Newsletter, April 2022

WILLAMETTE CHAPTER – OREGON NORDIC CLUB

P. O. Box 181
Salem, Oregon

    What a season this has been!  In early December there was no snow and desperate skiers resorted to hiking; by New Years the Cascades had 200% of normal snow depth and we sweated through the toil of trail breaking; late January and early February brought warm temperatures and sunny skies, but also a freeze/thaw cycle that turned the snow to frozen concrete; by March there was finally “normal” spring snow and pleasant skiing, but it was melting so fast every ski looked like it might be the last; and now April arrives with a freak storm that dumps 30” on Santiam Pass (and it’s still snowing).  Just ski it like you find it—enjoy the Spring.

    April will probably be our final Newsletter of the season and it’s time to say “thank you” to everyone who made this a great year for the Willamette Chapter:

    Thanks to the 18 club volunteers who logged 500 hours brushing and marking ski trails and stocking firewood for our Forest Service snow shelters.  We couldn’t ski as smoothly and comfortably without you.

    Thanks to Bill, Bob, Craig, Jeanne, Jeff, Jim and John for leading tours this winter.  Your planning and organization got us out in the mountains for some great skiing.  Think about adding your name to our list of tour leaders next season.

    Thanks to our Ski School instructors and especially to our students for stepping up to the challenge of a new sport.  We hope you enjoyed the introduction to skiing and that you’ll be back on the snow with us next winter.

    And finally, thank you to everyone who got out and shared a day on snow with all of us.          Ski on.

WEEKEND DAY TOURS   

    Under current COVID-19 safety guidelines it is possible to resume the club’s scheduled ski tours.  However, individual members should assess their risk carefully before deciding whether to ski with a group.  We are responsible for our own safety.  No one should participate in a club tour if they have symptoms that might indicate Coronavirus infection or if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  The Willamette Chapter will require everyone to be vaccinated to participate in club tours.  Tour leaders may require proof of vaccination.  Carpooling to the trailhead is an individual choice.  Those who carpool should wear face coverings as a precaution.  Tourers should maintain 6’ social distance at all times and wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible.

    Guests are welcome on Willamette Chapter day tours.  Please contact the tour leader for details and to ensure the tour matches your interests and skill level.

    The spring tour schedule is sketchy, but don’t let that discourage you.  Use your membership list to to connect with other skiers and get out on the snow.  Don’t miss this late season snow.

    April 23, Saturday: A Tour, Ray Benson to North Blowout Shelter.  Contact Jeff Starr (503x851x8403).

    April 24, Sunday:  B Tour, Santiam Pass Three Summits Challenge.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    April 30, Saturday:  A or B Tour, location depending on snow conditions and group interest.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    May 7 or 8, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626‬).

Tour Ratings: A key to the Tour Rating codes: 

    “Beginner” = Easy, short distances on flat or gentle slopes; appropriate for first time skiers.

    
“A” = Easy, distances up to 5 or 6 miles with a few slopes; basic skills are required; some of these may not be suitable for 1st time skiers. 

    “B” = Intermediate or experienced; distances of 6 to 12 miles or possible elevation gains of 2000 feet; may include steeper sections; some downhill skills are required. 

    “C” = Advanced, longer with greater elevation gains; includes both trails and off-trail with frequent steep terrain.

    “D” = Expert, very difficult or long; possible backcountry travel and/or ski mountaineering. 

WEEK DAY SKI TOURS

    The uncertainties of spring snow add to the attractions of week day tours.  If you can get free on a week day with good weather and snow, contact the enthusiasts below to find someone to share your trip.

Weekday skiers:

