Monday, May 26, 2008


This spring has been a long, slow transition toward summer here in the Northwest. The cloudy cool days abound and colder than normal temperatures in the mountains have led to surprising spring skiing conditions. A group of us went up to Yodelin, an abandoned ski area just east of Stevens Pass, to spend a day skiing in the spring corn. The mountains had other plans. A weather system moved in the night before our tour and dropped about 8 inches of new snow over parts of the central Cascades. We arrived at the base of the Yodelin route with sun warmed new snow covering the trees and slopes beautifully.

The short climb to the upper open slopes brought us to open meadows of dry new snow that were begging for tracks. We skied to the ridge line and decided to ski the north face for the day. The sun was breaking through just enough to warm the south slopes into a semi-dense styrofoam snow, so staying on the north facing aspects was going to be the rule of the day. After the first run, the weather changed dramatically, and we were suddenly climbing up in a heavy snow fall of great new light snow. About 2 inches fell in the next hour as we did our next run, just adjacent to our first descent tracks.

Thus the day went, ski a run, more snow, then another run, then the sun would break through. We yo-yo-ed the slopes about 5 times and completely cut up what was pristine glade of untracked snow a few hours before. We felt sorry that the next people to head up there would have no such experience. Alas, someone had to do it.

See the Yodelin video here.

Dr. Telemark

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