Skyline Ridge Ski Tour
Stevens Pass, WA
January 29, 2013
Todd Kilcup introuduced me to a new area that I had never skied before: Skyline Ridge at Stevens Pass! While I had skied across the highway at Stevens Pass Ski Area many times, I had never backcountry skied on the north side.
The morning started with me driving north to Todd's house at 6:30am where we adjusted the bindings on his Volkl Nanuqs which he let me borrow for the trip. He has just received and ordered his big, Dynafit Huascuran's. With the 112mm of ski underfoot, Todd showed sympathy for me and my 78mm waisted Dynafit 7Summit skis and offered to let me use his wider Volkls. While I love my Seven Summits, I was really impressed by the Nanuq's ability to handle the heavy, "spongey" snow we encountered on our tour.
We skinned up the forest service road to the lake then skinned across the frozen lake and up the forested ridge. Just below the top we stopped and took a break before we lost the skins and started down the north facing slope. We had expected 16" of fluffy powder but instead we got a foot of dense, meringue! But it was still super fun, and we had it all to ourselves!
Todd skied down first as I watched him make seemingly effortless turns, disappearing amongst the trees. A few minutes later he called up that he was in a safe place and I started down. I quickly leraned that even though I was on wider skis, I still had to lean back to keep my ski tips from diving under the heavy snow.
We made three laps before the temperatures warmed up enough to cause us to be concerned about slides, so we skinned back up to the top of the ridge, then skied back down to the lake and then flew down the service road to the parking lot. Thanks, Todd, for a great day skiing, letting me borrow your skis, and for showing me this great new area!