Mt. Catherine, January 15, 2013
It had been over a week since any fresh snow had fallen, and a stubborn trough of high pressure had remained over the Cascades for the duration. A rain event had preceded the freeze, so frozen basketball-sized tree bombs and slide debris littered the mountains under a dusting of fresh - not just chicken heads, entire chickens.
Needing to get out, I rounded up Kevin (nearly recovered from the flu), my buddy Stuart from evo, Elissa and her friend Efrem for a tour of Mt. Catherine. Usually a standby for Kevin and I, none of the others had been there and neither Kevin nor I had toured it this season. We had low hopes for the skiing, but the day was crisp and clear and everyone was itching for some exercise.
The cross country trails up and over Hyak were groomed perfectly and begged to be skated, making the shuttle over to the Mt. Catherine loop quick and smooth. Once we headed off the groomed, the glazed skintrack proved to be challenging at times, and we ended up booting two sections on the way to the top. A temperature inversion was in progress for the day, and sun with 40 degree warmth made hanging out at the summit a pleasure . . .
Skiing? Conditions were "variable" to say the least - one to five inches of light fresh snow remained over the frozen debris from last week, and the skiing was enjoyable when the frozen layer was a little less than bulletproof. With this crew of excellent skiers it was all good, and everyone had their share of good turns. Beers and chips followed at the Hotel Curd after a quick exit on the cross country track and some hard carvin' GS action on the lower slopes of Hyak.