From Kim Jones:
I had a great day up at Marys Peak. Bit of a death march as it was 13 miles round trip for relatively few turns. I parked at the first high spot on the road about MilePost 3.5 in about 12 – 18” of snow. I skinned up to Conner Camp at MP5.5 but the East Ridge trail was blocked by fallen trees. Another day when I drive to there I will try it again but it was tough to tell if there was enough snow to ski it as there was less snow under the trees. So I continued skinning up the road to the main parking lot at MP 9.5. From there it is 1/2 mile to the summit. No wind to speak of but drifting overcast as you can see in the photos. Two other folks had skied to the top. There was a good 3 feet of light dry snow with some drifting. Gorgeous day. Nice ski back to the road below the parking lot and then a fun run down the road to 1/2 mile from my truck. Then boot tracked up the incline back to my truck.
I could have put chains on and driven up further but I only saw 4 trucks coming down the road and they had chewed up the road pretty badly. Some trees had come down and some were bent over, so being by myself and no chain saw, decided to ski from lower down. More folks drove up later in the day.
The only real downside to Mary Peak is that the road is not plowed (for the past 20 years) and a lot of knuckleheads drive up the road and get stuck blocking the road. Being parked low down helped a bit. But the road is drivable to the summit parking lot with a high clearance rig and chains (see pic). Best option is to go up early and hope for the best on the way down. It is likely best just to head up to Santiam Pass, but Marys Peak can be beautiful under rare conditions, like this week when it is cold and the snow deep.
From Bob Young:
Too much of a good thing? Well, maybe. With clear skies on Tuesday a number of people were getting out to get on the anxiously awaited snow. Those who sought XC had to work hard to set deep tracks but the snow was cold, slick, and soft. Bianca Klar, Howard Simon, and I took advantage of Hoodoo not being open yet and did some climb and tele. Groomers were packing many of the main runs which helped with the climbing and there were plenty of untracked slopes for nice downhill runs. Howard and Bianca climbed to the top twice. I stuck to some lower runs but still got plenty of workout for a first day on the snow.
Let’s all get out there soon and take advantage of scheduled tours. With a number of trail breakers we can get to some great destinations.