Forum Index > Trip Reports > Bald Mountain Ski (Palouse Divide, Id) March 2, 2019
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RichP
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Location: Moscow, Id.
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PostSun Mar 03, 2019 1:16 pm 
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I've been engaging in some cross country skiing as of late and the go to place for Moscow-Pullman is The Palouse Divide Nordic Area in the Hoodoo Mtns about 45 minutes north of both towns. The Palouse Divide Nordic Club, with its group of dedicated volunteers, grooms 20 miles of trails throughout the winter months. It's possible to ski ungroomed roads for many more miles if one doesn't mind breaking trail. There is a yearly event called the Bald Loppet which goes all the way out to Bald Mtn, the highest summit in the range as well as the highpoint of Latah County, Id. This is an 18-mile ski with over 2000' of gain.

http://palousedividenordic.org

This year the event wasn't planned so I decided to do my own loppet. The only problem was that beyond the first 3.3 miles, the route is normally ungroomed so I'd be breaking trail in deep, unconsolidated snow the remaining 6.7 miles.

I knew this would be a multi-day effort, so I headed out the first day and broke trail until I felt enough was enough. This was about 4 miles beyond the normal end of grooming at "Lane's Lookout".

Palouse Divide Rd becomes a nordic ski area in winter.
Palouse Divide Rd becomes a nordic ski area in winter.
Still a long way to go.
Still a long way to go.
Grooming took place while I was out breaking trail.
Grooming took place while I was out breaking trail.

The following day I returned and skied on a groomed trail to where I had started my trail breaking project. I continued to where I had stopped the day before and noticed snowmobile tracks coming from a spur road right were I had stopped. These were not present the day before. I started to feel like I would actually make it instead of needing a third day of slogging in deep powder. My only wish was that they continued all the way up.

This has been the snowiest winter in several years so breaking trail was an arduous affair. The snowmobile track gave me the encouragement I needed to push on the three miles I needed to get to the top. It wasn't as easy as a groomed trail but it sure beat sinking 2 feet with every step.

My work from the previous day.
My work from the previous day.
Snowmobile track.
Snowmobile track.
The loo.
The loo.
Bald Mtn Lookout.
Bald Mtn Lookout.
Bald Mtn Lookout.
Bald Mtn Lookout.

All in all this was a test of the mettle of a newbie. I did spend some time on my butt on the way down but it was a good experience and I look forward to doing it again someday but maybe at the next organized loppet when the entire route is groomed only once a year for the event.  wink.gif

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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Chief Joseph
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PostSun Mar 03, 2019 1:28 pm 
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Cool report and awesome pics Rich!

I find it funny watching the Spokane news and weather...every night it's the Palouse this and the Palouse that, they seem to really like saying that word.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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RichP
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Location: Moscow, Id.
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PostSun Mar 03, 2019 1:33 pm 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
I find it funny watching the Spokane news and weather...every night it's the Palouse this and the Palouse that, they seem to really like saying that word.

It could be because some highways and county roads have been closed due to drifting snow for quite some time. Palouse is a pretty cool word though so you could have a point there.  smile.gif

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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Bald Mountain Ski (Palouse Divide, Id) March 2, 2019
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