    Bill Caldwell         503x385x6494      wbcaldwell1 at q dot com

    Chuck Daellenbach    541x928x4256    daellenbachc at comcast dot net

Frank Hoffman    541x475x0185    hh_tex at msn dot com

    Bianca Klar        503x949x9089    bianchiklar at yahoo dot com

    Mark Olson        503x559x0728    mark at olson dot us

    Foxie Proctor        503x581x0207    foxieproctor at comcast dot net

    Denise Sanders    503x859x4597    oncwilla at gmail dot com

    Jeff Starr        503x851x8403    jeffstarr3 at gmail dot com

    Jim Todd        503x378x7003    toddwac18 at gmail dot com

    Jerry Vessello        503x931x6344‬    jvess at comcast dot net

    Craig Wojcik        503x931x2705‬    ccwojcik09 at comcast dot net

    Pam Wojcik        971x312x3984    pjwojcik09 at comcast dot net

    Bob Young        503x621x6626    arch.byoung at gmail dot com

TOUR REPORTS 

Craig Lake                                by Bianca Klar

    On Saturday, March 5th, the three of us Chuck D, Bob Y, and myself (Bianca K) revisited one of our old favorite tours to Craig Lake. It’s a B tour, and although not very long (only 7.5 miles), it involves quite a bit of climbing up and down, so it requires some downhill skills and experience. It also involves crossing a creek, which at various snow conditions can be quite challenging. The weather was lovely, mostly clear skies and a bit breezy, which felt cold when gearing up, but felt just right when climbing.  We had a couple of inches of fresh snow on a solid frozen base.  It was good for climbing.  With different conditions and different snow levels, we are often tempted to try different routs in search for the perfect one:-).  This time we stayed up high on a sort of plateau, but had to navigate a lot of regrowth (hemlock thickets).  Crossing the creek up high was easy, for it was all covered with snow there, but climbing back up was too steep and icy at that spot so we had to descend some to find a gentler slope.  We continued a mostly gentle climb to the lake and had a lovely lunch there.  Coming back on the south facing slopes was a hoot, real good snow for turns.  But the east facing slopes stayed crunchy and rough.  The first picture shows where we are headed, second shows the creek canyon we had to cross, and the last two are taken at the lake.

March 5, Saturday:  Big Springs/Lava Lake SnoParks Traverse    by Jim Todd

    Bill Caldwell, Bill Nelson and I set out on a beautiful, sunny day to reap the benefits of recent trail clearing efforts by Willamette Chapter, Chemeketan and Salamander volunteers.  We were going to ski the trail from Big Springs SnoPark to Lava Lake, cross the dry lake, and ski the Lava Flat trail out to our waiting car on Hwy 20–a tour we had never done before.  The snowpack was rock hard after weeks of clear freeze/thaw weather, but an inch of new snow the previous night made it just possible to control our skis—no trail breaking on this tour!  Glide was great on the three mile downhill run to the lake, but our traverse met an unexpected obstacle when we found spring had arrived at the normally dry, snow covered lake.  There was water from bank to bank, studded with floating snow and ice bergs.  The water wasn’t deep, but was a bit cold for wading.  Instead we turned and climbed back to Big Springs SnoPark.  The Traverse is still in our future.

March 10, Thursday:  Santiam Lake                    by Jim Todd

    Some things worth doing are worth doing twice.  Beth and Frank joined me for the second tour of the season to Santiam Lake.  With firmer snow than our 2/26 trip and an added trail breaker we were able to complete the full Skyline Trail route from Santiam SnoPark to the lake.  The skiing was fine and the view did not disappoint.

March 16, Wednesday:  Point 5447’ Ridge                by Jim Todd

    So where is Point 5447’ anyway?  Well, for those of us wearing out our third copy of the USGS Three Fingered Jack topo, it’s a spot elevation on the Cascade divide a half mile north of Santiam Pass.  From this high point a ridge extends eastward between Hwy 20 and Square Lake.  This time of year the south face towards the highway is mostly bare rock, but the north face towards Three Fingered Jack still holds mounds of lovely snow.  I’ve admired it from a distance for years and finally set out to explore.  Ron and I started from Santiam SnoPark, skied the PCT trailhead and NNE to the Cascade divide, turned SE at Pt. 5447’ and climbed onto the ridge top.  It was all we hoped for: open slopes of all gradients, deep snow and great views in all directions.  We followed the ridge east until a rock outcrop and steep side slopes blocked our path; then turned and played our way along the slopes back to the divide and down to Santiam SnoPark.  A very good day.

March 26, Saturday:  The Turning Tour                by Bob Young

    With the return of some nice days, Jim, Bianca, and I headed north of Santiam Pass with few expectations about the snow conditions.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a soft enough surface and enough snow left to climb for what I’ve called my turning tour.   We basically head NE as if going to Booth Lake but keep to the north and up parallel to the PCT to a high point about 6000’ that looks down on Booth.  From there it’s all downhill on gentle and sometimes more challenging slopes all the way down to Square Lake.  As usual we stopped off at Heaven’s viewpoint for lunch and then dropped down to a plateau at 5000’ where a couple of small ponds were still snow covered.  Also, per usual we skipped the final couple hundred feet drop to Square Lake and instead climbed back to the saddle at 5400’ to start the return leg.  As the sun softened the afternoon snow the turns got more difficult but once we got back to the Skyline trail side of the ridge the surface was again more solid and forgiving.  The glide remained good all day.  We figured this would be the last day with sufficient snow for this area but here we are with more snow predicted.  The trick will be getting out on it before a follow-up hot day turns it to mashed potatoes.  Next we will start watching for the gate opening to Three Creeks Lake and think about a trek to Tam McArthur Rim.  At 7000’ to 8000’ and if sun and rain are kind there could good snow for the annual trip there.  Anyone who is interested in that let me know and I will let you know what develops.  It’s been an unusual winter but we’ve had some good skiing.  We appreciate all of your continued support to the club.  The more involved you are the better the experience is for all of us.  Thanks.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

