Santa Claus might have been two months late, but he finally gave skiers what they had on their wish lists – lots of fresh powder. On Sunday, Feb. 25, three different Central Oregon Nordic Club groups headed into the snowy woods, and they ran into still more club members out skiing on their own.
Mt. Bachelor’s website showed that the ski area got 29 inches of snow over the weekend.
Of course, there were also strong winds, but who’s complaining if you’re a Nordic skier who can escape the winds at lower-elevation, wooded trails.
“Five hearty skiers headed out from the Meissner Sno-Park for a 16-kilometer [10-mile] ski around the Tangent and Nordeen loops,” says group leader John Fertig. “The temperature at the start was warmer (-1o C) than forecast and the snow was wetter than it has been for the last week, but that made for good grip and glide — although the snow did get sticky at times. It was quite blustery at the start but overall very pleasant conditions.
“It started snowing harder about the time we turned onto the Nordeen loop. We had a nice lunch break at the shelter with other skiers and snowshoers. By the time we got back to the Tangent trail, we had about five centimeters of new snow on the groomed trail and it was snowing hard.
“We had several kilometers of gentle downhill back to the cars. The temperature was up to 1o C. We kept moving at a nice pace for the tour and a good time was had by all.”
Meanwhile, Rick LaFollette led a group that headed out from Edison Sno-Park.
“Five people and one dog went to AC/DC shelter,” Rick reports. “We broke very little and hit a few rocks and twigs. It was wet, heavy, and abundant new snow with winds fairly reasonable, as it is fairly protected. It was beautiful and wet; I had fun. Edison has now got a decent base one foot +or- at the parking lot and two feet at the shelter.”
Susan Sullivan reports that yet another six skiers did a 4.5-mile trip starting from Swampy Lakes Sno-Park.
“We did the ‘full Swampy’ — not to be confused with the ‘Full Monty,’” Susan says. “We went out to the old shelter site before looping back to the new shelter for a snack break before heading back. Snow conditions were great. The winds made it an adventure, especially along that open stretch at the east end of the Swampy Lakes.”
Adds Jerry Sebestyen: “I measured the snow depth at the intersection of Swampy loop and Swede loop at about 1 1/2 feet. The consistency was fluffy and no base below it. If you go off trail, be on the lookout for blowdown and the usual hazards that come from low snow.”
(Photos by Carey Pircevich and Allen Sykora)