Snow Crossing of McKenzie Pass

March 2008; by Lindsay C.
It started out bright, but snowy on the East side of Hwy 242. The snow was being blown in from clouds miles away. Drew, Fritzi and I started skiing, while Aaron and Jim D. took the vehicles around to the snow gate on the West side of Hwy 242 with Bob's gracious help bring Aaron and Jim back to the East side to try to catch us. We all took advantage of the 'groomed' track that was in place for the John Craig Memorial Race. However, we were slowed by the skiers coming toward us from the West, the friendly aid stations and the 'rescue' that we lent a hand in. The first group got to the Dee Wright Observatory not very much ahead of Jim and Aaron from the shuttle. We got our tents up and then enjoyed the 'Lodge' in the muted moon light. Nobody from the John Craig spent the night, so we had the place to ourselves. The wind blew and a light snow fell all night as the temperature dropped to 18F by morning.

By morning, the wind had dropped off and the clouds started to break up to a bright day. We were getting fleeting glimpses of the North and Middle Sisters. Most of the nice tracks from the day before were gone,...until a group of snow mobilers zoomed past us on a trip over the pass. We skied 7 miles until we got to the serious downhill. The last nine miles took only took 1.5hrs. Yes, it was downhill, but it was very tiring. We were whipped by the time we got to the vehicles on the West side...I'll tell you what!! 22 miles total. A good exercise in more ways than one! We all learned something. I need a more aerodynamic pack!

The group after 22 miles

Enjoying the ambience inside Dee Wright

Leaving the 'Lodge'