Today Eric and I headed to Erling Stordahl, the xc ski trails of Crystal Springs Sno-park near Easton, WA with the Mountaineers. The passes had been closed most of the week due to high volumes of snowfall and avalanche danger. Snoqualmie Pass, although open, was still a hazardous near the summit. Slush and some slick ice cover Highway 90 and chains were required on vehicles without all wheel drive. Luckily, drivers were playing it safe and traveling slow to avoid any issues. We arrived at the sno-park in about 1.5 hours after leaving Everett.

Snow drifted through the air as we walked to the trail head. Crystal Springs is mostly a snowmobiling area of gas exhaust polluted the parking lot air. Erling Stordahl is away from the snowmobile routes however, so we quickly got away from the noise and smell. The trails were groomed yesterday, but a layer of about 8 inches of sticky powder had already covered the tracks. And it was sticky. Almost immediately folks in the group had to stop and smear quick wax on their skis since the snow kept sticking to the bottom. Eric and I eventually had to do the same, though it took us about 3 hours to get to that point.

We took the up and down Roller Coaster Trail and skied back and forth on a big hill before heading down a very steep potion of the track. I had to side step it. We later discovered that we were actually going the wrong way on a “one way” trail… you were supposed to climb up the steep part, not come own! We then too the Forest and Meadow Loops and passed over the Troll Bridge, before climbing back up the Roller Coaster Hill and skiing back down to end our outting.

It was still snowing when we got back to the parking lot at 2:00pm. We traveled about 7 miles by ski… now it was time to travel back over the pass another 85.

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