Forum Index > Trail Talk > There's good groomed trail skiing in the Methow
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Cyclopath
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PostSat Dec 22, 2018 8:54 am 
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It's been such a low snow year so far, there haven't been many options for Nordic skiing.  The Methow has been grooming trails, I was personally worried that they wouldn't be usable after the recent warm spell.

They're doing a fantastic job working with the snow they have.  Sun Mountain is in great shape, the Rendezvous trails are open, some Mazama trails can be skied, and the Winthrop town trailhead is open too, but this section doesn't have a track set, just skate lanes.

Cabin Creek just got the lower trails groomed yesterday, there are starting to be options.
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rossb
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PostSat Dec 22, 2018 9:10 am 
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I've been up Amabalis three times this year (the first time was early season, when I could drive close to the Y). The groomer is doing a great job with the very challenging conditions. It was good yesterday, but not great. There is good coverage all the way (even the little patch towards the bottom has plenty of snow). About the only bad part are the little branches that have fallen off the trees. He didn't groom the top of Amabalis yesterday, but according to the website, he did it this morning. There is good skiing up towards the top, as additional grooming areas were added up there last year.

It has been a challenge this year, with all the rain. We just need more snow (to cover up the branches, if nothing else). But it is still good (just not great).
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Cyclopath
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PostSat Dec 22, 2018 7:39 pm 
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You could drive up to the Y and ski?  I thought the road was closed starting December 1 and envisioned a long road walk carrying skis, poles, and boots.  This is great to know, I'll remember for next year.  Thanks for posting, rossb.
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treeswarper
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PostSat Dec 22, 2018 8:44 pm 
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The Loup is also grooming and their downhill area has the rope tow and tubing hill open.  The luge is operating also.  Their lodge is open and has food and stuff.  I haven't been up yet.  You'll need to check their website for conditions and days open if interested.  To ski on the South Summit trails you will need a snopark pass.

Talked to a couple of snowmobilers yesterday who had been up around Conconully.  They said there was barely enough snow to travel on and they had to be careful.

A few flakes are falling here in Omak.

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rossb
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PostSun Dec 23, 2018 11:54 am 
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Cyclopath wrote:
You could drive up to the Y and ski?  I thought the road was closed starting December 1 and envisioned a long road walk carrying skis, poles, and boots.  This is great to know, I'll remember for next year.  Thanks for posting, rossb.

It really varies. They basically close it when they feel like they have sufficient snow. The groomer often starts grooming above the Y, and to get up there, will drive his truck. It becomes a typical early season situation, where you don't want to drive any further than you have to, because you might get stuck, or drive over an area where others want to ski. Along with the grooming report, the Facebook group is a good place to find information.
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thunderhead
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PostSun Dec 23, 2018 2:06 pm 
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Amabilis skiied pretty good yesterday imo, and lots more snow should be falling now.  Seeing a nice recovery of the snowpack since the poor start.
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DIYSteve
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PostMon Dec 24, 2018 1:20 pm 
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^  ^  ^  Yeah, groomed XC skiing is looking pretty good near Snoqualmie Pass for this time of year.

Cabin Creek trails are groomed except Ozbaldy.

80% of Erling Stordahl XC trails are groomed. Rollercoaster stops at the stream, as usual this time of year. We found early season conditions Saturday morning, which was followed by a 15" dump. (We lift skied the pow yesterday.)

Iron Horse is groomed (skate and classic) on E end (i.e., to Crystal Springs). I dunno how far it is groomed westward along S side of Keechelus (Stump) Lake. If it's not groomed the full length -- Hyak/Iron Horse SnoPark to Crystal Springs SnoPark -- by now, I would think it'll soon be after the weekend storm (15" on top of 2+ feet of frozen).
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DigitalJanitor
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PostMon Dec 24, 2018 2:46 pm 
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Skied 29 Pines up towards Beverly and back yesterday. Was sticky and slow to start with, but got better once the snow tapered off and some snowmobiles tamped the road down.

