February 25, 2010

High Alpine Tr. Open

It's mid February, and many areas of the country are covered in snow. My hometown Flagstaff, Arizona experienced the second largest storm in recorded history this winter-54" in one storm. Yet here in Oakridge, it feels as if winter never really showed up. There's not much snow at Willamette Pass, to the and the reservoirs around here are pretty low. But, on the bright side the roads and trails around here are mostly open.

Only two days ago my friend and I rode the Alpine Trail from Kate's cut in trail (above Windy Pass on 1912). It was a crystal clear day, and it was amazing to look across the North Fork drainage at the Three Sisters to the east. We were able to drive up 1912 to around 4000' before hitting snow on a north facing corner. We were dropped at the edge of the snow, and biked on the snow about a half mile further to the trail.

Once on trail, there was very little snow. We hit a couple short patches climbing up the trail towards the meadow. The meadow was clear of snow on the western side, although it began about half way across the meadow and we had to walk about 100 yards on the eastern side.

Once past the meadow there is a 20" tree down on the trail. However beyond that the trail was in prime condition. Many people have been out doing treadwork already this year, and the trail was at it's best. We had a great ride all the way down to the Westfir Covered Bridge.
Its raining outside tonight, and the snow level may drop again. But, there's no snow base below 5000', and I don't think it will stick around for long.


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