The past weekend was not our usual due to the Superbowl on Sunday. We ended up compromising as I naturally wanted to spend both days in the backcountry and Damien wanted to watch the game. Thus I spent Sunday at MT Baker Ski area while on Saturday we went out together on the Nason Ridge XC Loop.I’ve did this 15 mile XC ski trail two years ago and it was very much not groomed. This time the groomers had gone just an hour before we arrived so everything was fresh.

We started off at probably around 7:30am from the Kahler Glenn Sno-Park (Special groomed sticker required). The trail can be accessed by crossing the street and skiing along the track in the Kahler Glenn Golf Course. There are a few blue signs that direct the skier toward Nason Ridge, but the general idea is to keep going in the direct of the giant ridge in the back of the course. The track crosses a few streets. Just before the actual Nason Ridge Trail Begins there is a sign that indicates that there is a huge hill ahead which is hard to climb in skis. There is a little make that shows a recommended route to take along the plowed road to access the trail instead. We walked along the road as recommended to reach the Nason Ridge Trail.

The Lower Nason Ridge Trail gradually climbs along the lower side of the ridge with little elevation gain. In fact it is mostly flat. Conditions were very icy though since it was intermittently raining. Thus whenever there was an uphill section we tended to slide back a bit. Still the clouds were high so we were afforded views of the surrounding mountains. After about 3 miles there is a junction in the track starting the loop portion of the trail. We took the right junction.

From here the track gets much steeper. Some herring-boning, but mostly the angle was just enough to ski normally (still slipping a bit due to the rain). The trail climbs 1500 ft to the top of the Nason Ridge Plateau and then curves right. There are some wonderful views at 3000 ft. The high point is 3200ft but there are less views on that side of the ridge. There area  few maps sprinkled along the way as well. About halfway through the loop there is another intersection. Turning right will take you on a mini loop and then back on the main track. We bypassed this and continued left.

The trail descends rather steeply at times making for some nice gliding. There are switchbacks so care must be taken making sharp turns while traveling at high speeds downhill. The warmth of the day had softened the snow by then though and ski conditions were awesome. We ended up back at the car at about 3:30. Not bad for a 15 mile day!

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