Hiking A Favorite Ski Trail Ahead Of The Snow

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Central Oregon Nordic Club members got a chance to see one of their favorite ski trails without the snow on Sunday, Sept. 17.

Smoke from wildfires throughout the state continues to interfere with planning for outdoor hikes in Central Oregon. So with an air-quality index reading of around 160 in Bend that is considered “unhealthy,” club members initially figured even the Deschutes River Trail looked undoable, says group leader Linda Frost.

Then Bill Martin produced a photo of clear skies at Mt. Bachelor, and Al Matson suggested a hike from the Nordic Center to Todd Lake by way of the water tower, Linda reports.

“Fifteen people had to borrow jackets, run home for boots, make do with no snacks and head up the mountain,” she reports. “We had a lovely five miles or so with minimal smoke.  Finally, a day and a place we could hike!

“Everything looked different from what we see on that ski route, and interesting to see again.”

For instance, without snow, look how high the ski-trail markers are compared to Bill, who helped put up these signs in the spring (upper left photo).

(Photos by Jeanni Capell and Al Matson)

Nikki "skis" down a snowless trail.

Nikki “skis” down a snowless trail.

The water tower, sans snow. A water source for Mt. Bachelor,  the water tower cone is there to permit access to the pump  in winter snows. Note the ladder on the side. There is a small door at the top of the ladder. Thanks for the information Bill!

The water tower, sans snow. A water source for Mt. Bachelor, the water tower cone is there to permit access to the pump in winter snows. Note the ladder on the side. There is a small door at the top of the ladder. Thanks for the information Bill!

In winter, snows cover a fence near the shore of Todd Lake.   In summer, it makes a perfect lunch spot with a view.

In winter, snows cover a fence near the shore of Todd Lake. In summer, it makes a perfect lunch spot with a view.

The summer bridge across the creek near water tower meadow.

The summer bridge across the creek near water tower meadow.

Lunch alongside scenic Todd Lake.

Lunch alongside scenic Todd Lake.

This is where the ski trail first takes skiers to Todd Lake.

This is where the ski trail first takes skiers to Todd Lake.

 

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