Winter Wonderland and Be Safe!
Was it ever pretty up there yesterday! The trees were full of snow, and it is / was about 2’ deep on the ground.
Many of us are wondering about the plowing at Crystal and Cabin Creek. Well, it boils down to making sure the budget lasts for the winter. Snow came early (as compared to recent years) and enough of it to start prepping for the season. The other thing is the ground is still saturated and unfrozen. Plowing could damage the roadbed in Crystal when it is this wet and warm. We do not want a repeat of the potholes that developed last season. So, considering that the groomer operators are hard at work cutting trees and prepping the trail bases, the snow removal is on hold hoping for colder conditions and the water to drain. Chances are, the Sno-Parks will get plowed for the weekend. As ALWAYS, carry chains, shovel and be prepared to hang out for a while – be it stuck in traffic on I-90 waiting for accidents to clear, or the exit from the Sno-Park is blocked or whatever.
OK, a bit on safety. Those of you who have skied for many years understand the dangers of tree wells (under the tree branch umbrella) and snow loads. Stay clear!! Right now, the trees branches are still loaded and if it warms up or rains, that snow gets really heavy and starts to unload, sometimes in big thumps, hunks, chunks, blobs, and balls, and these can drop from on high. This can kill you! Also, with snow loads, the leaner (slanted) trees get a weight added and down they go. Saturated ground does not help. There are many trees and branches coming down now - at any random time. Below are 2 photos of our groomer operators working on clearing the trail.
If you are in a snow load area and there is a bit of wind, or a quick warm up, pay attention and if you need to, be safe and get to open areas away from power lines. Or, come back another time, it's better to live for another ski day right?
If there are sawyers out working – STAY CLEAR – one cannot stress this enough. Often these trees are hazard trees and could be unpredictable. Not all trees can be cut at night, so if you encounter tree cutting work, please please keep your distance or preferably find another place to ski or snowshoe.
Last safety topic, if a groomer is going to pass, you NEED to get off the trail – not just to the edge. I know this is tough in places on the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail, but if you see it coming in the distance, do what you can to find a safe place to step off.
Keep your eyes open, pay attention to your surroundings, be safe and have fun!
News from Salmon La Sac:
The crew is hoping to have the ski trails packed down for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. SR 903 was plowed and is currently kept open since we started getting significant snow last week. The contract plow operators were at the Salmon La Sac Sno-Park a few days ago opening it up. There is 18”-24” at Salmon Ls Sac Campground. All the roads up the Cle Elum Valley were posted closed.
On home page is Lake Easton State Park and P2C grooming updates.
See you up there!