Stevens Pass, WA 3/2/2017

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Stevens Pass, WA 3/2/2017

Postby tseeb » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:30 am

Same state and another new-to-me area. Stevens Pass, 65 miles E of Everett and 35 miles NW of Leavenworth is a gem.
I thought it was a small place, but it is bigger than Mt Baker and has as least three steep faces and two of them are wide enough to have a variety of long STEEP runs. It was my first day (in five - so far on trip) that it was not snowing or blowing to begin the day. I rode with a guy up the two steep frontside lifts (slow double, then triple) and followed him off the S-facing back. The very top was refrozen powder, then there was a lot of steep windsift before snow got flat and manky enough to drive me to the groomer. I rode both backside chairs twice and found similar conditions with very good windsift/packed powder for more than half of the way down.
There are three huge sets of power lines running through Stevens backside
The older one, Southern Cross is not detachable, but quickly rises almost 1800' which allowed me to exit to frontside and ski Double Diamond,where snow was great once past the first 10', which was scraped to ice on right side.

It had started to snow lightly at 10 so I went into lodge to put my helmet liner back on. I rode lift towards 7th Heaven, but skied groomer to bottom the first time up. Second time I went up 7th Heaven and when unloading heard guy doing what turned out to be a 1 minute hike encourage people ahead of me to join him. They didn't but I followed him into Nancy's, then Bobby's which dropped you below 7th Heaven. Some of the 8" they reported in last 48 hrs. was still skiing great. We repeated 7th Heaven, but wrapped around to left at top, then came down a wide steep area between and below cliff bands where snow was even less skied out. It turned out that Scott, the guy enthusiastically showing me around, patrolled for a year at Stevens in the 90s and knew the mountain well.

We moved to the Double Diamond chair and did short uphill to Wild Katz which is 1500 vertical of steep trees with a cliff/steeper part in the middle. The entrance and a few open areas were scraped off and firm and there were some bumps, but there were stretches of excellent not totally tracked snow.
It was a little after noon and I was beat at the bottom and not sure about repeating it, but did and found a less tiring more open to the left the had better snow and a steeper part to get through.

After a lunch break I went back to the Backside and found fun snow and lines to skiers left of Southern Cross. There were a couple of inches of wet fresh snow on top of windsift and it skied great. I skied a few laps with Glen from Whidbey Island, a 70+ year old who was figuring out some big skis, We did Upper Double Diamond, then moved to Tye Bowl another large area with some extreme entrances.
Steven Creek Subaru is on the same street where I bought my Honda
The new snow was getting deeper so I went to car for my powder skis, but only got a couple of laps on lower Double Diamond chair as they shut down at 4 PM, not 9 PM as they do on some nights.
I skied back to car at 4:03 with my watch counting 21 run for third day in a row and over 26.5K Vertical.
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