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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 8:50 pm 
Today we went up to Hyak to try the XC area with track skis (no side cut no steel) as all the snow parks were super crowded. Parking was not hard and it was free for geezers +70. The lift was running fast and sign says does not slow down. We skied up the Catherine loop above lake K, great fun and no people compared to Kendall road. Decided to go up to Hidden Valley which was steep but doable in one place. Didn’t try riding down lift do not know if you even can. So we went down down hill trails which I have done before on Tele skis (edged stiff boots) with no problems. Finally skiied down to base with a couple falls and lots of near misses. Lots of kids on boards and skis, who I do not blame at all as I was there back in the day. I have done many laps on the face with AT skis and skied the down hills on Tele gear before. Just wondering is there any easy way down with track skis? Seems strange they have a lot of nice tracks on top for trad XC with no way down.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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rossb
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 10:10 pm 
There are a couple ways down, staying on the track. https://summitatsnoqualmie.com/assets/images/Summit/Images/mountain%20maps/nordic-map.jpg The long way is to go all the way around Radio Mountain and Mount Katherine. The shorter way is to go by Hidden Valley Overlook. I think I went the shorter way last time. It is at times very flat, and at times very steep. Since it is groomed, the steep parts are OK with skinny skis (you can just snowplow). I didn't like the combination (too flat, then too steep, then too flat again). But my skis aren't very fast. I do like being up there -- some good stuff up there, especially on a day like today when the snow level is high. I went up to Amabalis and the bottom was slush and the top was nice. [Edit: Linked to the official map.]

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 11:41 pm 
We went up the way past Hidden Lake Lookout and were trying to do a loop. We have been up the Lake Katherine Radio Mountain route also and over Nordic Pass. Just seems strange to have a bunch of green and blue trails on top with no easy way down, go figure.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Randito
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 9:03 am 
IME the two easiest way to ski down on XC skis are: To return to the Hyak base: Ski down the "Milwalkee Ridge" run until it intersects "Creek Run", zig-zag down the steep portion of "Creek Run" until it heads right -- then take the long traverse until it intersects the large open slope above the lodge. ZigZag down this slope -- taking care to avoid the dip 150 ft above the lodge where a creek runs across the slope. To return to the Silver Fir base: From "Grand Junction" take the "White Rabbit" run down until it crosses the "Outback" downhill run. Scoot across that and continue following the old logging road -- which is now called "Tanner's Pass" , cross under the "Silver Fir" lift and through the next band of timber out on to the "Sunrise" downhill ski run. There is typically a groomed green run paralleling the band of timber. On weekends where there is more grooming you might be able to make big zigzags across "Sunrise" and the "Easy Streets" double chair lift. I find that the return to Silver Fir base is a bit easier on edgeless XC skis -- but if you started at Hyak that doesn't do you much good. You may ride the Silver Fir chair using an XC trail pass -- However this mean you will need to ski down the "Silver Streak" XC run to get to "Grand Junction" and that run is steep enough to be uncomfortable for many XC skiers. Doing the 16KM (10 mile) Mt Catherine Loop as an alternate -- still involves skiing down hills that are either thrilling or scary depending on skill level --"Ripsaw" coming down from "Grand Junction" has some steep sections and "Cold Creek" where it ZigZags is also steep enough to go fast. For beginners skipping the chair and walking up/down the section right above the Hyak Lodge to get on the "Cold Creek" trail and following it to the bottom of the ZigZags and returning would be more sensible. This route has a good view of Lake Keechelus a little way it and some gentle hills -- its a good step up from the P2C trail , but not as big a step up as the "Berg Course" at Cabin Creek. https://summitatsnoqualmie.com/assets/images/Summit/Images/mountain%20maps/nordic-map.jpg

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flatsqwerl
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 9:12 am 
I'm saving that map Randito. If its that much of a nest of trails, I will NEED this map!