    The Willamette Chapter has an active volunteer program assisting the Forest Service with ski trail clearing and marking; shelter construction and maintenance; and firewood stocking.  Thank you volunteers!  If you have questions about out volunteer projects or would like to join one, contact Mark Olson (503x559x0728) or Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    The Deschutes and Willamette National Forests do
essential work keeping our ski trails open, marked and
signed through the winter; but they are desperately short
of winter recreation staff. We can help them
use their limited resources efficiently by sending a Trail Report whenever we ski the marked trails. “Cascade Volunteers” records volunteer activity
and reports directly to Forest Service offices.  You can access their Trail Report form at:  https://cascadevols.org/usfs-work-report/.  (Note:  the form requires a trail number, but our ski trails are not numbered; just enter any digits in the “Trail Number” field, then describe the trail in the “Trail Name” field).  You can also report your observations by sending an email to Jim Todd:  toddwac18 at gmail dot com.

    The announcement below details the trail volunteer training program sponsored by Deschutes NF and Pacific Crest Trail Association.  It will be held near Camp Sherman, June 2-5.  Sue Sullivan of the Central Oregon Chapter of ONC will teach a session on ski trail maintenance.  Click the link below for more information and to sign up for the classes

    Details and registration links can be found here: Allingham Trail Skills College – Pacific Crest Trail Association (pcta.org)

ANNOUNCEMENTS
    The Newsletter now includes an Announcement Section. There members can post ski related items for sale, cross-country related questions, inquiries about conditions and suggestions for ski trips. Please send your announcements to Bob, Jim or Denise for inclusion in the Newsletter. Another good place for these items is on the website, ONCWillamette.org

    1.  As Bob noted above, the Tam McArthur Rim tour will be held as soon as the road to Three Creeks Lake opens.  If you are interested, contact Bob at 503x621x6626 to put your name on the list.

2020-2021 OFFICERS & BOARD MEMBERS:     

            Available                                President

            Jeanne Miller                          Vice President

            Bob Young                              Treasurer & Membership

            Denise Sanders                        Webmeister

            Genice Rabe                            Newsletter Editor

            Jim Todd                                 Day Tour Chair

            David Forkner                         ONC State Board Rep & Board Member

            Pam Wojcik                             Overnight Trip Coordinator & Board Member  

            Mark Olson                            Volunteer Coordinator & Board Member      

            Christine Young                      Board Member

            Available                                Board Member

WILLAMETTE CHAPTER – OREGON NORDIC CLUB

oncwillamette.org

P. O. Box 181

Salem, OR  97308

NEWSLETTER

April 2022

    What a season this has been!  In early December there was no snow and desperate skiers resorted to hiking; by New Years the Cascades had 200% of normal snow depth and we sweated through the toil of trail breaking; late January and early February brought warm temperatures and sunny skies, but also a freeze/thaw cycle that turned the snow to frozen concrete; by March there was finally “normal” spring snow and pleasant skiing, but it was melting so fast every ski looked like it might be the last; and now April arrives with a freak storm that dumps 30” on Santiam Pass (and it’s still snowing).  Just ski it like you find it—enjoy the Spring.

    April will probably be our final Newsletter of the season and it’s time to say “thank you” to everyone who made this a great year for the Willamette Chapter:

    Thanks to the 18 club volunteers who logged 500 hours brushing and marking ski trails and stocking firewood for our Forest Service snow shelters.  We couldn’t ski as smoothly and comfortably without you.

    Thanks to Bill, Bob, Craig, Jeanne, Jeff, Jim and John for leading tours this winter.  Your planning and organization got us out in the mountains for some great skiing.  Think about adding your name to our list of tour leaders next season.

    Thanks to our Ski School instructors and especially to our students for stepping up to the challenge of a new sport.  We hope you enjoyed the introduction to skiing and that you’ll be back on the snow with us next winter.

