Cold. Snow. Wind.
Feb. 12, 2021
Snow, wind and chilly
While down here in the lowlands, the weather is hovering at probably 28-34 degrees this early morning. But up on the Pass, there are those east winds changing temperatures a bit. While it may be in the teens in the trees or sheltered areas, it may be much much colder out in the wind. Compound that with many of us may not owning a ridiculous amount of lightweight layering outerwear that rate to below zero temperatures. After that exhilarating ski we could be a bit sweaty skiing and then stuck in freeway traffic going home wet and chilled because you are hungry and then low on gas because you wanted to get up there fast, or worse, have a flat tire (its happened to me more than once), when the last thing we would want to do is go back out in the wind and fix it.
I recognize many of the readers of this blog are seasoned and know local weather patterns, but as a reminder to those new to this area, please be prepared. You see requests everywhere, WSDOT, recreate responsibly, Facebook, Twitter, newspapers and so forth. Its worth it to be prepared. Below are some observations and experiences I’ve had which hopefully can save you some inconvenience.
1) I-90 – the last 5-10 years has been transformative up there, thankfully this round of construction is completed and wonderful. The truck traffic volume appears to be a lot higher. It would be interesting to see the numbers for weekend trucking now vs. 10, 20 years ago. Give them plenty of space. They are hauling stuff we purchased.
2) I-90 – everyone drives AWD now. This can lead to a false sense of security. Just take it easy and leave yourself some “defensible space”. Pass is closed frequently (it seems every time it snows now) due to spin outs.
3) Carry shovel, chains (and practice putting them on before you venture out utilizing the comfort of dry warmer weather), and an extra blanket for these trips. Maybe add in snacks and a thermos with hot beverage for the return to help keep you warm while you are in a closure stuck for hours. Oh, and always visit the sani-can before you get in the car to leave! 5-hour drives from Easton to the Summit, or Summit to North Bend happen.
4) When skiing, it is possible to injure yourself, even on perfect grooming. Plan for an accident. Will you stay warm while help arrives? Even on the P2C, it could be awhile. There are no ski patrollers for the I-90 Sno-Park trails.
New news just out:
Friday 2/12/2021 11:04am 15 Degrees / Snowing
LAKE EASTON STATE PARK:
6" - 8" total snow.
Extreme cold temperatures have allowed us to groom Lake Easton.
Grooming included the main loop and out to the Yakima River.
Trail conditions are poor / fair.
Single track has been set.
Grooming was completed this morning at 10:45am. WHOO HOO!
Grooming is scheduled for Saturday 2/13 & Sunday 2/14 in the afternoon hours.
Expect low snow conditions.
Expect timber litter and dirt.
Expected sections ungroomed.
Ski for Light will be out Saturday in Erling Stordahl. Side by side set tracks. Perfect time to ski and chat with a friend! Erling had plenty of loops, hills, open, rolling and forest.
There are virtual races at Cabin Creek this season, expect to see skiers competing for time. A little bit of courtesy goes a long way, let them pass as soon as possible, and hopefully they will throw a thank you back at ya. Everyone has the same right to ski the trails.
It’s a holiday weekend! (not for me though), expect crowds. Be careful of the potholes in Crystal Springs. Maybe the new snow will smooth them out for a bit.
Enjoy the nice cold snow!
2/11/21 at about 10PM