Early Season Skiing in the Methow Valley

Cascade views from Klipchuck

Things are off to a “normal” winter start here in the Methow Valley, even if it seems slow for the tribe of skiers who live here.

Washington Pass, the road that provides access from the west in the summer, closed for the season one week ago.    And there’s been enough snow for groomed skate & classic skiing now at Klipchuck – just a couple miles up the road from Mazama – since Dec 1st.

Skiing at Klipchuck is a “lollipop out-and-back” with one big brute of a hill that gains a couple hundred feet in a half mile with some steep sections.    Just the thing to bust your chops in the early season when technique is lazy and maybe the legs and lungs are a bit lazy too.

Old skis come out for the early season.

IMG_5627Conditions at Klipchuck are good enough that the junior team had an individual start skate race on the weekend, with some skiers using their “good skis” and suffering no harm to them.

A storm is expected to bring valley-wide snow this weekend, and of course we are all anxious for that.    Another 6″ on the valley floor would open up about 1/3 of the valley’s 200 km of trails.

We are fortunate to have decent skiing just a few miles from home right now.   With any extra luck the forecast will prove true, and we’ll all be skiing on a broader network of trails by this time next week.


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