    And finally, thank you to everyone who got out and shared a day on snow with all of us.          Ski on.

WEEKEND DAY TOURS   

    Under current COVID-19 safety guidelines it is possible to resume the club’s scheduled ski tours.  However, individual members should assess their risk carefully before deciding whether to ski with a group.  We are responsible for our own safety.  No one should participate in a club tour if they have symptoms that might indicate Coronavirus infection or if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  The Willamette Chapter will require everyone to be vaccinated to participate in club tours.  Tour leaders may require proof of vaccination.  Carpooling to the trailhead is an individual choice.  Those who carpool should wear face coverings as a precaution.  Tourers should maintain 6’ social distance at all times and wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible.

    Guests are welcome on Willamette Chapter day tours.  Please contact the tour leader for details and to ensure the tour matches your interests and skill level.

    The spring tour schedule is sketchy, but don’t let that discourage you.  Use your membership list to to connect with other skiers and get out on the snow.  Don’t miss this late season snow.

    April 23, Saturday: A Tour, Ray Benson to North Blowout Shelter.  Contact Jeff Starr (503x851x8403).

    April 24, Sunday:  B Tour, Santiam Pass Three Summits Challenge.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    April 30, Saturday:  A or B Tour, location depending on snow conditions and group interest.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    May 7 or 8, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626‬).

Tour Ratings: A key to the Tour Rating codes: 

    “Beginner” = Easy, short distances on flat or gentle slopes; appropriate for first time skiers.

    
“A” = Easy, distances up to 5 or 6 miles with a few slopes; basic skills are required; some of these may not be suitable for 1st time skiers. 

    “B” = Intermediate or experienced; distances of 6 to 12 miles or possible elevation gains of 2000 feet; may include steeper sections; some downhill skills are required. 

    “C” = Advanced, longer with greater elevation gains; includes both trails and off-trail with frequent steep terrain.

    “D” = Expert, very difficult or long; possible backcountry travel and/or ski mountaineering. 

WEEK DAY SKI TOURS

    The uncertainties of spring snow add to the attractions of week day tours.  If you can get free on a week day with good weather and snow, contact the enthusiasts below to find someone to share your trip.

Weekday skiers:

    Bill Caldwell         503x385x6494      wbcaldwell1 at q dot com

    Chuck Daellenbach    541x928x4256    daellenbachc at comcast dot net

Frank Hoffman    541x475x0185    hh_tex at msn dot com

    Bianca Klar        503x949x9089    bianchiklar at yahoo dot com

    Mark Olson        503x559x0728    mark at olson dot us

    Foxie Proctor        503x581x0207    foxieproctor at comcast dot net

    Denise Sanders    503x859x4597    oncwilla at gmail dot com

    Jeff Starr        503x851x8403    jeffstarr3 at gmail dot com

    Jim Todd        503x378x7003    toddwac18 at gmail dot com

    Jerry Vessello        503x931x6344‬    jvess at comcast dot net

    Craig Wojcik        503x931x2705‬    ccwojcik09 at comcast dot net

    Pam Wojcik        971x312x3984    pjwojcik09 at comcast dot net

    Bob Young        503x621x6626    arch.byoung at gmail dot com

TOUR REPORTS 

Craig Lake                                by Bianca Klar

    On Saturday, March 5th, the three of us Chuck D, Bob Y, and myself (Bianca K) revisited one of our old favorite tours to Craig Lake. It’s a B tour, and although not very long (only 7.5 miles), it involves quite a bit of climbing up and down, so it requires some downhill skills and experience. It also involves crossing a creek, which at various snow conditions can be quite challenging. The weather was lovely, mostly clear skies and a bit breezy, which felt cold when gearing up, but felt just right when climbing.  We had a couple of inches of fresh snow on a solid frozen base.  It was good for climbing.  With different conditions and different snow levels, we are often tempted to try different routs in search for the perfect one:-).  This time we stayed up high on a sort of plateau, but had to navigate a lot of regrowth (hemlock thickets).  Crossing the creek up high was easy, for it was all covered with snow there, but climbing back up was too steep and icy at that spot so we had to descend some to find a gentler slope.  We continued a mostly gentle climb to the lake and had a lovely lunch there.  Coming back on the south facing slopes was a hoot, real good snow for turns.  But the east facing slopes stayed crunchy and rough.  The first picture shows where we are headed, second shows the creek canyon we had to cross, and the last two are taken at the lake.

