Trip Report    

Cross-country Ski - Mount Catherine Loop (winter)

Took advantage of the fabulous weather forecast for a great ski on the Common Corridor approach to Windy Pass.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Seems like everyone else also wanted to get outside and be in the sun today. Traffic was backed up at all Pass exits off I90, and the Hyak SnoPark had not been plowed, being full of old slush that was frozen. No matter - we quickly booted up, and hit the Hyak trail for maybe a half mile or so, groomed but definitely icy at the start. We found the common corridor connector to be boilerplate ice with a good flow of water in the ditch. We took off skis and booted up to the Cold Creek trail. The lower trail was rather icy, but we found conditions to improve the higher we climbed, as the day warmed and the sun got higher. We paused at the warming hut below the switchbacks both up and down, and enjoyed conversation and the warmth from the wood stove. Eventually we arrived at Windy Pass, and did not feel done yet, so added on the Windy Acres loop. Better and better views seen the higher we got. The ride down was great up above, but after the switchbacks, it was cooler in the valley, and more crunchy. We again booted the connector stretch, but had some postholing to contend with. A final quick ski back on the P2C brought us back to the cars.

Stats: 13.3 miles, 1800’ elev gain, 5 hours total travel time including all breaks. Everyone was smiling and happy in the sun, and we encountered a bunch of people we knew, so enjoyed lots of laughs and conversation.