side of the ridge, then a traverse to Heaven. We ate lunch there, admiring the view. Snow conditions were excellent, about 5” of fluff under the skis perfect weather, and nice temperatures.
This is great trip, very open, not too long, and climbing grades were very moderate. Back country ski explorations has definitly increased. We enjoyed our solitude but other’s tracks were apparent, including several downhill runs, which I suspect were made from resort skiers that are now AT skiing.
I hope for a lot more days like this one this season. The photo is from Heaven looking south, in case you need more motivation to try this trip! Jerry Vessello