March 5, Saturday:  Big Springs/Lava Lake SnoParks Traverse    by Jim Todd

    Bill Caldwell, Bill Nelson and I set out on a beautiful, sunny day to reap the benefits of recent trail clearing efforts by Willamette Chapter, Chemeketan and Salamander volunteers.  We were going to ski the trail from Big Springs SnoPark to Lava Lake, cross the dry lake, and ski the Lava Flat trail out to our waiting car on Hwy 20–a tour we had never done before.  The snowpack was rock hard after weeks of clear freeze/thaw weather, but an inch of new snow the previous night made it just possible to control our skis—no trail breaking on this tour!  Glide was great on the three mile downhill run to the lake, but our traverse met an unexpected obstacle when we found spring had arrived at the normally dry, snow covered lake.  There was water from bank to bank, studded with floating snow and ice bergs.  The water wasn’t deep, but was a bit cold for wading.  Instead we turned and climbed back to Big Springs SnoPark.  The Traverse is still in our future.

March 10, Thursday:  Santiam Lake                    by Jim Todd

    Some things worth doing are worth doing twice.  Beth and Frank joined me for the second tour of the season to Santiam Lake.  With firmer snow than our 2/26 trip and an added trail breaker we were able to complete the full Skyline Trail route from Santiam SnoPark to the lake.  The skiing was fine and the view did not disappoint.

March 16, Wednesday:  Point 5447’ Ridge                by Jim Todd

    So where is Point 5447’ anyway?  Well, for those of us wearing out our third copy of the USGS Three Fingered Jack topo, it’s a spot elevation on the Cascade divide a half mile north of Santiam Pass.  From this high point a ridge extends eastward between Hwy 20 and Square Lake.  This time of year the south face towards the highway is mostly bare rock, but the north face towards Three Fingered Jack still holds mounds of lovely snow.  I’ve admired it from a distance for years and finally set out to explore.  Ron and I started from Santiam SnoPark, skied the PCT trailhead and NNE to the Cascade divide, turned SE at Pt. 5447’ and climbed onto the ridge top.  It was all we hoped for: open slopes of all gradients, deep snow and great views in all directions.  We followed the ridge east until a rock outcrop and steep side slopes blocked our path; then turned and played our way along the slopes back to the divide and down to Santiam SnoPark.  A very good day.

March 26, Saturday:  The Turning Tour                by Bob Young

    With the return of some nice days, Jim, Bianca, and I headed north of Santiam Pass with few expectations about the snow conditions.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a soft enough surface and enough snow left to climb for what I’ve called my turning tour.   We basically head NE as if going to Booth Lake but keep to the north and up parallel to the PCT to a high point about 6000’ that looks down on Booth.  From there it’s all downhill on gentle and sometimes more challenging slopes all the way down to Square Lake.  As usual we stopped off at Heaven’s viewpoint for lunch and then dropped down to a plateau at 5000’ where a couple of small ponds were still snow covered.  Also, per usual we skipped the final couple hundred feet drop to Square Lake and instead climbed back to the saddle at 5400’ to start the return leg.  As the sun softened the afternoon snow the turns got more difficult but once we got back to the Skyline trail side of the ridge the surface was again more solid and forgiving.  The glide remained good all day.  We figured this would be the last day with sufficient snow for this area but here we are with more snow predicted.  The trick will be getting out on it before a follow-up hot day turns it to mashed potatoes.  Next we will start watching for the gate opening to Three Creeks Lake and think about a trek to Tam McArthur Rim.  At 7000’ to 8000’ and if sun and rain are kind there could good snow for the annual trip there.  Anyone who is interested in that let me know and I will let you know what develops.  It’s been an unusual winter but we’ve had some good skiing.  We appreciate all of your continued support to the club.  The more involved you are the better the experience is for all of us.  Thanks.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

    The Willamette Chapter has an active volunteer program assisting the Forest Service with ski trail clearing and marking; shelter construction and maintenance; and firewood stocking.  Thank you volunteers!  If you have questions about out volunteer projects or would like to join one, contact Mark Olson (503x559x0728) or Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    The Deschutes and Willamette National Forests do
essential work keeping our ski trails open, marked and
signed through the winter; but they are desperately short
of winter recreation staff. We can help them
use their limited resources efficiently by sending a Trail Report whenever we ski the marked trails. “Cascade Volunteers” records volunteer activity
and reports directly to Forest Service offices.  You can access their Trail Report form at:  https://cascadevols.org/usfs-work-report/.  (Note:  the form requires a trail number, but our ski trails are not numbered; just enter any digits in the “Trail Number” field, then describe the trail in the “Trail Name” field).  You can also report your observations by sending an email to Jim Todd:  toddwac18 at gmail dot com.

