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Crater Lake Ski Trip

New Year's was a good excuse for four of us (Kim, Robin, Kris & Doug) to camp in the snow under the stars at Crater Lake. Our exciting and ambitious plan to ski around the lake in three days was thrown into doubt as we checked in at the park information center. Avalanche danger required that we add a substantial detour to our itinerary the very first day. The alternate route involved some steep meadows that were not easily negotiable, especially with full packs. In addition, because we were the first party on the avalanche detour, route finding through the gullies, woods and steep slopes challenged all of us and cost valuable time. Eventually, as daylight was fading, we decided to abandon the original plan and found a small meadow where we established a base camp.

That night, we had just gotten camp set up and dinner started when it began to snow. By morning, we had at least a six inch accumulation and were greeted with brilliant sunshine. Doug, Kris and Robin took a fun ski tour back up to the north-west crater rim while Kim elected to relax at camp and enjoy the sun with a book. On the way back, while descending 1,000' of pristine meadows, Robin even gave free telemark lessons. Kim was glad to see they found their way back to camp an hour before dark. We immediately started a stunning New Year's Eve feast that we enjoyed over the next three hours, replete with several toasts from Robin's bottle. The third day, New Year's Day, started out rainy but cooled and became snowy as we skied back up and out. On the drive home we enjoyed mild weather and McMinnimin's pub in Roseburg. We want to try this again in the spring, preferably with a large barometric high and a well-skied track along the roadway.

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