Are there long descents or open windy areas at Snoqualmie Nordic Center? I mostly do the lower trails at Cabin Creek and usually wear a base layer and light fleece, and carry a very light soft shell. Will I need more to ski here?
Windy Pass and Windy Acres are appropriately named. If you do the Mt Catherine loop counterclockwise, the descent from Grand Junction along Ripsaw is speedy and not very exposed to wind, climbing up Windy Acres can be breezy, but you are climbing. Decending the Cold Creek road from Windy Pass is a very long downhill, followed by several miles of flat with one corner near the end where the wind can be strong (and there is a view of the lake) There is a warming hut at the bottom of the long descent at about the point where many people switch from snowplowing to check speed to double poling.
If you go clockwise , the descent along Ripsaw is also long, typically you will have the wind at your back.. You will warm up climbing up to Grand Junction.
Thanks!! Sounds like I should dress more like I'm done Amabilis or something like it, with more wind protection at least.
Is it common for Nordic skiers to bring backpacks here? I do a hydration belt on the lower trails when I'll never be very far from the car. Bigger trips I'll bring a pack and a day change of clothes.
I treat the backside of catherine as about the same as going to the top of Amabilis... i think those are about the same level of commitment. On a nice spring day i might bring just a hydration pack but most of the time full kit for me.
The Mt Catherine loop is about 10 miles. Most people will want some water. I certainly observe skate skiers out in "windy acres" without backpacks. But that is on the weekend when the ski patrol will patrol the loop periodically to assist people in trouble.
As an old boy scout, I prefer to carry at least , some water, food and an extra insulating layer, and always a windproof top.
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