Sure wish someone would add below the "No parking in turnaround" a sign that said "THAT MEANS THERE IS NO LEGAL PARKING BEHIND THIS SIGN!". Ran into some super nice folks hoofing out after some winter camping that had parked in the turnaround thinking they wouldn't get plowed in.... I don't understand that logic at all given that they have to plow the turnaround also. ?!?

I took the time to 'splain that this causes problems not just for snomo trailers but also the snow plow and ESPECIALLY the groomer getting towed in on a giant trailer behind a giant truck. I've seen the groomer at Salmon la Sac doing what seemed like a 50 point spin thanks to clown(s) parked in the turn around, and after a while you had to root for him 'accidentally' taking a bumper off.

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thunderhead
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PostMon Dec 24, 2018 5:33 pm 
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DIYSteve wrote:
I dunno how far it is groomed westward along S side of Keechelus (Stump) Lake. If it's not groomed the full length -- Hyak/Iron Horse SnoPark to Crystal Springs SnoPark -- by now, I would think it'll soon be

Was groomed and in great shape today!
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Dec 24, 2018 6:26 pm 
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I got a little more than 20 miles in the Rendezvous system today.  Undercast weather, bluebird day above 3,000 feet.

Edit to add pics.

Leaving the fog
Leaving the fog
:lol:   :dizzy:  :moon:
lol.gif   dizzy.gif  moon.gif
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DIYSteve
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PostMon Dec 24, 2018 9:21 pm 
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thunderhead wrote:
Was groomed and in great shape today!

Cool. Thanks for the update. I'd hit it this week but for hernia surgery on Boxing Day  frown.gif
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Dec 25, 2018 5:35 pm 
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I stopped at Cabin Creek in the way home today.  The trails haven't been groomed in two days and are still in good shape.   smile.gif

I haven't skied in Leavenworth yet, I'm going to have to change that soon.
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Foist
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 9:33 am 
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We spent the last few days in the Methow as well.  Thin or icy spots here and there, but overall very good, especially the last couple days.  I will say that Saturday, which was soon after those rain storms, was pretty dicey, and the groomers were listing some trails as freshly groomed and "open" (such as lower inside passage) that were really unskiable.  But a couple new inches of snow on Saturday night and colder temps made it better after that.
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 1:37 pm 
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rossb wrote:
It really varies. They basically close it when they feel like they have sufficient snow. The groomer often starts grooming above the Y, and to get up there, will drive his truck. It becomes a typical early season situation, where you don't want to drive any further than you have to, because you might get stuck, or drive over an area where others want to ski. Along with the grooming report, the Facebook group is a good place to find information.

To be honest I'm not a huge fan of Amabilis.  I'm on skinny skis that I can't use off the groomed trail, so it's back down the way I came up.  It's about 20 minutes to get down and my feet cramp up.   frown.gif   I do loops around the lower trails and Ozbaldy, and it never happens.  That might be my boots though?

I can't remember how to find out whether the Iron Horse Trail is groomed from Crystal Springs to Hyak, do you happen to know off hand?  It's a long round trip, but it's gorgeous, and I want to make sure I do it this year.

I might see if I can put an app together that will check several grooming reports and traffic conditions on certain mornings automatically.

I'll be at Cabin Creek tomorrow.   smile.gif
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 1:39 pm 
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Foist wrote:
We spent the last few days in the Methow as well.  Thin or icy spots here and there, but overall very good, especially the last couple days.  I will say that Saturday, which was soon after those rain storms, was pretty dicey, and the groomers were listing some trails as freshly groomed and "open" (such as lower inside passage) that were really unskiable.  But a couple new inches of snow on Saturday night and colder temps made it better after that.

A year ago you suggested a loop up Cougar Bait, through Cow and Cub Creeks.  Thanks!  That was a fantastic day.  I hadn't been on that part of the trail system before, it was a lot of fun, and the scenery was nice too.  Having it all be a big loop was the icing on the cake.
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