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 2:02 pm 
RA ditto we followed the route you described down Creek Run to the face above the lodge. It was doable as you say but compounded by the number of descending boarders/skiers with their parents yelling at them to “slow down” and snow conditions made snowplowing and zig zagging difficult. We have done this route many times with edged skis and leather boots. As for Silver fir there were no parking places there.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Randito
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 2:15 pm 
Yeah, Hyak created a new run "Serpentine" between Kendall and Creek Run that included zigzags to keep the grade moderate with the intention of it being the prefered descent route for XC skiers. However snowboarders and "Pizza" skiers found that they like it a lot , so there are too many lift served riders whizzing down its narrow track to be of much benefit to XC skiers.

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rossb
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 2:24 pm 
Malachai Constant wrote:
Just seems strange to have a bunch of green and blue trails on top with no easy way down, go figure.
Yeah, it is what makes it a weird Nordic area. If (as Randito suggested) you start from the bottom it has plenty of beginning level territory. Somewhat interesting, but no better than what you can get from nearby SnoParks. On the other hand, if you take the lift to the top it is special. There are lots of runs, many of them easy. It is an especially good choice under conditions like yesterday. But to get from the top to the bottom you have to go over some challenging sections. My biggest gripe is that I "waste" the elevation. Instead of cruising down the hill (as I would at say, Amabalis) I am forced into a very challenging snowplow at times (assuming they groomed it well). The skis wobble back and forth scraping their way across the snow. It works, but it isn't fun. Then, at the bottom, it is back to areas that are a bit too flat for my taste. I'm polling, or kicking and gliding, instead of cruising. It is the worst of both worlds. This is why I don't do the Nordic area very much. The upper section (which you can access from the lift) is really nice, but you have to get down, and it is surprisingly poor.

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Randito
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Randito
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 3:32 pm 
The big plus of the Summit Nordic center is the better snow quality afforded by the higher elevation of the "upper trails" The cost of a Nordic Season pass $179 is in the same ballpark as a groomed sno-park permit $120 The cost of a day ticket $36 is also similar to a 1 day sno-park permit $25. Of course that is per person vs per car load. Downloading the chair is offered as an option , but it is little used. Perhaps if the summit ever builds the proposed Creek quad chair this would support downloading the steepest section without requiring a signicant climb back up to the top of the chair.

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Cyclopath
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 9:32 pm 
I've never skied Snoqualmie Nordic Center. Somebody told me the Mount Catherine loop is something everybody needs to do at least once a year. I'm planning to visit on a weekday when we get good weather, the loop is my default plan. Does anybody have any other advice? My favorite trails are usually the hardest ones; Ozbaldy, Roller Coaster, etc.

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Randito
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Randito
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PostMon Jan 02, 2023 6:53 am 
Hidden Valley is the steepest groomed trail in the Summit Nordic system. I've only skied up it while doing a modified version of the Mt Catherine loop. I typically start/end at Silver Fir and while it's possible to XC from Hyak to Silver Fir I don't find that section tends to have firmer snow due lower elevation and lift skier traffic, so it isn't all that fun. On one day with icy snow conditions, I removed my skis and booted up the edge of groomed track for the steepest pitch on Hidden Valley-- it is steeper than Ozbaldy.

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Jan 02, 2023 9:18 am 
We used to do the Mount Catherine loop all the time when our kids were in ski school and it was the common corridor enough pass required. We used edged backcountry skis Trak 10th mountain. This time we went up Hidden Valley also taking off skis and walking in tracks at the steepest part. Skaters had gone up the track, must take guts as there is no place to rest.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jan 04, 2023 9:52 am 
https://summitatsnoqualmie.com/nordic-skiing This has been saying every trail is closed for a couple days. Am I looking in the wrong place?

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Randito
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Randito
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PostWed Jan 04, 2023 10:29 am 
Fri-Sun is the Nordic Center usual schedule, though maybe in recent years its just Sat-Sun.

Cyclopath
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Randito
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PostWed Jan 04, 2023 10:31 am 
It's Fri-Sun https://summitatsnoqualmie.com/hours And scroll down and choose Nordic is the location selection control.

Cyclopath
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