Trip Report    

Basic Snowshoe - Nordic Pass

A delightful day tromping through fresh snow and quiet woods.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The route is in great shape.  The blue diamonds are a bit sparse in spots, but word on the street is that there is a volunteer work party scheduled to do some blue diamond maintenance in the very near future.

Second time’s a charm. This was a rescheduled trip due to torrential rain forecasted for the original date. Early in the week it looked like we might have another dismal forecast but things improved day by day over the course of the week and by the night before the forecast was calling for partly sunny skies. As it was, the weather was quite nice: moderate temperatures, no wind, some clouds, some sun, and just 30-40 minutes of precipitation in the form of graupel.

Our hardy group of five took turns breaking trail through several inches of new snow which made the ascent feel much longer than the 3+ miles that it allegedly is. We had fun trying to spy the next blue diamond, with one member of our party showing a marked aptitude for finding the elusive trail markers. We stopped often to enjoy the scenery, stare in wonder at a particularly big tree, or identify animal tracks (almost exclusively squirrel) and generally enjoyed a relaxed, unhurried trip.


On the return from the Pass we made a slight detour to visit the warming hut at Grand Junction and then descended to Hyak Lake via the “gully route”


It always surprises me how few people frequent Nordic Pass. While crowds clamor to nearby locales such as Commonwealth Basin, Gold Creek, and Kendall Peak Lakes, it seems that very few people venture to Nordic Pass. We crossed paths (literally) with a number of skiers, but once past the Nordic ski area we saw no one until we returned to the cross-country ski trails.  The entire day we saw no other snowshoers aside from a single party at Hyak Lake. Below Hyak Lake it was apparent that there had been a lot of traffic through the area in the form of skiers and snowshoers earlier in the day, but somehow we managed to time our descent perfectly, having the Nordic Pass trail all to ourselves again.

It was a very fun day with a great group of Mountaineers. Everyone was well prepared, contributed to breaking trail and navigating, and worked well as a team. We had one Basic Snowshoe student in the group with this trip serving as their graduation trip – congrats!