The weather was perfect for the annual Crater Lake overnight trip. 26 club members enjoyed skiing and snowshoeing, and lots of snow, Feb 24 to 26. Heavy snow made the drive a bit more challenging, but 16 arrived Friday morning at the north entrance, where the road is closed and blocked by snow. There was lots of new snow and no tracks. The forward team headed out, taking turns breaking trail. We were even ahead of the snowmobiles, although they started to appear, sharing the road with us. As the ski was basically an out-and-back, skiers turned back when they’d had their fill. The most energetic group went out on the Pumice Desert, but the loop out there wasn’t too big, since there was no protection from the wind out on the Pumice Desert.
The whole group convened at the Prospect Hotel for good food and good cheer. Fred and Karen took great care of us, as always.
Saturday morning was full of contingency plans, because we didn’t yet know if the road to the rim would be open. After eating a hearty breakfast and collecting our lunches, we headed up to the Park. By the time we arrived, the road to the rim was open. At this point, the group split up. Eric Ness led a large group of skiers on the Annie Creek Canyon Trail. After exploring that area, they headed up to the rim to enjoy lunch and views and more skiing along the West Rim Trail.
Louise Brown led a group looking for turns and willing to break trail. Luckily, we didn’t have to break trail along the West Rim Trail. It was slow going, though, because of all the photo stops. It was a postcard perfect day. At our lunch break, we discussed whether we should ski a bit further on the road or just play right where we were. We were actually a bit concerned that the snow would be too deep to get going, but it wasn’t. We enjoyed everal laps of glorious turns. As we headed back to the trailhead, we met up with the group Eric as leading.
Socializing at the Prospect Lodge, both before and during meals, was a highlight of the trip. It was definitely a group of old friends and new friends.
Sunday morning was a bit of a surprise, as we woke up to about four inches of new snow with more coming down. As Prospect is 3800 feet lower than the Park Headquarters, we weren’t sure what awaited us. The road north from Prospect was snowy but plowed, but when we turned east towards the park entrance, the plows hadn’t been through yet. Some folks decided to head home, but about ten people arrived at the park headquarters for the Snowshoe with the Ranger. It was still snowing hard, as Ranger Dave led us on a short but strenuous shoe, educating us along the way about winter in Crater Lake. Breaking trail was a lot of effort with such deep snow, but with such an enthusiastic group, no one stayed in front for very long.
It was a perfect weekend!