Four Central Oregon Nordic Club skiers got to see Wickiup Plains still covered with its winter blanket of white on Sunday, May 13.
With the Cascades Lake Highway now open, skiers drove to the Devils Lake area and proceeded to ski to Wickiup Plains, which is below the base of South Sister, normally seen by hikers but not often by skiers. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through this area, which is within the Three Sisters Wilderness, at an elevation of roughly 6,200 feet.
“It may be May but you may still find good skiing!” says group leader Susan Sullivan.
“We were able to put on skis right from the road. The first bit is somewhat challenging, but once we got past the first 0.1 mile, it was pretty much smooth sailing all the way to the open pumice flat below Rock Mesa. We skied past Le Conte Crater to get a view of the Wife and the Husband, and could see some evidence in the distance of the fire that engulfed Separation Creek last summer.”
The skiers did not encounter another soul all day in their white wilderness wonderland.
“It was grand!” says skier Jeanni Capell.
(Photos and explanations by Jeanni Capell)