    The announcement below details the trail volunteer training program sponsored by Deschutes NF and Pacific Crest Trail Association.  It will be held near Camp Sherman, June 2-5.  Sue Sullivan of the Central Oregon Chapter of ONC will teach a session on ski trail maintenance.  Click the link below for more information and to sign up for the classes

    Details and registration links can be found here: Allingham Trail Skills College – Pacific Crest Trail Association (pcta.org)

ANNOUNCEMENTS
    The Newsletter now includes an Announcement Section. There members can post ski related items for sale, cross-country related questions, inquiries about conditions and suggestions for ski trips. Please send your announcements to Bob, Jim or Denise for inclusion in the Newsletter. Another good place for these items is on the website, ONCWillamette.org

    1.  As Bob noted above, the Tam McArthur Rim tour will be held as soon as the road to Three Creeks Lake opens.  If you are interested, contact Bob at 503x621x6626 to put your name on the list.

2020-2021 OFFICERS & BOARD MEMBERS:     

            Available                                President

            Jeanne Miller                          Vice President

            Bob Young                              Treasurer & Membership

            Denise Sanders                        Webmeister

            Genice Rabe                            Newsletter Editor

            Jim Todd                                 Day Tour Chair

            David Forkner                         ONC State Board Rep & Board Member

            Pam Wojcik                             Overnight Trip Coordinator & Board Member  

            Mark Olson                            Volunteer Coordinator & Board Member      

            Christine Young                      Board Member

            Available                                Board Member

    What a season this has been!  In early December there was no snow and desperate skiers resorted to hiking; by New Years the Cascades had 200% of normal snow depth and we sweated through the toil of trail breaking; late January and early February brought warm temperatures and sunny skies, but also a freeze/thaw cycle that turned the snow to frozen concrete; by March there was finally “normal” spring snow and pleasant skiing, but it was melting so fast every ski looked like it might be the last; and now April arrives with a freak storm that dumps 30” on Santiam Pass (and it’s still snowing).  Just ski it like you find it—enjoy the Spring.

    April will probably be our final Newsletter of the season and it’s time to say “thank you” to everyone who made this a great year for the Willamette Chapter:

    Thanks to the 18 club volunteers who logged 500 hours brushing and marking ski trails and stocking firewood for our Forest Service snow shelters.  We couldn’t ski as smoothly and comfortably without you.

    Thanks to Bill, Bob, Craig, Jeanne, Jeff, Jim and John for leading tours this winter.  Your planning and organization got us out in the mountains for some great skiing.  Think about adding your name to our list of tour leaders next season.

    Thanks to our Ski School instructors and especially to our students for stepping up to the challenge of a new sport.  We hope you enjoyed the introduction to skiing and that you’ll be back on the snow with us next winter.

    And finally, thank you to everyone who got out and shared a day on snow with all of us.          Ski on.

WEEKEND DAY TOURS   

    Under current COVID-19 safety guidelines it is possible to resume the club’s scheduled ski tours.  However, individual members should assess their risk carefully before deciding whether to ski with a group.  We are responsible for our own safety.  No one should participate in a club tour if they have symptoms that might indicate Coronavirus infection or if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  The Willamette Chapter will require everyone to be vaccinated to participate in club tours.  Tour leaders may require proof of vaccination.  Carpooling to the trailhead is an individual choice.  Those who carpool should wear face coverings as a precaution.  Tourers should maintain 6’ social distance at all times and wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible.

    Guests are welcome on Willamette Chapter day tours.  Please contact the tour leader for details and to ensure the tour matches your interests and skill level.

    The spring tour schedule is sketchy, but don’t let that discourage you.  Use your membership list to to connect with other skiers and get out on the snow.  Don’t miss this late season snow.

    April 23, Saturday: A Tour, Ray Benson to North Blowout Shelter.  Contact Jeff Starr (503x851x8403).

    April 24, Sunday:  B Tour, Santiam Pass Three Summits Challenge.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    April 30, Saturday:  A or B Tour, location depending on snow conditions and group interest.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    May 7 or 8, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626‬).

Tour Ratings: A key to the Tour Rating codes: 

    “Beginner” = Easy, short distances on flat or gentle slopes; appropriate for first time skiers.

    
“A” = Easy, distances up to 5 or 6 miles with a few slopes; basic skills are required; some of these may not be suitable for 1st time skiers. 

