Forums Trip Reports The last two days of April – Tombstone Pass
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  • #574849
    stoudema
    551 Posts

    With all the recent snowfall, Todd and I decided do an overnight at Tombstone Pass in the western Oregon cascades to see if we could get a few last powder turns in before the corn season starts. We got powder, and also a pretty good sunburn. Friday morning, we were greeted to 8 inches of fresh snow in the unplowed parking lot and an unbelievable 8.5 feet of snow as a base (the area had received 18-24 inches in the last week). Typically, there isn’t enough snow to link turns to the highway (4100 feet) this time of year, given the low base elevation of the area, and fighting the brush is pretty nasty. That wasn’t the case this year, however.

    Shouldering the overnight packs, we made it to camp by 11am, and were off to make turns on the surrounding peaks. Standing on top of Cone Peak, we were able to cut a few cornices and get the top layer of about 5 inches to run. The turns down the north side were nice, but photos were difficult to get as the clouds were pretty thick……

    We skinned back to the top and proceeded to lap the east side of the peak several times as the snow turned from nice powder to breakable crust by nightfall. The picture below was taken from South Peak (to the east) the next day, and our tracks are visible on both the east and north faces…..

    Skinning up for one more run after dinner and drinks, I snapped this shot overlooking Iron Mountain to the west and the Willamette Valley in the distance…

    Back at camp and tired, the reward was a bit of rest in the tent with a mixed drink. The next morning, we put in a different track to the east, ascending South Peak. When conditions are right and the snowpack is deep, there’s literally good lines everywhere in here. The below photo shows Todd skinning towards South Peak with some of the terrain on the north side of Cone that we rode the day before in the background…..

    From the top of South Peak, more terrain to the north towards Echo Mountain and North Peak were begging to be ridden.

    Strapping in after a quick break, the reward was an excellent run down South Peak, and the crust was supportable enough to make some fun turns….

    Feeling pretty spent after we made the long skin back to camp, we packed up and skied down to the highway on an excellent sun-warmed snow surface. I imagine the turns will be pretty good for another few weeks, weather depending, but given the low elevation of the area, the snowpack might get pretty cooked. Unfortunately, I didn’t get many action shots (the weather always seemed to move in when we were making runs), but did take quite a few scenery photos. Here’s a parting pano shot….

    #640134
    ale_capone
    864 Posts

    Cool name for a pass. Way to take advantage of the late season snow and phat snow pack.

    you should have stretched one more day out of it to get your May in. What month are you on now?

    #640135
    stoudema
    551 Posts

    Thanks Ale! We thought about one more day, but ended up heading home nonetheless, since Sunday was supposed to be around 60 F. I’m hoping to get out one day next week after work for May. May will make 66 months…..hopefully by the end of the month the Cascade Lakes highway will be open and opportunities for riding the larger volcanoes down here will be much better!

    #640133
    jbaysurfer
    947 Posts

    :headbang:

    Can’t wait to ride with you guys again. May is gonna be tricky, since I’m gonna chase the East Side stuff..but as when we met last year, there’s always stuff to ride through the summer eh?

    Congrats on the 66 months. I’m on 15 right now, and my August turns courtesy of you guys were key!

    #640136
    stoudema
    551 Posts

    Thanks Josh! We’ll have to hook up for some Sister’s action this summer (kind of sounds dirty, huh?), or some other Oregon volcano. June and July should be pretty good up here. Maybe I’ll even be able to break away next year for some Cali split fest action :drool:

    #640137
    jbaysurfer
    947 Posts

    @stoudema wrote:

    Thanks Josh! We’ll have to hook up for some Sister’s action this summer (kind of sounds dirty, huh?), or some other Oregon volcano. June and July should be pretty good up here. Maybe I’ll even be able to break away next year for some Cali split fest action :drool:

    Unless our spouses are long lost sisters, it might be better if we discussed this conquest someplace other then the WWW.
    😉 😆

    Regarding the Eastside party, I can’t guarantee bluebird pow like we had this year, but it should still be fun! I’m heading to OR next week for work, but I’m not sure what my touring plans might be since I have/had eastside aspirations and now I have also had some family stuff come up. I’ll keep you posted on my OR schedules though!

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