Snoqualmie Pass BC Skiing
My friend Dave was in town and had never skied around Snoqualmie Pass so we headed up! His requests were good snow, views, cool terrain. I knew the terrain would deliver but with 55 degrees in Seattle. Views, well Snoqualmie Pass enjoys many, many days of fog so we had no idea.
We skinned up Commonwealth Basin, below Red Mountain and Kendall Peak and as we climbed above the thick forest, the sun greeted us and the view opened up to the Southwest. We were in t-shirts at this point and it was balmy to say the least. We headed up the slope to the ridge east of Red Mountain, climbing on deep, wet snow and then on a crust with 2″ of semi-corn on top.
We gained the ridge and were treated to a great view, despite the howling winds. Mt. Thompson stuck out like a thumb and the black wall of incoming weather to the West gave a great background to the East. We fueled up with food and headed down for our first turns. Skiing was good on the crust layer and deteriorated to “push-alanches” lower. We then traversed into the open basin to begin our next climb.
We headed up the shaded north facing slope off the ridge below Kendal Peak with hopes of skiing powder! Powder skiing at Snoqualmie Pass? Kind of. It was soft and dry so I guess it was powder. We easily gained the ridge after I fought the glopping of the dry snow to my wet skins. We climbed a cool ridge, using many “veggie belays” and climbed between double cornices and snarled trees. To the south was the awesome north facing chutes off Kendall Peak. So cool! I’m definitely getting back there to get in on some of those!
The wind was picking up and it was getting darker so we skied out the playful, steep forested slope and down to the flats in the thick forest. It was getting dark at this point and after much “trascending” we hit the flat slog section. My legs were cramping at this point and I found out I didn’t have my headlamp. I ended up skiing in from of Dave, careful not to stop suddenly. We made it out at 6pm or so and cruised easily back to Seattle. I was beat, had a blister, was hungry, and had a great day skiing!!! I learned some new words noted in “–” and was reminded of all the great past adventures with Dave. Good times!