    “B” = Intermediate or experienced; distances of 6 to 12 miles or possible elevation gains of 2000 feet; may include steeper sections; some downhill skills are required. 

    “C” = Advanced, longer with greater elevation gains; includes both trails and off-trail with frequent steep terrain.

    “D” = Expert, very difficult or long; possible backcountry travel and/or ski mountaineering. 

WEEK DAY SKI TOURS

    The uncertainties of spring snow add to the attractions of week day tours.  If you can get free on a week day with good weather and snow, contact the enthusiasts below to find someone to share your trip.

Weekday skiers:

    Bill Caldwell         503x385x6494      wbcaldwell1 at q dot com

    Chuck Daellenbach    541x928x4256    daellenbachc at comcast dot net

Frank Hoffman    541x475x0185    hh_tex at msn dot com

    Bianca Klar        503x949x9089    bianchiklar at yahoo dot com

    Mark Olson        503x559x0728    mark at olson dot us

    Foxie Proctor        503x581x0207    foxieproctor at comcast dot net

    Denise Sanders    503x859x4597    oncwilla at gmail dot com

    Jeff Starr        503x851x8403    jeffstarr3 at gmail dot com

    Jim Todd        503x378x7003    toddwac18 at gmail dot com

    Jerry Vessello        503x931x6344‬    jvess at comcast dot net

    Craig Wojcik        503x931x2705‬    ccwojcik09 at comcast dot net

    Pam Wojcik        971x312x3984    pjwojcik09 at comcast dot net

    Bob Young        503x621x6626    arch.byoung at gmail dot com

TOUR REPORTS 

Craig Lake                                by Bianca Klar

    On Saturday, March 5th, the three of us Chuck D, Bob Y, and myself (Bianca K) revisited one of our old favorite tours to Craig Lake. It’s a B tour, and although not very long (only 7.5 miles), it involves quite a bit of climbing up and down, so it requires some downhill skills and experience. It also involves crossing a creek, which at various snow conditions can be quite challenging. The weather was lovely, mostly clear skies and a bit breezy, which felt cold when gearing up, but felt just right when climbing.  We had a couple of inches of fresh snow on a solid frozen base.  It was good for climbing.  With different conditions and different snow levels, we are often tempted to try different routs in search for the perfect one:-).  This time we stayed up high on a sort of plateau, but had to navigate a lot of regrowth (hemlock thickets).  Crossing the creek up high was easy, for it was all covered with snow there, but climbing back up was too steep and icy at that spot so we had to descend some to find a gentler slope.  We continued a mostly gentle climb to the lake and had a lovely lunch there.  Coming back on the south facing slopes was a hoot, real good snow for turns.  But the east facing slopes stayed crunchy and rough.  The first picture shows where we are headed, second shows the creek canyon we had to cross, and the last two are taken at the lake.

March 5, Saturday:  Big Springs/Lava Lake SnoParks Traverse    by Jim Todd

    Bill Caldwell, Bill Nelson and I set out on a beautiful, sunny day to reap the benefits of recent trail clearing efforts by Willamette Chapter, Chemeketan and Salamander volunteers.  We were going to ski the trail from Big Springs SnoPark to Lava Lake, cross the dry lake, and ski the Lava Flat trail out to our waiting car on Hwy 20–a tour we had never done before.  The snowpack was rock hard after weeks of clear freeze/thaw weather, but an inch of new snow the previous night made it just possible to control our skis—no trail breaking on this tour!  Glide was great on the three mile downhill run to the lake, but our traverse met an unexpected obstacle when we found spring had arrived at the normally dry, snow covered lake.  There was water from bank to bank, studded with floating snow and ice bergs.  The water wasn’t deep, but was a bit cold for wading.  Instead we turned and climbed back to Big Springs SnoPark.  The Traverse is still in our future.

March 10, Thursday:  Santiam Lake                    by Jim Todd

    Some things worth doing are worth doing twice.  Beth and Frank joined me for the second tour of the season to Santiam Lake.  With firmer snow than our 2/26 trip and an added trail breaker we were able to complete the full Skyline Trail route from Santiam SnoPark to the lake.  The skiing was fine and the view did not disappoint.

March 16, Wednesday:  Point 5447’ Ridge                by Jim Todd

    So where is Point 5447’ anyway?  Well, for those of us wearing out our third copy of the USGS Three Fingered Jack topo, it’s a spot elevation on the Cascade divide a half mile north of Santiam Pass.  From this high point a ridge extends eastward between Hwy 20 and Square Lake.  This time of year the south face towards the highway is mostly bare rock, but the north face towards Three Fingered Jack still holds mounds of lovely snow.  I’ve admired it from a distance for years and finally set out to explore.  Ron and I started from Santiam SnoPark, skied the PCT trailhead and NNE to the Cascade divide, turned SE at Pt. 5447’ and climbed onto the ridge top.  It was all we hoped for: open slopes of all gradients, deep snow and great views in all directions.  We followed the ridge east until a rock outcrop and steep side slopes blocked our path; then turned and played our way along the slopes back to the divide and down to Santiam SnoPark.  A very good day.

March 26, Saturday:  The Turning Tour                by Bob Young

    With the return of some nice days, Jim, Bianca, and I headed north of Santiam Pass with few expectations about the snow conditions.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a soft enough surface and enough snow left to climb for what I’ve called my turning tour.   We basically head NE as if going to Booth Lake but keep to the north and up parallel to the PCT to a high point about 6000’ that looks down on Booth.  From there it’s all downhill on gentle and sometimes more challenging slopes all the way down to Square Lake.  As usual we stopped off at Heaven’s viewpoint for lunch and then dropped down to a plateau at 5000’ where a couple of small ponds were still snow covered.  Also, per usual we skipped the final couple hundred feet drop to Square Lake and instead climbed back to the saddle at 5400’ to start the return leg.  As the sun softened the afternoon snow the turns got more difficult but once we got back to the Skyline trail side of the ridge the surface was again more solid and forgiving.  The glide remained good all day.  We figured this would be the last day with sufficient snow for this area but here we are with more snow predicted.  The trick will be getting out on it before a follow-up hot day turns it to mashed potatoes.  Next we will start watching for the gate opening to Three Creeks Lake and think about a trek to Tam McArthur Rim.  At 7000’ to 8000’ and if sun and rain are kind there could good snow for the annual trip there.  Anyone who is interested in that let me know and I will let you know what develops.  It’s been an unusual winter but we’ve had some good skiing.  We appreciate all of your continued support to the club.  The more involved you are the better the experience is for all of us.  Thanks.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

    The Willamette Chapter has an active volunteer program assisting the Forest Service with ski trail clearing and marking; shelter construction and maintenance; and firewood stocking.  Thank you volunteers!  If you have questions about out volunteer projects or would like to join one, contact Mark Olson (503x559x0728) or Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    The Deschutes and Willamette National Forests do
essential work keeping our ski trails open, marked and
signed through the winter; but they are desperately short
of winter recreation staff. We can help them
use their limited resources efficiently by sending a Trail Report whenever we ski the marked trails. “Cascade Volunteers” records volunteer activity
and reports directly to Forest Service offices.  You can access their Trail Report form at:  https://cascadevols.org/usfs-work-report/.  (Note:  the form requires a trail number, but our ski trails are not numbered; just enter any digits in the “Trail Number” field, then describe the trail in the “Trail Name” field).  You can also report your observations by sending an email to Jim Todd:  toddwac18 at gmail dot com.

    The announcement below details the trail volunteer training program sponsored by Deschutes NF and Pacific Crest Trail Association.  It will be held near Camp Sherman, June 2-5.  Sue Sullivan of the Central Oregon Chapter of ONC will teach a session on ski trail maintenance.  Click the link below for more information and to sign up for the classes

    Details and registration links can be found here: Allingham Trail Skills College – Pacific Crest Trail Association (pcta.org)

ANNOUNCEMENTS
    The Newsletter now includes an Announcement Section. There members can post ski related items for sale, cross-country related questions, inquiries about conditions and suggestions for ski trips. Please send your announcements to Bob, Jim or Denise for inclusion in the Newsletter. Another good place for these items is on the website, ONCWillamette.org

    1.  As Bob noted above, the Tam McArthur Rim tour will be held as soon as the road to Three Creeks Lake opens.  If you are interested, contact Bob at 503x621x6626 to put your name on the list.

2020-2021 OFFICERS & BOARD MEMBERS:     

            Available                                President

            Jeanne Miller                          Vice President

            Bob Young                              Treasurer & Membership

            Denise Sanders                        Webmeister

            Genice Rabe                            Newsletter Editor

            Jim Todd                                 Day Tour Chair

            David Forkner                         ONC State Board Rep & Board Member

            Pam Wojcik                             Overnight Trip Coordinator & Board Member  

            Mark Olson                            Volunteer Coordinator & Board Member      

            Christine Young                      Board Member

Available Board Member

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